Oman has started exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Japan's Osaka Gas Co. under a 25-year contract signed in 1998 for an annual 700,000 tons, Oman LNG announced Monday.
"The loading of this first cargo (on Sunday) to Osaka Gas has been achieved exactly as planned and on time," the company's chief executive Graham Searle said, quoted in the Oman Observer.
The paper said the consignment of 135,000 cubic meters (4.725 million cubic feet) of LNG was expected to reach Osaka in 12 days.
Osaka Gas is one of three long-term clients of Oman LNG.
Exports to India's Dabhol Power Co. under another long-term contract are due to begin next year, while exports of spot cargoes have already started to customers in the United States and Spain.
Oman LNG is expected to break even this year and pay dividends from 2001, according to the chief executive.
The very first cargo of 135,000 cubic meters (4.725 million cubic feet), bound for the Korea Gas Corporation (Kogas), was loaded at the Gulf terminal of Qalhat, south of the Omani capital, on April 6.
Oman LNG signed a sales and purchase agreement (SPA) with Kogas in October 1996 to supply 4.1 million tons per annum for 25 years.
Qalhat's production capacity is put at 6.6 million tons a year and the project cost around 2.6 billion dollars.
The government owns 51 percent of Oman LNG, the Anglo-Dutch giant Royal Dutch Shell holds 30 percent, the Franco-Belgian TotalFinaElf 5.54 percent, Korea LNG five percent, Partex of Portugal two percent, and Japan's Mitsui, Mitsubishi and Itochu the rest.
Oil Minister Mohammad bin Hamad al-Romhi has put Oman's proven gas reserves at 660 million cubic meters (22 trillion cubic feet), with potential reserves more than double that figure -- MUSCAT (AFP)
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