Oman will host the International Gas Union's (IGU) 16th International Gas Union Research Conference (IGRC) in collaboration with Oman LNG between Feb. 24 and 26, 2020.
The IGRC 2020 conference is expected to attract over 1,000 participants representing more than 40 countries, according to Khalid Abdullah Al Massan, CEO of Oman LNG Development Foundation.
Although competition to host the event was intense, the conference, which according to Al Massan, has the support of Oman's Oil and Gas Minister Mohammed bin Hamad al Rumhi and the Oman government, will be held in Oman's capital, Muscat in 2020.
Al Massan said that a critical 3% of LNG to meet international LNG market demand comes from Oman.
According to Al Massan, the conference will highlight the research, development and innovation aspects of the ever-growing gas and energy industry, and comes at a good time to showcase Oman’s business and trading capabilities.
“The timing of the event can't be better as it comes amid ambitious gas discoveries and a booming gas industry. Such outstanding success is attributed to the ongoing cooperation between the IGU and Oman LNG with the immense support of the Oman Convention and Exhibition Center (OCEC)," Al Massan said.
Professor Joe Kang, president of the International Gas Union, said he is “very happy this lovely country will host the event in Muscat,” in the gas-rich region where much natural gas and LNG activity takes place, and in an area that will allow regional and global stakeholders easy access.
Kang dubbed the IGU the global voice of gas and hailed the IGRC 2020 as a forum in which opportunities could be found for Oman, for companies in the country, the Middle East and the surrounding areas.
“The event will put great emphasis on advocacy, policy, and strategy as the gas industry contributes strongly to revitalize national economic growth while meeting the Paris Agreement on climate action,” Kang said.
Kang said that gas, as a clean and energy-efficient fuel, would have a critical role to play in mitigating the challenges of climate change.
He also contended that the share of gas, which is on the rise, is now parallel with renewables and would further spread in other sectors.
Gas consumption, which started in the electricity generation sector, then heating and in the industrial sector, will be expanded to the marine and land transportation sectors, he explained.
Said Al Shanfari, CEO of the Oman Convention and Exhibition Center (OCEC), who also spoke during the press conference, said it was “a privilege to be able to showcase Oman and OCEC as a leading venue of choice in the Arabian Gulf,” and expressed his wish to bring more international events and partners to the country.
- Oman and LNG
Oman is heavily investing in gas fields and is actively boosting the country's gas production. The country's natural gas production was around 43.75 billion cubic meters in 2018, an increase of around 13% compared to 2017.
The country consumed around 44 billion cubic meters of gas in 2018.
All LNG produced in the country is exported mainly to the Asian market. Oman’s total LNG exports increased by about 19% to 10.2 million metric tonnes in 2018 compared to 8.6 million metric tonnes in 2017.
The Oman LNG company was responsible for the export of around 7 million metric tonnes followed by energy company Qalhat LNG, who also exported significant LNG volumes.
The first phase of development of Oman’s giant Khazzan gas field started gas production in September 2017.
Following the successful startup of the Khazzan field, BP officially announced in April 2018 that it would sanction the company’s first final investment decision of 2018 for the Ghazeer field in Oman.
"Through the transfer of industry-leading skills and technology from BP’s global portfolio, we look forward to further developing this gas field that is expected to support Oman’s energy needs for many decades to come," BP noted.
The development of Ghazeer is currently under construction and is scheduled to come onstream in 2021.
Khazzan currently produces around 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day and is expected to add production of another 0.5 billion cubic feet per day.
On July 31, 2019, BP and Eni signed an exploration and production sharing agreement (EPSA) for Block 77 in central Oman with the Ministry of Oil and Gas of the Sultanate of Oman. The Block is located 30 kilometers east of the BP-operated Block 61, which contains the already-producing Khazzan gas project as well as the Ghazeer project, currently under development.
By Murat Temizer in Muscat, Oman