Category Archives: Oman

Iran & Oman common gas export pipeline project will now change route in order to avoid UAE’s waters


Reuters reported last week that Iran and Oman have agreed to alter the route of an underwater gas pipeline planned to ship Iranian gas to Oman in order to avoid territorial waters of the UAE, Iranian oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh , adding that the re-route would not have economic impact on the gas export project.

iran oman map

Français: L’Oman et l’Iran ont pris la décision la semaine dernière de changer le la route d’un pipeline à gaz sous-marin, lors de la planification d’opérations d’exportation  gazière en bloc, pour éviter des eaux contrôlées par les Émirats Arabes unis, le ministre de pétrole de l’Iran a déclaré  mardi après la réunion avec son homologue  omanais à Téhéran.

Le pipeline planifié connecterait les énormes réserves de gaz  de l’Iran avec des consommateurs omanais aussi bien qu’avec les usines de gaz naturel liquéfié (LNG)  en Oman qui pourrait ainsi  réexporter ces réserves  de gaz par la suite

Press TV added to this that Iran  expects to finalize talks over an ambitious project to export natural gas to Oman through a subsea pipeline in early March.  This new meeting is a part of a  general framework of an agreement signed in 2013 to export natural gas to Oman through a pipeline from under the Arabian Gulf seabed.

Based on an agreement signed in 2013, Iran will export 28 million cubic meters of gas to Oman per day for a period of 15 years through a pipeline that will go to the sultanate through the Persian Gulf.

Almost a third of the gas exported by Iran to Oman will be turned into liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the sultanate’s Qalhat plant, and the rest will be consumed domestically.

Iran will accordingly use the LNG produced at Qalhat plant for exports to European and Asian markets. (Press TV)

Companies which are included in this project as France’s Total, Royal/Dutch Shell, South Korea’s Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS), Germany’s Uniper and Japan’s Mitsui attended the bilateral meeting between Oman and Iran.

Nonetheless, the Iran-Oman gas pipeline will be more expensive than initially thought after the two countries agreed to alter the original route plan to avoid passing through UAE waters, reuters reported in the past, quoting an industry source in the know.

Oman is closer to Iran than the rest of the Persian Gulf states since it is separated from them by a rather craggy range of mountains, it also has a significant Baluch population which speak an Iranian language and has also been part of Iran in classical times

Today the Gulf countries, and especially Saudi Arabia, maintain very adverse relations with Iran. Other countries (i.e. Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and Bahrain) in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) generally follow the Saudi lead when it comes to their relations with Iran and the regional policies. However, Oman is the only country that maintains somewhat friendly relations with Iran, reflecting a exception.

Oman’s cordial relations go back to the 1970s when the Shah regime supported the new Sultan Qaboos against the leftist rebels in Dhofar. Iran also sees Oman as an opening to the international markets. Oman did not support Iran’s regional adversaries as in the Iran-Iraq war and the conflicts in Syria and Yemen. Instead, it chose to mediate between Iran and its rivals in many occasions, the latest of which was the Nuclear agreement in 2015. While being part of the GCC, Oman refuses to transform it into the Gulf Union, it maintains a relatively strong economic and military relations with Iran. In the aftermath of the nuclear deal the relations will be even stronger between Iran and Oman.

Trade between Oman and Iran exceeded $1 billion by the end of October last year, according to  Dr Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy, Sultanate’s Minister of Commerce and Industry.(Times of Oman)

Credit Map: Shana.

Links:

  1. Will Fulton and Ariel Farrar-Wellman, “Oman-Iran Foreign Relations,” American Enterprise Institute Iran, Tracker, 21 July 2011, http://www.irantracker.org/foreign-relations/oman-iran-foreign-relations.
  2. Oman and Iran: friends with many benefits, Al-Monitor, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/04/oman-iran-friends-ties-gcc-disapproval-saudi.html
  3. Iran, Oman reaffirm gas export project, change pipeline route to avoid UAE, Reuters, http://www.reuters.com/article/iran-oman-gas-idUSL5N1FS2ZK.

  4. OMAN’S 2016 GEOPOLITICAL CHESSBOARD : A DISCREET ACTOR IN THE MIDDLE EAST

  5. IRAN, OMAN SIGN DEAL TO STUDY SUB-SEA GAS PIPELINE:TIMES OF OMAN

Advertisements

In Oman bacteria-induced biofuel is getting patented


Muscat,Oman Sultanate: Mohab bin Ali Al-Hinai, assistant professor in the biology department of Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), has obtained a patent for his research on bacteria that contributes to the production of biofuels.

Al-Hinai said the idea of producing biofuels by bacteria was a development of ‘acetobutylicum clostridium’ bacteria which is the fastest in its group in the production of organic materials usable as biofuels, according to Oman News Agency.

He added that the significance of the said bacteria is that it produces biofuels from plants that contain fiber and not from components of staple foods for human consumption such as maize, wheat, and sugarcane.

He affirmed that the most significant challenges are to find a way to make this invention economically feasible. He added that he is currently working on the development of research on biofuels from agricultural waste and the smallest organisms found in the Omani environment.

  • Why Bacteria-based biofuels?

By tweaking the smallest units of life, scientists are making bigger gains in producing alternative and renewable energy, with recent efforts aimed at molecule-level controls and promoting fractal growth patterns to create different fuels and improve efficiencies.

Bacteria, which range from 0.5 to 5 microns in size, perform functions that can be exploited, enhanced and modified to produce fuels. As they move, breathe, eat and reproduce, bacteria produce byproducts like ethanol and hydrogen while feeding on simple sugars, starches and sunlight. The cells themselves can also be harvested for biodiesel precursors.

The organisms may be used to produce fuels directly from biomass, including cellulosic biomass.  When all of the steps of digestion and fermentation are combined, it is called consolidated bioprocessing.  The organisms available for consolidated bioprocessing to produce cellulosic ethanol do not produce high concentrations of the ethanol, and therefore it isn’t cost effective to use them according to Biofuels Digest.

Even, back now in 2012, researchers genetically modified E. coli bacteria to convert sugar into an oil that is almost identical to conventional diesel.

While petrol and diesel release carbon dioxide that has been stored deep within the Earth, biofuels are said to be carbon neutral because they release as much CO2 into the atmosphere as the plants they are made from absorbed.

However, the energy it takes to grow and process the crops needed for biofuels also should be taken into account, as this adds to their “carbon footprint”.

A report by Chatham House said biofuels were expensive and worse for the climate than fossil fuels.

  • Sources: Oman News Agency, Biofuels Digest, CHatman House, Pnas.org