Oman expects its crude oil exports to fall by 50,000 barrels per day when the Sohar Refinery expansion project comes online in Q1 2017.
Oman’s minister of oil and gas, Mohammed bi Hamad al-Rumhy said that the project had been due to come online in the latter months of 2016 but that it had encountered some slight delays. The project is set to increase Sohar’s refining capacity by around 70 per cent.
"It will take an additional 70,000 to 90,000 bpd. And with the increase in Oman's average oil production to exceed a million bpd, we expect the drop in our oil exports to be 50,000 bpd compared to last year," al-Rumhy said in an interview.
Al-Rumhy also confirmed that the planned upgrade would allow ORPIC to process a wider range of crude blends.
"In the future I can see ORPIC go shopping for crude oil, which is not the case currently," Rumhy said. "Refineries tend to do better when they have the option to refine different mixes of crude.
"So we will be importing different crudes to have a better yield, and to look at the needs of the local market in petroleum products," he said.