‘Kauther is going ahead,’ says Sultan Said al-Shidhani, head of petroleum engineering government gas assets, PDO. ‘It’s now a matter of putting in place a field development plan. It’s a sizable prospect coming after the main central Oman fields: Yibal, Barik, Saih Rawl and Saih Nihayda. The field also has condensate, which makes it even more attractive, but we have yet to select a concept.’

PDO, in which the Royal Dutch/Shell Grouphas a 34 per cent stake, is producing about 44 million cubic metres a day (cm/d) of mostly sweet gas from about 90 wells. The company has 16 customers in the sultanate for the gas, which it produces on behalf of the government. It is in the process of boosting its capacity to meet rising demand for gas-based industrial projects in Sohar and the expansion of liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in Sur.

‘The [Kauther] gas is expected to go to domestic customers and this will save on processing what would otherwise be required for LNG. We are entering the final value assurance phase, which we expect to finish early next year. Front-end engineering and design [FEED] will follow before we can confirm the project,’ says Al-Shidhani.

Canada’s SNC Lavalinwith the local Al-Hassan Engineeringis building a third processing train at Saih Nihayda that will boost capacity from the central Oman gas fields to more than 60 million cm/d. PDO is also evaluating technical offers for a 265-kilometre-long, 48-inch-diametre gas loop-line that will forward additional volumes of gas to the planned third LNG train under construction in Sur.

The proposed pipeline will terminate near the Al-Kamil power station, leaving the option open to build a further 48-inch link to Sur. The construction of the final stretch of pipeline is dependent on the development of a fourth LNG train. The government is working closely with PDO to evaluate the best options for utilising the country’s gas reserves (Oman, MEED Special Report, 26:4:02, page 32).