MUSCAT ó The government of Oman has signed a shareholders agreement making Oman LNG and Union Fenosa Gas its partners in Qalhat LNG (SAOC).
The agreement is one of a number of other agreements concerning Qalhat LNG signed at Al Bustan Palace Hotel yesterday.
The others include two agreements on gas supply and shipping between Oman LNG and the Oman Shipping Company and an agreement on shared use of facilities between Oman LNG and Qalhat LNG.
Ahmed bin Abdulnabi Macki, minister of national economy and deputy chairman of the Financial Affairs and Energy Resources Council, and Dr Mohammed bin Hamad Al Romhi, minister of oil and gas and chairman of Qalhat LNG (SAOC), signed the agreements on behalf of the government.
Dr Agnus Cassens, general manager and chief executive of Oman LNG, signed on behalf of Oman LNG, and Elias Velasco, chairman of Union Fenosa Gas, signed on behalf of Union Fenosa Gas.
Qalhat LNG (SAOC) was incorporated in September 2003, following the Sultanateís decision early last year to build a third LNG train. The closed joint stock company is owned by the Sultanateís government (55.84 per cent), Oman LNG LLC (36.8 per cent) and Union Fenosa Gas (7.36 per cent).
The new company will own the third LNG train in the Sultanate, which is being built by Chiyoda-Foster Wheeler. The overall capital expenditure will be approximately $700 million.
The train is being built adjacent to the Oman LNG second train facility at Qalhat, near Sur, allowing it to share Oman LNG storage, loading and other facilities. It will, furthermore, allow Oman LNG to operate the new train and its own two trains as one integrated plant, thus maximising operating efficiency.
Macki said the production from the third train will be shipped to Spain and Japan in 2006.
Four Omani LNG tankers named Ibra, Ibri, Nizwa and Salalah and which are now being built in Korea and Japan will transport the LNG consignments to these two countries, in addition, to the Omani LNG vessels Muscat and Sohar, which carry the LNG shipments at present.
Macki said the new tankerís LNG output will be 3.3 million tonnes per annum when production starts in early 2006 and is expected to increase to 3.7 million tonnes per annum.
He stressed the new train will enhance diversification of the Sultanateís sources of income and help increase industryís contribution to the GDP which stands at 6 to 7 per cent at present.
Dr Mohammed bin Hamad Al Romhi, minister of oil and gas, said fifty per cent of the new trainís production had been sold to Union Fenosa Gas on long-term agreement and the remaining to Osaka Gas, Mitsubishi Corporation and Itochu Corporation.
He expected the construction to be completed before the expiry of the set timeframe of 34 months and operation to start at the end of next year. Romhi said Qalhat LNG had managed, in close cooperation with Ministry of Manpower, to achieve 37 per cent Omanisation.