Oman is open to discussions to boost its liquefied natural gas (LNG) trade with Turkey and other international players, Khalid Abdullah Al Massan, CEO of the Oman LNG Development Foundation, said yesterday.
Ahead of the upcoming International Gas Union's (IGU) 16th International Gas Union Research Conference (IGRC) scheduled to be held on Feb. 24-26, 2020, Al Massan explained Oman's aim to expand its LNG exports in an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency (AA).
At the request of the Omani government and the shareholders of Oman LNG, the company is trying to process more gas through its Oman LNG plant to ramp up export volumes.
Indicating that they are currently exporting 10.3 million tons of LNG annually, al Massan continued, "We aim to raise this figure to 11.3 million tons within a year. We are selling LNG to a number of countries and we are also ready for possible talks on the sale of LNG to Turkey. I see no reason not to do this trade if both sides agree in line with common interests."
Last year saw Oman's total LNG exports boost by about 19% to 10.2 million metric tons compared to 8.6 million metric tons in 2017.
Remarking that they are selling LNG to companies including South Korea's Korea LNG and Japan's Mitsubishi, al Massan said that these companies also own shares in the Oman LNG company.
Emphasizing that they are exporting LNG to a number of countries across the world, including Asian ones, al Massan stated that they have a long-term contract with Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS), which constitutes about 50% of the company's overall exports. "In addition to long-term contracts, we also have spot LNG sales. Whether the contracts are long-term or not depends on the offer, the competitive environment and the pricing." Underlining that natural gas prices in the global market at the moment are not in support of the producer, he added, "We are in a period where the consumer benefits more."
Touching on the IGU Research Conference to be held in Muscat, the capital of Oman, in February 2020, al Massan said, "We were trying to organize this international event in Oman, and we did it. Within this framework, we will take every step that will promote and support our country and the natural gas industry. Our government also supports it. I wish the conference to be a lucrative event for all the stakeholders."
Turkey's LNG imports reached a historic record high at 7.14 billion cubic meters (bcm) in the first half of 2019, according to data from Turkey's Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA).
The share of LNG in natural gas imports surpassed 30% for the first time in the January-June period out of the total of 23.29 bcm of natural gas imports, AA's calculations reveal based on official EMRA data.
The country had imported 6.24 bcm in the first half of 2018 and 5.52 bcm during the same period of 2017, which corresponded to 24% and 19% of total gas imports, respectively. As a result, the amount of total LNG imports in the January-June period increased 14% in 2019, compared to the same period of 2018.