Oman’s oil output up by 52,000bpd in 2010

Oman boosted its oil production by around 52,000 barrels per day as the Gulf country is pushing ahead with costly plans to bolster its crude production capacity to nearly one million bpd in 2012.

Official data released this week showed the country’s oil production climbed to one of its highest annual levels of around 864,60bpd in 2010 from nearly 812,500 bpd in 2009, an increase of about 6.5 per cent.

The figures by the ministry of national economy, citing the oil ministry, showed total annual production stood at around 315 million barrels through 2010 compared with around 296 million barrels in 2009.

Production through 2010 peaked in December when it stood at around 885,400 bpd compared with 881,400 bpd in November and866,500 bpd in October.

Output in 2010 was below the targeted output of 900,000 bpd but is far higher than in previous years, when it averaged around 750,000 bpd in 2007-2009.

In recent comments, Oman’s oil minister Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhi said development plans approved by the government five years ago are targeting production of around one million bpd in 2012, the highest level since Oman began pumping crude more than three decades ago.

Al Rumhi said Oman, which is not an Opec member, has already reached 900,000bpd and would begin producing at that rate in 2011 following the completion of development plans in some fields.

He said the government and its foreign partners are pursuing massive expansion plans in the hydrocarbon sector to reverse a decline in previous years.

“We have reached 900,000bpd and we expect to start producing this level in

2011…this means that we will see a steady rise in output every year,” he said.

“Our ambition is to attain an output target of one million bpd for the first time…this is a strategy and an objective, which we are working to achieve.”

In 2007, Oman approved an ambitious $10-billion programme to develop its oil and natural gas resources, which are officially estimated at around 4.5 billion barrels and 30 billion cubic metres respectively.

The plan is designed to develop gas deposits and push up oil production to previous levels. Production began recovering in 2008, when it grew by nearly 6.5 per cent to 756,000 bpd from 710,000 bpd in 2007.

Official data showed Oman pumped around RO655.7 million ($1.7bn) in its crude oil sector and RO295.9 million ($768m) in the gas sector in 2009.

In 2010, investments in the two sectors were cut to around RO538.8m and RO276m respectively.

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