Four major oil and gas companies in Oman have agreed to collaborate on turnaround activities.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on 2 September by Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), Oman Shell, Oman LNG and the Oman Oil and Orpic Group.

A turnaround is a period of maintenance or upgrade work when an entire section of a plant is taken offline.

The five-year MoU is focused on delivering in-country value (ICV) and covers up-, mid- and downstream operations in the Oman oil and gas industry.

Company ICV ratings are evaluated as part of the contractor selection process when a contract is tendered by a state-owned Omani company.

If a company uses more Omani workers then it increases its chances of selection.

In a statement, PDO managing director Raoul Restucci said: “The project will deliver important and fundamental skills and services in Oman by Omanis. By integrating and synchronising our major facility shutdown and maintenance plans, we have secured the scale, scope and continuity of work that will enable us all to develop and deploy Omani talent cost-effectively and sustainably within and beyond our industry.”

Turnaround activities are labour intensive, often involving hundreds of extra workers.

It is believed that by coordinating the timing of shutdowns, the four oil and gas companies will be able to increase the number of Omani nationals working on turnaround projects.

Ahmed al-Azkawi, head of procurement contracts and inventory at the Oman Oil and Orpic Group, said: “Demand aggregation among operators marks the beginning of strong collaboration in the oil and gas sector to create sustainable opportunities for contractors to increase their Omanisation rates and ICV content.

“Through this collaboration, we also hope to replicate demand aggregation in other areas to create more ICV opportunities.”

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