Natural resources, energy and environment
In Oman, oil began to be extracted only in
1967. The oil fields are located mainly southwest of
Musqat and in the province of Dhofar. They are small and
scattered, making them less productive and extracting
more expensive than neighboring countries. However,
advanced modern technology is used to get as much oil as
There are plenty of other minerals in the country's
bedrock: copper, coal, chrome, gold, salt, marble,
plaster and limestone.
Major exports by Oman with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
Oil production is mainly managed by Petroleum
Development Oman (PDO), which is 60 percent owned by the
Omani state; the oil company Shell owns one third.
Oman is not a member of the oil-producing countries'
organization Opec and is therefore not formally bound to
any oil quotas or prices.
Natural gas is an important part of Oman's quest to
reduce oil dependency. Gas extraction began in 1978. The
gas is exported, but is also used in the country to run
the energy-consuming industry. Oman has participated in
several major oil and gas pipeline projects in the
region. The need for gas grew a few years in the 2000s
and, in addition to trying to expand its own production
through new gas fields, Oman has also increased its
imports of gas from Qatar and Iran. An agreement on gas
supplies from Iran was signed in 2014, eventually the
gas will be delivered via a pipeline between southern
Iran and Suhar. In 2017, Oman began to exploit a large
gas field, which is 60 percent owned by the oil company
BP. A method used, hydraulic fracturing or in English
fracturing ("fracking" in industry jargon).
Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, OM stands for Oman.
In both cases, oil and gas, the prospects are that
Oman's reserves are limited. In 2019, it was estimated
that the oil would run out within 15 years, while the
gas would not last as long as 30 years.
In the early 2010s, the government also signed an
agreement with a company from Abu Dhabi to build a wind
farm in southwestern Oman. The park, which was
commissioned in 2019 with 13 turbines and will supply
16,000 households with electricity, is the first
large-scale wind power project in the countries around
the Persian Gulf.
Oman will ban disposable plastic bags from early
2021, as reported by the country's government in March
2020. Beautiful mountains and rich marine life have
attracted international tourism in recent years, but it
has also been reported from Oman that turtles and
dolphins are getting plastic, which can be deadly when
they seek food.
FACTS - ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
5 743 kilos of oil equivalent (2014)
Electricity consumption per person
6128 kilowatt hours, kWh (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
61 169 thousand tons (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
15.4 tonnes (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
0.0 percent (2015)
First local election in newly established municipalities
Oman holds its first local election ever to more than 60 newly established
municipal assemblies. As parties are banned in Oman, all the nearly 1,500
candidates stand for independence. 46 of the candidates are women and four
manage to be elected. The turnout is 50 percent.
More prison sentences for government criticism
Six people are sentenced to 12-18 months in prison and fined $ 2,500 each for
criticizing the government on the internet. A journalist at the al-Zaman
newspaper receives a year's imprisonment and fines for defaming the Sultan in
his blog. According to Reporters Without Borders, a total of 25 bloggers have
been convicted of crimes on the internet since the beginning of July.
Demonstrations in Suhar
Media reports that hundreds of people participated in new demonstrations
against youth unemployment in the port city of Suhar.
Human rights activists in court
Fourteen of over 20 human rights activists who have been arrested in Musqat
after demanding the release of political prisoners are facing trial. Most are
accused of "organizing illegal meetings" and three of them are charged with the
more serious crime of defaming the Sultan. The arrests lead to strong criticism
from Human Rights Watch.
Oil workers strike
Around 1,000 oil workers strike and demand higher wages and better working
conditions. Protests are also held in Suhar and Liwa.
Activists are arrested
In May, a number of bloggers and activists arrested on the internet
criticized the government's slow pace of reform.
Oil vessel cut
A Greek-owned oil vessel with a Liberian flag is cut off Oman's coast by
Somali pirates. The number of hijackings in the area has decreased since many
countries have allowed armed security forces on board.
New government reform
Sultan Qabus conducts the third government reform in a year when two
unpopular ministers are allowed to go and three new ones are added.