State-owned Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) will restructure its debts portfolio in the future by borrowing abroad to finance its projects rather than seeking more funds from its shareholders, Omani Minister of Oil and Gas, Mohammad bin Hamad Al Rumhy, told reporters, according to KhaleejTimes. The government plans to borrow between $5b and $10b abroad, Central Bank informed.
The company is also seeking to restructure itself in order to support expansion and improve efficiency, Reuters reported. PDO’s board of directors has approved a new re-structuring under which one unit will consolidate the firm’s domestic investments and look into selling some of the smaller assets. According to the company’s annual reports, PDO and its partners had invested $24.4b in companies within Oman as of 2013; 65% of its investments were inside Oman.
Minister’s comment underlined the financial pressures faced by Oman because of low oil prices. The reduction in the government’s oil revenues has pushed it into deficit, and its domestic borrowing has started to strain liquidity in the local banking system.
PDO is Oman’s top oil and gas exploration and production company and accounts for over 70% of the country’s crude oil production and nearly all of its natural gas supply. The company is owned 60% by the government of Oman, 34% by Royal Dutch Shell, 4% by Total, and 2% by Partex Oil and Gas, according to its website.