Oman Gas Company (OGC), long the operator of the nation’s gas transportation system, has been positioned to take on a substantially enlarged mandate at the helm of newly restructured Oman Oil Company’s (OOC) Energy Infrastructure vertical.
A vision-strategy adopted by OOC for the new vertical envisions a significantly expanded remit for OGC, envisioning not only responsibility for the group’s midstream gas infrastructure business, but also its burgeoning oil and power infrastructure business streams as well, a top official said.
“It’s a far-reaching mandate that will place OGC on a growth trajectory with potentially global ambitions,” said Sultan Hamad al Burtmani, Acting Executive Managing Director of OGC. “OGC will head the Group’s Energy Infrastructure businesses distributed across three main streams — Gas, Power and Oil. Our goal is to emerge as the undisputed leader in the gas infrastructure business in the region,” he added in an interview published in the company’s newly issued quarterly magazine ‘Interact’.
According to Al Burtmani, OGC has been designated as Oman Oil Company’s chosen platform to drive the growth of the group’s Energy Infrastructure vertical, whose activities are classified into three key ‘pillars’ centring on the Group’s gas, oil and power infrastructure activities. The underlying objective behind OGC’s new ‘Gas Infrastructure Pillar is to develop, expand, modernise and consolidate the Sultanate’s nationwide gas transportation network. This will likely include any infrastructure necessary to support imports of gas from cross-border sources in the future.
Furthermore, as part of its vision to serve as “the backbone of the Omani gas industry”, OGC is mulling a major revamp of its structure to become a regulated utility, according to the Acting Executive Managing Director.
“Our goal is to consolidate our gas transmission network assets into an integrated gas transmission operator, and then discuss with the government our conversion into a regulated business, similar to how energy infrastructure utilities operate in Europe. As part of this endeavour, we intend to establish a new company in order to ring-fence our regulated activities.”
Attesting to OGC’s revamped mandate is the Salalah LPG Extraction project, contracts for the financing and implementation of which were signed here recently. The $820 million venture, under construction in Salalah Free Zone, is owned and operated by Salalah LPG SFZCO, a 100 per cent subsidiary of OGC.
In line with its enlarged mandate, all of Oman Oil Company’s oil infrastructure businesses have now been placed under the OGC-led Energy Infrastructure vertical. Consequently, OOC subsidiaries Oman Oil Marketing Company (OOMC), Oiltanking Odfjell Terminals (Sohar), Oman Tank Terminal Company (OTTCO), and Oman Shipping Company SAOC now fall under OGC’s broad remit.
Explaining the vision behind this revamp, Al Burtmani said in the interview: “We are also working closely with Oman Oil and other stakeholders to consolidate our oil-related infrastructure asset under one Omani oil logistics company. The goal here is to operate the liquid jetties in Sohar, Duqm and Salalah under one Omani brand, while leveraging our capabilities to expand the oil logistics business.”
Likewise, OGC’s ‘Power Infrastructure’ pillar now includes the Musandam Power Company (MPC), which is 80 per cent owned by Oman Oil Company. MPC recently brought its dual-fuel 120 MW power generation plant into commercial operation at Tibat in Musandam Governorate. Besides, the Centralised Utilities Company (Marafiq) — a subsidiary of Oman Oil Company — is gearing up to deliver an estimated 300 MW power plant to serve the energy requirements of Duqm Refinery and other projects planned at the SEZ, according to Al Burtmani.
This pillar will also explore opportunities for power investment based on conventional fuels and renewables.