News Code : 43575

Petrotahlil(Tehran) :Oman, the biggest Middle East oil producer outside OPEC, is expected to boost its oil production to 1.1 million b/d by 2022 from about 970,000 b/d in 2019, Platts Ratings said in a report.

"We also assume that gas production will expand, with new production coming on stream from the Khazzan II field in 2021 and the Mabrouk field in the medium term, beyond our forecast horizon," it said in the report dated October 18. "Higher gas production will in turn support the expansion of petrochemicals, power generation, and enhanced oil recovery projects.

Even with the expansion plans, the country's credit ratings were affirmed at BB/B with a negative outlook, as still-high fiscal and external deficits are seen leading to rising external debt and higher funding costs over 2019-22, it said.

Oman expects to discover and explore for more gas northeast of the sultanate in an area where the giant Mabrouk field is estimated to hold 4 Tcf of gas and 112 million barrels of condensate, the country's oil minister told Platts in July.

Total and Shell are conducting downstream and upstream projects in Mabrouk that could cost more than $20 billion, Mohammed al-Rumhy said at the time. Oman is ramping up exploration and undertaking multibillion dollar projects to monetize gas from the field that was discovered in 2018.

The sultanate is also developing its giant Khazzan gas field with the help of BP, which is expected to boost production from the current 1 Bcf/d to 1.5 Bcf/d by 2021.

Oman is also ramping up exploration activites and has recently signed a number of oil exploration agreements with the likes of BP and Italy's Eni.

Petroleum Development Oman, the largest oil and condensate producer in the country, is on track to increase its output capacity by more than 10% to top 670,000 b/d in five years as it ramps up exploration activity and pumps more out of existing fields, a company official told Platts in August.

PDO, in which the Omani government has a 60% stake and Royal Dutch Shell a 34% share, is beefing up exploration, particularly in central Oman, and boosting oil production through enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques, Sami Baqi, the company's technical director, said at the time.

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