By Saleh-al Shaibany
Government offical confirms production start at $450m gas processing plant.
Oman has started gas production at the $450 million al-Kawthar gas processing plant, a senior government official said on Sunday.The new plant will add 20 million cubic metres of gas per day to the sultanate's output, said Nasser al-Jashmi, the state undersecretary for oil and gas, in a statement.
The small independent producer said earlier this month that it aimed to boost total oil output for the second consecutive year in 2009 after halting a six-year production decline from ageing fields last year.
The country aims for total crude and oil condensate output of 805,000 bpd in 2009, up from 757,000 in 2008.
While neighbouring countries, which are members of OPEC, cut output as the group races to match supply with falling global demand, Oman is moving ahead with plans to pump more.
As an independent producer, Oman has said it has no plans to cut output in support of OPEC.
Total oil output in 2008 rose 47,000 bpd from 2007. That was the first year of growth since output peaked in 2001 at 956,000 bpd, official data showed. (Reuters)