Since 1967 when commercial oil production began, the Sultanate of Oman has experienced remarkable growth. As of January 1994, total proven recoverable reserves were 4.7 billion barrels of oil and 21 TCF of natural gas, with average daily production of 800,000 BOPD. With direct access to the Gulf of Oman, the Sultanate has an important strategic advantage over other Gulf states that are dependent on safe passage through the Strait of Hormuz to export their oil.
The country’s economy is dependent upon oil revenues – crude constitutes 97% of total exports. The Omani government encourages foreign investment to help develop its natural resources and diversify the economy. Various incentives and tax breaks are available, but the Business and Investment Law of 1974 requires 35% Omani ownership in companies operating in the country.
Future exploration potential appears to lie in or near the salt basins of south-central Oman. A number of fields, previously considered at best only marginally commercial, have been successfully developed through horizontal drilling. Offshore drilling has been unsuccessful, with the exception of the Bukha gas and condensate discoveries in the Strait of Hormuz.
The country’s sole oil refinery (76,000 BOPD) is strategically located outside the Strait of Hormuz in Mina-al-Fahal, near Muscat. Plans to develop and expand port facilities are also underway in anticipation of Oman becoming the primary shipping centre for the entire region.
Oman is currently focusing on developing its gas reserves with the intent of decreasing domestic oil consumption and becoming a liquid natural gas exporter. The existing natural gas projects will increase the country’s prospectivity, enabling it to expand into new international markets.For more information contact:
Petrel Robertson Consulting Ltd.
500, 736- 8th Avenue S.W.
Phone: (403) 218-1618
Fax: (403) 262-9135
This summary, part of Petrel Robertson’s 1995 summary of exploration and development opportunities in 31 countries around the world, has not been updated. Some of the information, particularly relating to political and economic issues, is thus out of date. It is included, however, to demonstrate the breadth and depth of Petrel’s work in each of these nations.