20150 Orion Social February 2021 Page 01

Oman ​looks to the future with natural gas sector expansion

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​With an oil and gas industry in transition, the drive to develop cleaner energy and new leadership in Oman is ushering in a new era of foreign investment, particularly in the LNG sector. With that comes the promise of exciting opportunities to live and work within the friendly Gulf state.

Oman’s Oil & Gas Scene

Oman may not be an oil and gas powerhouse on the scale of some of its neighbours, but it still punches well above its weight in the sector, providing a wealth of rewarding job opportunities. The Gulf region country is regularly ranked in or around the global top 20 for production, deriving over 70% of its annual revenue from oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) activities.

Despite recent setbacks due to the global pandemic and a drop in prices and production, Oman’s oil and gas sector is predicted to grow at a compound rate of 14% for the period 2020-27, with current oil reserves at 5.4 billion barrels (end-2019) and LNG at 23 trillion cubic feet.

Future Liquified Natural Gas focus

With the rate of oil discoveries in the sultanate seemingly slowing, gas is very much seen as the future of the hydrocarbon industry in Oman. Indeed, in the coming years, more gas reserves are expected to be discovered near the Mabrouk field in the north east of the country. It’s an exciting time for the sector with the 2020 Oman budget predicting a growth in gas revenues of 11%, and the country is pouring resources into exploiting this opportunity. Evidence of this came in February 2019 when The Ministry of Energy & Minerals signed an interim upstream agreement with Shell to fund a major new gas development. This will be done in tandem with the potential development of a gas-to-liquids plant which will produce high quality liquid fuel.

Foreign investment

As Oman seeks to fulfil its potential as a LNG producer, observers feel that foreign investment will have a vital role to play in the future. More state and private joint ventures are anticipated with a host of large international oil and gas companies vying to develop the country’s upstream - no doubt attracted by the promise of large undiscovered reserves.

BP and Eni have recently joined Shell and Total - who are both significant shareholders in PDO and Oman LNG (the country’s principal LNG producer) - to develop Oman’s upstream. Oman’s ability to attract major foreign investment was also evidenced by 2019’s Oman Bid Round which saw Tethys Oil and Maha Energy join Petronas and other foreign companies to have acquired rights to operate in the country.

Oman outlook

With an energy sector in transition  - and oil and gas prices rising - Oman has wasted no time in shaking things up, with Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, who succeeded to the throne in January 2020, leading the change in Oman’s energy sector. One of the wide-reaching aims of the Vision 2040 plan is to make Oman less reliant on oil and gas in the future - with a number of major renewable projects planned in a move towards cleaner energy production.

With a regime open to foreign investment to further develop its hydrocarbon sector - creating a plethora of new and exciting opportunities, particularly in natural gas - the outlook for professionals looking to work in the country for the foreseeable future looks extremely promising.

Let Orion help you find your next job in oil and gas

The oil and gas sector offers a rewarding career path for the right professional. There’s a variety of roles in the oil and gas industry and plenty of opportunities to develop and grow. At Orion, we have a large network of offices throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific. We’re the leading recruiter for roles in the oil and gas sector and have proven success placing candidates in permanent and contract roles. We have an excellent team of recruitment consultants who can offer you quality support and advice. At Orion, we have many oil and gas jobs for global companies in the Middle East, and we pride ourselves on delivering a quality service to candidates and clients. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help, find an office and contact us today.

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