Muscat: The new Muscat airport and the Khazzan Gas Field are two major investments of the government that will drive the economy, chairman of a major investment holding company said.
Chairman of Ominvest Khalid Muhammed Al Zubair made these remarks at the seventh Al Roya Economic Forum held on Sunday.
“The major government projects that have recently been completed, include the new Muscat Airport and the Khazzan Gas Field.
“Opening of Oman’s new airport is a major accomplishment and a huge step forward. The new airport has a capacity to handle around 12 million passengers a year.
“The capacity will rise to 24 million after completion of Phase-2 and to 48 million after the completion of Phase-3. The new airport is set to boost Oman’s logistics and tourism sectors,” he said.
The minster added that e-visas would complement the new airport and boost tourism in the Sultanate.
“Recent technological initiatives, such as introduction of e-visa system, will facilitate the visa issuance process for tourists and business travellers — boosting overall traffic.
“Tourism Sector has a major potential in Oman. Around 3 million tourists visited our country in 2017, up by 5 per cent from 2016. Ministry of Tourism’s target is to increase that number to 5 million by 2020 and to 12 million by 2040,” he remarked.
Zubair said that Khazzan Gas Field uses the latest technology, adding that it would save money and bolster revenue.
“The start of gas production from Phase-1 of Khazzan Gas Field last year is providing much-needed gas to Oman’s power and industrial sectors and enabling these key sectors to expand rapidly.
“Khazzan Gas Field is unique because it’s one of the few fields outside the US that uses latest fracking technology, which was commercialised during the US shale boom. Khazzan’s gas production is expected to rise from 1.0 billion cubic feet of gas per day to 1.5 billion cubic feet in Phase-2.
“Similar to US, Oman, in its own way, has set an example in the application of Enhanced Oil Recovery, or EOR technology in the Mukhaizna and Amal Projects. We have been successful in deploying the latest technology not only to reverse our oil production decline, but also to reach record levels and tap unconventional resources trapped in some of the most complex and deepest geological formations,” the chairman added.
Bakri disclosed that the the total investment for the two phases Khazzan Gas Field was estimated at $16 billion. He added that oil and gas sector accounted for the lion’s share of the state’s revenue and exacted a huge amount in investment.
“Oil and gas sector accounts for 71 per cent of the government’s total revenues. Additionally, expenditure on this sector is budgeted to reach $5.5 billion in 2018 — around 17 per cent of government’s total expenditure. Given the importance of this sector in Oman, adoption of latest oil and gas technologies will result in massive cost savings and enhance the sector’s net revenues,” Zubair added.