Oman sets oil output record in 2016: EIA

Oman set a new annual oil output record in 2016, with volumes exceeding 1 million barrels per day (MMBPD), thanks to enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques and recent oil discoveries, Kallanish Energy learns.

Recent data published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) show the country is the largest oil producer in the Middle East outside OPEC. Within the cartel, Oman ranks 7th largest.

Increased adoption of EOR has helped the sultanate reach a record output even though its revenue, which are highly reliable on hydrocarbons, fell 67% last year, compared to 2014. Low oil prices have affected its gross domestic product (GDP), but oil output should have continued growing.

“Oman was on track to maintain this production level in 2017, but as part of an agreement with OPEC member countries, Oman reduced production to approximately 970,000 BPD in early 2017,” EIA said.

Prior to exceeding the 1 MMBPD mark, Oman’s annual petroleum and other liquids production had peaked at 972,000 BPD in 2000, but dropped as low as 715,000 BPD in 2007. Most of the oil reserves are operated by state-controlled Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), including the country’s largest block, Block 6. The firm produces roughly 70% of the country’s oil output.

The second-largest operator after PDO is U.S. oil and gas producer Occidental Petroleum (Oxy), operating in northern Oman at Block 62 and Block 9, along with the Mukhaizna field in the south.

Nearly all of Oman’s oil production is exported, mainly to Asian markets. Last year, the country broke another record with 912,500 BPD of crude oil and condensate shipped – the highest level since 1999. Roughly 78% of crude exports last year went to Chinese customers.