Muscat: Oman Oil Co., the state-run petroleum investor, and International Petroleum Investment Co. of Abu Dhabi are preparing a study on the capacity of their planned Duqm refinery, Oman's oil minister said.
"They are finalising the study to determine the size of the refinery," Mohammed Al Rumhy said yesterday in a phone interview from Dubai. "It should be ready in the next month or two."
Oman, the biggest Arab oil producer that is not a member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, is going ahead with the project that has been planned at the port of Duqm since at least 2006, according to Al Rumhy.
IPIC said in a bond prospectus in October it would go ahead with a 230,000 barrel-a-day plant at Duqm that will cost $6 billion with the investment split evenly with Oman Oil. Duqm Special Economic Zone Authority has already reserved land for the project at Duqm, which will take five years to complete.
If everything goes well, this will be the third and the biggest refinery in Oman, after Mina Al Fahal and Sohar.
The refinery, which was originally planned towards the end of 2006, got delayed due to cost escalation. Once refinery takes concrete shape, downstream projects will also come up.
Oman government and private sector are heavily investing for developing a commercial port, drydock, airport, fishing harbour, industrial zone, township, tourism area, logistics area, roads and utilities like power and desalination in Duqm. Oman will produce an average 900,000 barrels a day of crude and condensate this year, little changed from the end of last year, Al Rumhy said last month.
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(Originally published April 4, 2012, in Times of Oman.)