Only one Oman oil project shelved amid lower prices

14 April 2015

Oil and gas minister says field developments will go ahead as planned

  • Technically challenging Habhab project put on hold
  • Oil production dropped marginally in 2014 to 943,000 b/d
  • Oman spent $11.5bn on oil and gas sector in 2014

Oman’s Oil and Gas Ministry has assured that all upstream development projects would go ahead as planned despite lower oil prices, with the exception of the technically challenging Habhab heavy oil field.

The sultanate produced 943,000 barrels a day (b/d) of crude and other liquids in 2014, marginally down on the previous year, the ministry revealed at its annual press conference in Muscat on 14 April.

“Expected production was higher, but some problems with condensate means that we haven’t produced the amount we expected,” said Salim al-Aufi, undersecretary at the Oil and Gas Ministry, adding that the target was 955,000 b/d.

Gas production also dropped slightly to 103 million cubic metres, the undersecretary revealed at the ministry’s annual press conference.

“We are not slowing down in any of the field development. The only victim of the low oil price is one field that requires complex technology, Habhab, which we have temporarily shelved,” Oil and Gas Minister Mohammed al-Rumhy said.  

“The cost of the chemicals is very high and they are very difficult to handle [so the project was] sent back to the drawing board to review and study it again. It was almost a decision before the collapse of the oil price… it has now officially been shelved,” he added.

The Habhab field was planned to be developed by the sultanate’s largest oil and gas producer Petroleum Development Oman (PDO).

Oman added 393 million barrels of reserves in 2014 bringing estimated reserves to 5.306 billion barrels, the ministry revealed. The sultanate also added 1.9 trillion cubic feet of gas, bringing reserves to 24.3 trillion cubic feet.

The country spent $11.5bn in capital expenditure (capex) and operating expenditure (opex) in 2014 with $8.7bn invested in oil assets and the remainder on gas.  

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