The government will name the winning bidders by the end of the year, Oil & Gas Minister H E Mohammed al Rumhi said in an interview in Muscat on Thursday. Talks on a US$1bn natural gas pipeline from Iran are still ‘in progress’, he said.
Oman, the largest Arabian Gulf oil producer not in OPEC, is expanding its energy industry and developing new sources of revenue amid a drop in oil prices that has hurt government coffers. It’s building the Port of Duqm and planning a metals factory there as well. Oman Oil Co and Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Co will jointly own the Duqm refinery.
H E Rumhi this month said Oman would be willing to cut oil production by five to ten per cent to help boost prices if OPEC member states and others also agreed to reductions. Omani production exceeded 1mn barrels a day in July for the first time, according to the Oil Ministry.
The country plans to buy natural gas from Iran, across the Arabian Gulf, and the two are discussing options for the pipeline, according to Omani and Iranian officials.