Oman’s Oil and gas sector development will continue even if oil prices drop below $40 per barrel, HE Salim bin Nasser Al Aufi, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Oil and Gas said.
“The Sultanate will continue its development projects even if crude oil prices fall from the current levels to $30 or $40 per barrel,’’ he said in a conversation with Dan Murphy, Correspondent, CNBC International at the opening of 2019 edition of the World Heavy Oil Congress and Exhibition (WHOC) at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Oil prices are driven by political situations that we all are in. “We are looking at long term plans of 10 to 15, 20 years and in case of heavy oil, a little longer. Allowing a short term view is risky. Oil will continue to have its place, he said.
Highlighting the immense potential of heavy oil in Oman, he said that heavy oil is a sustainable fuel of choice and will contribute significantly to Oman’s long-term economic development. The last bid round for oil and gas blocks has seen potential interest in at least one block for heavy oil. Heavy oil continues to dominate and production will continue to rise. Our strategy is to localise the industry and increase our ability to respond fast. That’s where we’re driving our In-Country Value programme, which all operators are supporting,” said Aufi. “Oman continues to be open for business. The message to international operators is transfer your technology, share it with us, and we will extend our support to you as well.” The Government is supporting and encouraging global collaboration to accelerate heavy oil exploration, production and growth, he added.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, PDO Managing Director Raoul Restucci said by 2025, nearly a quarter of PDO’s oil production will come from EOR projects, up from around 11 per cent presently. In Marmul, PDO is banking on polymer-based EOR technology to harness 61 million barrels of crude starting from 2023.
Raoul said that renewable energy sector will drive growth and solar will contribute significantly to the rising energy requirements in Oman. Miraah is a very tangible example of this commitment. Solar power represents an enormous opportunity for Oman, he said.
On the potential for heavy oil, Raoul said that it has tremendous growth potential. For instance, the Habhab Project, is a promising ultra heavy oil opportunity and is one of the strategic projects for PDO, he said.