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 possible.
There are plenty of other minerals in the country’s bedrock: copper, coal, chrome, gold, salt, marble, plaster and limestone.
- COUNTRYAAH: 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. Visit itypeusa for more information about 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.