Production of condensate — a commercially valuable hydrocarbon stream often occurring with natural gas — soared to a record 106,880 barrels per day (bpd) in the Block 6 concession of Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), the country’s largest producer of oil and gas, in 2020.

The new production record was one of several milestones achieved by the majority-state owned energy firm during pandemic-impacted 2020, the company said in a report of its operational performance for the year.

“In 2020, PDO navigated a difficult path through the challenges arising from the Covid-19 outbreak and fall in oil and gas prices. Throughout, we remained committed to excellence by creating value across all aspects of our business, achieving key milestones in our main mandate: the safe and proficient exploration and production of hydrocarbons.

“At the same time, we made tangible strides in our transition to renewables, specifically solar and wind energy,” PDO stated in the 2020 Annual Report of the Ministry of Energy and Minerals published over the weekend.

Average oil production for 2020 was 601,530 bpd, which was lower by 2.4 per cent from the 2019 total of 616,380 bpd. Explaining the drop, the company said: “As the country’s largest hydrocarbon producer, PDO complied with directives on total oil production output in line with the pledge by the OPEC+ alliance, which includes Oman as a signatory, in response to record low international oil prices.”

Natural gas production averaged 67.91 million m3/d, which was “consistent with export targets and lower (Covid-19 impacted) domestic demand”, the company said.

The combined total average barrel of oil equivalent production per day (oil, condensate and gas) rose 3.6 per cent to 1.254 million boepd (barrels of oil equivalent per day), compared to 1.210 million boepd in 2019, it further noted.

Pressing ahead with its exploration programme during the year, PDO made a number of oil and gas bookings across its licence. A total of 102 million barrels of oil and 0.5 TCF of non-associated gas were booked as CCR (commercial contingent resources) in 2020.

Additionally, the company posted an overall unit finding cost of just $1.4 per barrel of oil equivalent.

“The unit technical cost of these discoveries was also highly competitive, with early wells already in production and full field development plans underway,” the company said.

On the well engineering, PDO drilled a total of 617 wells in 2020 notwithstanding Covid-19 related challenges.

“PDO ended the year by setting a new cost per metre record at $1,066 with 68 per cent of our wells being rated in the top quartile, and 32 per cent best-in-class through our relentless pursuit of Continuous Improvement (CI) and reducing the Gap to Potential,” the company added.

Source: Oman Observer