Exports of Omani liquefied natural gas (LNG) generates currently around $4 billion in annual revenues for the country, underscoring the important contribution that the LNG complex at Qalhat in Sur continues to make to the national economy, according to the CEO of Oman LNG . Harib al Kitani said the three-train liquefaction complex has already chalked up an impressive 1,500 LNG deliveries since exports first began in the year 2000. Markets served thus far have included key customers in Asia, the Pacific Rim and Europe, the official stated in a recent presentation on the company's performance.
"Today, we have exported 1,500 LNG cargoes. This is a great achievement for the Oman LNG and Qalhat LNG complex. In a sense, we are ambassadors for Oman because we deal with the market out there. We sell LNG cargo on a long-term basis, and our performance here in Oman reflects the reliability of the country as a supplier of LNG," Al Kitani stated. In his presentation, Al Kitani sought to dispel the notion that Omani LNG was being sold in international markets for cheap. On the contrary, LNG from the Sultanate was "one of the highest priced" LNG cargoes exported to Japan and Korea, which presently account for the lion's share of LNG deliveries from Oman. "Both markets get their LNG from Oman at remarkably high prices. It is not true that Omani LNG is being sold for cheap," the CEO stressed.
Underlining the contribution made by Oman LNG to the national economy, Al Kitani noted that the Omani government, as the majority shareholder in the project and the owner of the feedgas, continues to receive a sizeable chunk of the estimated $4 billion in revenues earned from LNG exports every year. Other benefits accruing to the government from this project come in the form of taxes on corporate income, as well as investments by Oman LNG in social projects, he said. Oman LNG 's continuing success on the world LNG stage, the CEO said, is also partly attributable to the country's geographical location in the middle of the two major consuming markets.
"We are fortunate because we are located in the center of these two big LNG markets in the Far-East and the Atlantic Basin (United States and Europe), and we sometimes use this geographical advantage to arbitrage our cargoes depending upon where the dollar prices are the highest. Cargo swaps also represents a major business opportunity for Qalhat LNG , because their output is not tied up (in long-term commitments) as much as Oman LNG ."
Al Kitani also listed two strategic initiatives for the future. The first involves the planned integration of Oman LNG with its sister liquefaction company, Qalhat LNG . Both companies are currently in the final stages of determining the high level structure of the integrated company. Integration of all activities is expected to be completed by the second half of this year.
Oman Daily Observer