Upstream operator Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) will source well construction parts for oil fields with the opening of a $20m factory in Sohar in collaboration with a Chinese manufacturer, the company said in a statement.

The tubing, threading and finishing plant located in the Sohar Free Zone was built by Chinese firm Changbao and is set to be a major cost-saving effort for Oman.

PDO currently spends $100m on importing casing and tubing from China. The factory will source plain tubing from China, which will then be threaded and finished in the new facility.

The plant has a threading capacity of 50,000 tonnes a year and will also provide for storage and repair services.

“The new plant will not only reduce the cost of tubing and casing for PDO wells, but also shorten delivery times to our fields,” said PDO wells operations manager Said al-Mahrooqi.

Oman has seen significant Chinese investment in its freezones in Sohar and Duqm, which Beijing seeks to include as part of its Belt and Road economic diplomacy efforts.