Oman is planning to build a new 280-kilometre pipeline connecting the refineries in Muscat and Sohar and a new facility to store strategic fuel reserves in the sultanate.

The project will also expand the storage capacity and connect the two refineries’ storage facilities to meet increasing demand for refined products, while reducing heavy fuel tanker traffic in Muscat by 70 per cent, according to downstream operator Oman Oil Refineries & Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic).

Orpic chief executive officer (CEO) Musab al-Mahruqi said a new storage and loading station at Mina al-Fahal, Muscat, would supply 50 per cent of the expected consumption of refined products in the sultanate.

The project will be carried out in three phases. The first phase will be a pipeline connecting Muscat International Airport to the Mina al-Fahal refinery. Next is the construction of a pipeline to connect Mina al-Fahal to Sohar to an intermediate storage facility in Muscat. Finally, Orpic will build a strategic storage facility, providing 30 days of fuel stocks.

Orpic said it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Spain-based Compania Logistica de Hidrocarburos to cooperate on the design, construction and operation of the project.

In December last year, Orpic tendered the contract to extend the capacity of its Sohar refinery. Contractors have been asked to submit bids on 29 April.