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Oman short-lists four firms to manage its gas

Oman has short-listed four international companies to develop its fledgling gas industry and the winner will be announced in June, an oil and gas ministry official said yesterday.

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Oman has short-listed four international companies to develop its fledgling gas industry and the winner will be announced in June, an oil and gas ministry official said yesterday. The official named them as Enron Corp of the United States, Algerian state-run firm Sonatrach, British Gas and Enbridge Pipelines, a unit of Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. He declined to give the value of the deal.

"These companies have already pre-qualified for the tender and we expect to award one of them a five-year contract before June this year to develop the national gas system," the official told Reuters. The winner will operate and manage Oman Gas Co (OGC) which was set up last year to oversee the state's gas projects, including two gas pipeline projects awarded in 2000.

"The successful bidder will also operate and manage the entire national gas transportation system which include the existing network, the two pipelines under construction (Sohar and Salalah) and any future pipelines," the official said.

India's Dodsal and Co was awarded the Salalah pipeline, while the Sohar contract was won by a consortium of Italian energy group ENI, Lebanese Consolidated International Contractors Co and Japan's Mitsubishi Corp. Oman has an 800-kilometre long pipeline which feeds the Oman LNG and power plants, while the combined length of the two pipelines is expected to be about 1,000 kilometres, the official said. The sultanate, an independent producer pumping some 850,000 barrels per day of crude, is trying to diversify its economy away from oil revenues, which make up about two-thirds of its income.

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