MUSCAT: Oman expects a significant increase in its natural gas output over the next five years but little improvement in oil production, its undersecretary for oil and gas said.
Oman aims to raise gas output to an average of 120 million cubic meters per day (mcm/d) over the five-year period from 2014 through 2018, Salim Al-Aufi said, a gain of 17.65 percent over 2013.
In 2013, gas production rose to an average of 102 mcm/d, up 3.7 percent from the previous year.
Oman’s modest gas exports have been constrained over the last few years as it has struggled to raise production quickly enough to keep pace with its own demand growth.
Muscat hopes the planned start-up of BP’s Khazzan tight gas project in 2017 will provide a big boost to supplies, with Khazzan alone expected to add about 28 mcm/d to gas output by 2018.
Crude oil and condensate production is expected to average 950,000-960,000 bpd over the five-year period, Aufi said, an increase of less than 2 percent over last year’s average level.
The non-OPEC oil producer averaged 942,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2013, up 2.5 percent from 2012.
Faced with a potential domestic gas supply crisis, Muscat has been trying for year to import gas from Iran, the world’s largest gas reserves holder.
Those efforts have proved unsuccessful, largely because of tight Western sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program, and there are rising doubts on whether Iran too can pump enough to meet its own gas needs.