Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/30/2014 -- We expect Oman's recent impressive gains in oil production to begin to moderate, with output peaking in 2016 before gradually trending lower as the recent impressive gains from enhanced recovery operations begin to dissipate. There are many upside risks to this view, with opportunities from the approval of additional upstream projects to new discoveries, with offshore a particular area of opportunity. However there is downside risk such as disappointing output from redevelopment projects approval failure. These risks extend to gas as well. While we assume a more sustained rebound in output, albeit with much of the gains reliant upon BP's costly and complex Block 61, setbacks here would result in downward revision to our forecast. That said, Oman's continued push to secure additional foreign participation makes the market one of opportunity despite expectations for growth to moderate.
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We highlight the following trends and developments in Oman's oil and gas sector:
- Oman has managed to oversee an impressive revival of activity in its hydrocarbons sector. Specifically, the government has channelled efforts and funds into enhanced recovery methods. The results to date have been largely successful, with output recovering from a low of 714,000 barrels per day in 2007, to a forecast of around 942,000b/d for 2013. The redevelopment of existing fields in order to boost recovery rates, as well as the upside offered by healthy interest from international oil companies (IOCs) in the country's upstream, underscore a broadly positive outlook for the oil sector.
- French international oil company (IOC) Total has announced the successful acquisition of a deepwater block in Oman. Block 18 lies in the Sea of Oman and covers some 24,000 sq km in total with depths of between 30 and 3,000 meters (m). According to Total's head of exploration, Arnaud Breuillac, the Oman move was 'aligned aligned with Total's ambitious exploration strategy focused on frontier basins and new plays with strong potential.' Offshore Oman is seen as underexplored, but previous efforts to prove up the area's potential have produced mixed results.
- Improved exploration and production (E&P) technology could see Oman surprise to the upside. Circle Oil puts initial resources estimates across 9 different prospects on Block 52 at 2.2bn bbl of oil. Oman's offshore should soon be tested with the drilling on Block 50 by Masirah Oil. According to the Omani Ministry of Oil and Gas, if a commercial discovery is made on Block 50, then early production could begin before the end of 2014.
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