Muscat: More than 6,000 Omanis were re-employed or newly hired in 2017 in the oil and gas sector, according to the Ministry of Oil and Gas.
The total number of employees in operating companies, including concession area companies, Oman Oil Refinery and Petrochemical Industries, Oman LNG and Oman Gas Company, was 170,301.
Some 13,941 of them were Omanis and 3,360 were expats, achieving 81 per cent Omanisation in the sector by the end of 2017.
Operating companies recruited 387 Omanis in technical, engineering and administration jobs. More than 4,222 citizens were employed by the end of 2017, through redeployment in accordance with article 48 of the Labour Law.
The oil and gas sector posted strong results in 2017 as large projects kicked off production and new discoveries were made.
Total expenditure by the oil and gas sector amounted to $11.4 billion (against $11.3 in 2016) of which, around 72 per cent was capital expenditure in the upstream sector such as drilling, facilities etc, and 28 per cent was on operating expenses.
The total oil sector expenditure was some $7.9 billion, same as the previous year. Whereas, the total gas sector expenditure was $3.5 billion, against $3.4 billion in the previous year.
The Sultanate’s total oil and condensate reserves stood at 4,740 million barrels at the end of 2017, down by 376 million barrels in 2016, despite adding 355 million barrels of oil and condensate from exploration activities and re-evaluation of some producing fields.
This decline is attributed to the transfer of some 323 million barrels of reserves into recoverable quantities with price recovery. On the other hand, gas reserves of 4.97 trillion cubic feet were added, bringing the total gas reserves to 24.96 trillion cubic feet by the end of 2017, up by some 3.81 trillion cubic feet compared with 2016. The major contributors for this year additions were the Khazzan and Ghazeer fields.
Average daily production for crude oil and condensate was at 972 thousand barrels (against 1 million and 4 thousand barrels in 2016) demonstrating the Sultanate’s compliance with the OPEC agreement to cut production in order to boost global oil prices.
The daily gas production in addition to quantities imported from Dolphin were some 112 million cubic metres, of which 88 million cubic metres of non-associated gas and 19 million cubic metres of associated gas and 5 million cubic metres of gas were imported from Dolphin. The exploration program cost is expected to be some $67 million during the first phase of agreements for seismic surveys and exploratory wells.
In terms of marketing, four blocks were opened for tendering in the last quarter of 2017 and the ministry is currently in the process of analysing the tenders submitted by local and international companies.
Efforts made by oil and gas companies on the social responsibility front continued, despite economic challenges. The total amount spent was more than OMR25 million that focused on several areas, especially youth capability development and contribution to infrastructure projects such as education and health services.
SMEs and NGOs received a large share of these contributions with a focus on developing talents, human resources and entrepreneurship in order to create job opportunities.