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Oman Oil to restructure to support expansion

MUSCAT, February 16, 2016

State-owned Oman Oil Company (OOC), the national petroleum investment company, will restructure itself to support expansion and improve efficiency, chief executive Isam al-Zadjali said.

"The size of the company has grown. OOC is now operating in 15 countries. And with more expansion, we needed to revisit the way we run our investments and the need to restructure the company," he told reporters.

OOC's board of directors has approved a new structure under which one unit will consolidate the firm's domestic investments and look into selling some of the smaller assets, Zadjali said.

According to its annual reports, OOC and its partners had invested RO9.4 billion ($24.4 billion) in companies within Oman as of 2013; 65 per cent of its investments were inside Oman.

A second unit will handle oil exploration and production after the restructuring and a third will handle infrastructure. A fourth will focus on projects in Oman's southern port city of Duqm, where a huge industrial complex is being planned, while the parent OOC will directly manage international investments.

Investments in Duqm are expected to total around $15 billion, including a refinery and petrochemical complex, Zadjali said.

"We are looking for different investors now from Kuwait, Asia and even Europe to be partners. In May we will start a marketing tour to attract investment. OOC doesn't have to be the majority shareholder," he added.

Designs for the petrochemical complex are expected to be ready by the end of 2016, Minister of Oil and Gas Mohammad bin Hamad al-Rumhy told the briefing.

"By the beginning of next year, we hope the market situation will be better to start raising funds for the project," he said, adding: "We have agreed that gas will be sold to OOC's projects in Duqm at a $5 price."

OOC had been intending to privatise its Abraj Energy Services subsidiary, a drilling services contractor, but officials said on Monday that the plan had been put on hold because of uncertainty in markets.

"We were looking into privatising Abraj this year. But due to the current situation, the board of directors has suggested waiting. But next year we will revisit the plan, taking into consideration the market situation then," Zadjali said. – Reuters

Tags: Oman oil | Restructure | OOC |

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