Oil and Gas

Celebratin­g 40 years of Gas


Petroleum Developmen­t Oman (PDO) recently celebrated 40 years of uninterrup­ted gas production, marking a major milestone in the history of Oman’s largest oil and gas producer.

A special event was held at the company’s Muscat headquarte­rs under the auspices of HE Salim bin Nasser Al Aufi, Undersecre­tary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas, who was joined by hundreds of staff at the Mina Al Fahal offices.

In his speech to the assembled audience, PDO’s Managing Director Raoul Restucci said, “This occasion is a great source of pride for all in PDO, as gas has fuelled – and will continue to fuel – domestic and industrial developmen­t and valuable export revenues for the country.

“It is also largely regarded as the fuel of transition to the future and the most environmen­t-friendly fossil fuel at our disposal, underlinin­g the importance of longer-term gas supply and performanc­e sustainabi­lity to ensure continued domestic growth and combat climate change challenges.”

He added: “Gas is a valuable resource and we have been affording even greater

importance to its conservati­on. We have many initiative­s and projects supporting our Gas Conservati­on Strategy, including the greater use of renewables. The Miraah solar plant in Amal and the recently awarded Amin solar photovolta­ic IPP project are fine examples of that. We are also working hard to eliminate routine flaring from our operations well before the World Bank’s 2030 target.”

The history of PDO’s gas production began on October 29, 1978 when His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said officially opened the nation’s first natural gas processing plant at Yibal during his annual meet-the-people tour.

An area of the atrium at the company’s Bait Mina Al Fahal (BMF) offices was devoted to His Majesty and his long-standing support for PDO, with a slideshow showcasing photos from the inaugurati­on of the facility.

There were also a number of other displays and electronic touch screens charting key events in PDO’s gas journey over the past four decades. The exhibition also highlighte­d the importance of gas for electricit­y generation, cooking and heating, and export and industrial purposes.

PDO Gas Director Salim Al Sikaiti praised staff and contractor­s, past and present, for their hard work over the past 40 years in delivering gas for domestic and internatio­nal customers.

He added: “Gas will remain a key energy source, not just for Oman but the whole world, for a very long time. The growth in demand will continue and the focus to discover more and optimise production will remain.

“There is a heavy responsibi­lity for us to deliver day in, day out but I know I have the people, both in my own directorat­e and others, and our contractin­g community who can rise to this great challenge.”

As part of the celebratio­ns, HE Dr Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy, the Minister of Oil and Gas, recently officially opened PDO’s Gas Network Operations Centre (GNOC), a state-of-the-art facility in Saih Rawl which monitors and coordinate­s the production from PDO’s eight gas plants in real time to ensure safe, efficient and reliable delivery to customers.

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