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Wed 18 May 2011 06:51 PM

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Oman to raise Sohar refining capacity by 60%

The 116,000 bpd refinery is seen rivalling other regional ports such as UAE's Fujairah

Oman to raise Sohar refining capacity by 60%
Oman is a small non-OPEC producer with a capacity of around 860,000 bpd of oil (Image for illustrative purposes only)
Oman to raise Sohar refining capacity by 60%
(Getty Images)

Oman has signed an agreement with an international engineering company to boost the capacity of its Sohar refinery by around 60 percent by 2015, the country's state news agency reported on Wednesday.

"The goal behind signing this agreement is to improve the quality of products and increase refining capacity by around 60 percent," the agency said, citing a statement from Oman's oil minister at the signing ceremony.

Part of New York-listed CB&I, CB&I Lummus was chosen to provide engineering services for the expansion in Sohar refinery, whose capacity currently stands at 116,000 barrels per day (bpd).

Sitting outside the strategic Straits of Hormuz, the port of Sohar and refinery is seen rivalling other ports in the region such as Fujairah in the UAE, one of the top three bunkering ports in the world.

Oman is a small non-OPEC producer with a capacity of around 860,000 bpd of oil, with two refineries; one at Sohar and the other one, Mina Al Fahal, near Muscat with a capacity of 106,000 bpd.

In February, hundreds of protestors had blocked access to an industrial area that includes the port of Sohar, which exports around 160,000 bpd of refined oil products.

"The expansion of Sohar refinery is a continuation of the investments in the oil and gas industry of Oman," the oil minister Mohammad Al Rumhy was quoted as saying.

"This [expansion] is in line with the vision of 2020, supporting the national economy...and to meet the urgent demands for oil products," he said.

CB&I Lummus was not immediately available for comment.

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