Oman's natural gas consumption rises 3.2% in 2013
The consumption of natural gas in the sultanate grew by 3.2 per cent in 2013, mainly on the increased use of gas in oilfields and growing demand from industrial projects.
The total natural gas consumption rose to 39,114mn m3 in 2013 as compared with 37,919mn m3 in the previous year, statistics released by National Center for Statistics and Information (NCSI) revealed.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, H E Salim al Aufi, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Oil and Gas, said, “There is a lot of demand for gas in the country. Industrial areas such as Duqm are demanding more gas, as a number of new industries that are coming up.”
“There is also an increase in power demand and power producers are asking for more gas. For the oil and gas industry, gas is mostly used in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) projects for re-injection,” said Aufi.
H E Aufi said Oman produces about 85mn m3 per day of gas locally, while the country imports around 5mn-7mn m3 of gas per day via the Dolphin pipeline system. “The import of gas from Dolphin is very small and these imports will be phased out as soon as we get more local gas,” he said.
The government recently signed a gas sales agreement and an amended production-sharing agreement with BP for the development of the Khazzan gas field in Block 61.
Full-field Khazzan development will involve a drilling programme of around 300 wells over 15 years to deliver plateau production of 1bn ft3 (28.3mn m3) of gas per day. This volume is equivalent to around a third of Oman’s total daily domestic gas supply and will make a significant contribution to ensuring continuing stable supplies from domestic sources. Speaking about BP's Khazzan project, H E Aufi said that all the key contracts for the Khazzan field development, such as drilling, engineering design and procurement contracts, need to be finalized and awarded immediately.
“With more gas available, the local demand will have to be met first before exports. Power sector and industries that add more value to the national economy will be priority for this additional gas supply,” he said.
“Once it is confirmed that we have enough gas to provide, I assume consumption will increase, particularly in the oil and gas industry because there are lots of oil reserves that require EOR techniques,” said Aufi.
NCSI statistics showed that gas use at oilfields rose 4.9 per cent to 9,047mn m3 in 2013, compared with 8,624mn m3 in the previous year.