Iran-Oman gas pipeline talks still on: Rumhy

By: Vinod Nair

MUSCAT: Discussions are still going on to finalise the route for the proposed 230-km gas pipeline project with Iran, said Dr Mohammed bin Hamad al Rumhy, Minister of Oil and Gas, at a special briefing for the media yesterday.

He said the following phases will include the design of the pipeline and both sides will deal with the crucial issue of pricing of the gas in the later stages of negotiations. “We don’t want get stuck with the pricing issue and the initial focus is to get the project moving and it is crucial for the energy security.”

Dr Ruhmy said the Oman has not started marketing the Iran gas because we still do not have a delivery time.

He also said having too much gas is a nice problem to have and it is a not major problem at all. “We expect the region to witness a major gas shortage in the long run,” he said.

The minister said that there are no scientific centres to forecast oil prices and different opinions have been expressed on the subject. “This level is of prices between $55-65 per barrel, however, is expected to continue this year,” he said.

He said the details of Tehran’s nuclear deal are still not fully available and it is difficult to predict when the anticipated 1.2 million bpd of oil from Iran will go to the market. “Time has not yet come to discuss the impact of the Iranian oil supply.”

He said the Opec used to regularly discuss with the non-members on various issues, including that of increasing or reducing oil production. “This did not happen last time and said I am still not convinced of their decision that was taken in November last year.” He said the Habhab project has been delayed for technical reasons as it requires highly advanced technology and added that this delay has nothing to do with oil price slump.

SOURCE: OMAN DAILY OBSEVER

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