A high-level Omani delegation, led by Mohsin bin Hamad al Hadhrami, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, has embarked on a visit to the People's Republic of China. The delegation included representatives from the Oman Investment Authority (OIA) and the Public Authority for Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ).
The China visit represents the next leg of a wider multination tour that included a working visit to the Republic of Korea, with trips planned to Saudi Arabia and Malaysia as well. The objective is to strengthen cooperation in the renewable energy, green hydrogen, oil, gas, and minerals sector.
The Omani delegation will engage in meetings and discussions with Chinese government officials and senior representatives of companies to explore available opportunities and foster partnerships and cooperation.
During the China tour, Al Hadhrami met with the Reform and Development Committee of the People's Republic of China, which is responsible for foreign government investments. The meeting discussed opportunities to enhance cooperation and establish economic partnerships in the energy and mineral sectors. The objective is to attract Chinese companies with expertise and technology in these industries to invest in Oman.
The committee expressed support for this initiative and encouraged increased involvement of Chinese companies in Omani oil production. Discussions also encompassed the upcoming tenth Arab and Chinese businessmen conference, scheduled to be held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia next month.
Al Hadhrami also held bilateral meetings with prominent sector companies, including CNBC and CNOOC, to explore their potential participation in exploration, production, and refinery operations in offshore and onshore concession areas within the oil and gas sectors.
Furthermore, the delegation engaged in talks with Chinese companies regarding the localization of industries related to renewable energy and green hydrogen, such as the manufacturing of wind turbines and energy storage batteries. They also discussed the utilization of local mineral resources, including silica, copper, and lithium, which would contribute to the development of the energy and mineral industries and maximize local value-added.
Dr Salah bin Hafeez al Dahab, Director General of Investment at the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, stated, "Through our visit to the People's Republic of China, we aim to explore agreements for the development of open oil concession areas and the introduction of technology related to enhanced recovery and heavy oil development through discussions with Chinese companies. We also emphasize the significance of focusing on the ongoing transformation of investment in renewable energy and hydrogen projects. The Chinese National Oil Company has expressed a keen interest in the hydrogen areas offered in upcoming rounds, and a Chinese company has expressed its intention to establish a strategic partnership with Oman, encompassing all aspects of the oil and gas sector. This partnership would involve joint projects with Omani institutions, ranging from upstream to downstream operations. Additionally, an energy finance company has shown interest in investing in green minerals in the Sultanate of Oman."
China currently imports over 80 per cent of Oman's total crude oil production.
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