Oman plans to increase foothold in Africa and US

Sultanate to buy, lease or build fuel-storage tanks in East Africa

Oman has announced plans to maintain production stable.
Oman has announced plans to maintain production stable.

Oman plans to buy, lease or build fuel-storage tanks in East Africa to increase its foothold in the market, a Bloomberg's report said Tuesday.

The Sultanate also plans to open a US office to trade refined products and Latin American crude, according to the report.

Oman Trading International wants to invest less than $50mn in facilities to store fuel in Mozambique, Tanzania or Kenya to help supply markets in Africa’s landlocked interior, Chief Executive Officer Talal Al Awfi said in an interview, but declined to specify the target markets.

It is his company, a joint venture with Vitol Group, the world’s largest independent energy trader, that plans to open a US-based office in the first half of 2016, Al Awfi told Bloomberg on Sunday.

He also said that investments in infrastructure in Africa and a physical presence in the US are vital for the company to extend its reach beyond traditional markets in Asia, Al Awfi said.

Oman's biggest crude oil market is China, where in recent months oil producers from the Middle East, Saudi Arabia included, are facing growing competition from non-OPEC suppliers.

In May Russia overtook Saudi as the biggest crude exporter to China. Russia's shipments jumped 21% to 3.92mn tonnes in May, while Saudi's exports totalled 3.05m tonnes during the same period.

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