Oman’s H1 natural gas consumption rises 5% on EOR, industrial demand

Muscat – Natural gas consumption in the sultanate grew 5.1 per cent in the first half of 2013, mainly due to its increased use in oilfields and growing demand from industrial projects.
Total natural gas consumption rose to 19,308mn m3 in the first six months from 18,366mn m3 in the corresponding period of 2012, statistics released by National Center for Statistics and Information (NCSI) showed.

Oman’s total production and import of gas stood at 19,308mn m3, which includes 3,417mn m3 of associated gas and 15,890mn m3 of non-associated gas.

An official, who advises the government, said consumption of natural gas is rising mainly due to ongoing enhanced oil recovery (EOR) projects and increasing gas demand from large industrial projects.

“Basically, in EOR projects you need to generate high pressure and high temperature to extract oil from the ground. This requires natural gas. Thus, ongoing EOR projects are leading to rising gas consumption,” he said.
Gas use at Oman’s oilfields jumped 11.5 per cent to 4,655mn m3 in the first half of 2013 compared to 4,174mn m3 in the same period last year.

Of the total gas used in oilfields, use of natural gas as fuel rose 9.9 per cent to 1,166mn m3, while gas for re-injection surged 12.1 per cent to 1,433mn m3 during the first half this year.
The official added that consumption of natural gas is rising in line with Oman’s economic growth as many joint venture industrial projects have come up in recent years.

“There is industrial growth with big ongoing projects as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which are supported by the government,” he said.

The consumption of natural gas by industrial projects rose 4.5 per cent to 10,804mn m3, accounting for 56 per cent of Oman’s total gas consumption during the first half of 2013.

Gas consumption by industrial areas increased 8.2 per cent to 356mn m3 during the six-month period. However, there has been a marginal decline of 0.8 per cent in use of gas for power generations to 3,493mn m3.

Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has said that nearly 22 per cent of its oil production will be from EOR by 2020.

PDO and GlassPoint Solar had recently announced the successful commissioning of Middle East’s first solar EOR project at PDO’s Amal West field, in southern Oman. The main purpose of the solar project is to reduce the amount of natural gas burned for thermal EOR, releasing gas for higher value applications, including power generation, water desalination and industrial development in the country.

Muscat Daily 2013, Aug 25 2013