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.