Muscat: Oman’s national oil firm Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) plans to increase the number of contracts awarded to local community contracting companies (LCCs) as part of a larger initiative to strengthen its in-country value.
The local community contractors and super local community contractors are closed Omani shareholding firms owned by thousands of local people living in PDO’s concession areas.
“In 2012, 12 per cent of total contracts were going to local companies. In 2015 and 2016, this share has grown to 37 to 38 per cent. So, it has more than doubled in the last four to five years. And it will continue to grow,” Raoul Restucci, managing director, PDO, told the Times of Oman, on the sidelines of a workshop on super local community contractors.
In well-engineering, more than 53 per cent of the contracts are awarded to local community contractors, which is one of the highest in the world. “This will grow to 56 per cent by the end of the year,” added the PDO chief. PDO is also trying to get these companies across the supply chain.
Restucci said PDO awards 36 per cent of its total contracts to local companies. The four super local community contractors employ around 900 workers in total and have 10,000 local community shareholders.
PDO had awarded an off-plot mechanical work to local community contractor Seeh Al Sarya Engineering at the company’s oil fields at Fahud, Lekhwair earlier this month. In the last couple of years, PDO awarded contracts worth millions of rials to local community contractors.
As many as 170 local community contractors are registered in the Sultanate and 70 per cent of these firms are very active. Referring to new technologies and the safety record of LCCs, the PDO chief said these companies have achieved the highest safety standards and technical requirements, while their productivity is showing improvement. PDO also helps the community contracting firms in maintaining safety standards. The workshop was held at the Grand Millennium Hotel, Muscat, under the patronage of Dr Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy, the Minister of Oil & Gas, and was attended by nearly 100 people.
The workshop aimed at promoting economic diversity highlighting lucrative investment opportunities in various sectors including tourism, manufacturing, renewable energy, logistics, mining and PDO industrial areas.
The local community contractors are looking at opportunities beyond the oil and gas sector, including tourism, manufacturing and logistics. “The companies, which are performing well, can expand operations into other areas,” added Restucci.