Oman is open to discussions to boost its LNG trade with Turkey and international players, Khalid Abdullah Al Massan, CEO of Oman LNG Development Foundation said.
Ahead of the upcoming International Gas Union's (IGU) 16th International Gas Union Research Conference (IGRC) in February next year, Al Massan told Anadolu Agency, in an exclusive interview, of Oman's aim to expand its LNG exports.
On the request of the Omani government and the shareholders of Oman LNG, the company is trying to process more gas through its Oman LNG plant to ramp up export volumes.
Oman currently exports 10.3 million tons of LNG per year, and over the last two years exports have steadily rose. Last year saw Oman's total LNG exports boost by about 19% to 10.2 million metric tonnes compared to 8.6 million metric tonnes in 2017.
The country further aims to increase this capacity to 11.3 million tonnes next year, he said.
"We are doing a debottleneck in trying to increase the capacity of our plant," he explained, referring to the process of producing more from existing plants.
The Oman LNG Company, with shareholders including energy majors Shell, Total and Mitsubishi, has a large presence in Asia, with 50% of its exports destined for South Korea's Kogas.
However, the market is not limited to this region and European countries like Spain also import LNG from Oman.
The country's trade is conducted through long-term contracts, of which Kogas and Mitsubishi are notable customers, and also through spot markets.
"Oman LNG delivers LNG to quite a number of countries. In addition to our long-term customers, we do a lot of spot cargoes as well," Al Massan said.
He underlined that he wants to have a win-win situation for both consumers and producers alike, although he conceded that pricing currently does not favor the producer, but rather the consumer.
Pricing for spot cargoes and also for long-term contracts are subject to competition, but will depend on offers on the table, he said. "We will take every single proposal on the table based on its own merit. We welcome all discussions with Turkey on any potential future LNG requirements."
- 16th International Gas Union Research Conference (IGRC)
Oman has succeeded in earning the right to host the 16th IGRC - the equivalent of the Olympics for the gas industry.
This was achieved with help from the government, and through collaboration with the conference center and the IGU. "We've been fighting, competing with other companies to host this big event. We've been successful so far to get it to Oman," he said.
The conference will showcase Oman's LNG trading capabilities and the country's efforts to boost its gas production through heavy investments.
The first phase of development of Oman’s giant Khazzan gas field, which started production in September 2017, id an example of Oman's aim for higher output.
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.
The development of Ghazeer is currently under construction and is scheduled to come on stream 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.
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 in 2018 followed by energy company Qalhat LNG, who also exported significant LNG volumes.
By Murat Temizer in Muscat, Oman