Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) is donating materials about its history to the new world-class visitor destination Oman Museum: Across Ages (OMAA), which is expected to be the largest in the Gulf region.
One of the artefacts is the wellhead from the first oil-producing well from the Fahud field in the north of its concession area. Others include copies of the invoice recording the first export of Omani oil in 1967 and a signed letter of appreciation and thanks from Sultan Sayyid Said bin Taimur Al Said to PDO staff congratulating them on the achievement.
PDO is also providing old photos of its people, operations and exploration efforts, geology books, and samples of fossils, rocks and oil.
The purpose of the museum, which is currently being built in Wilayat of Manah, Ad Dakhliyah Governorate, is to tell the story of Oman from pre-history to the present day, with a focus on the period from 1970 when His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said ascended to the throne.
The bestowal of the exhibits was marked in a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by His Excellency Hamood bin Mohammed Al Mahrooqi, Head of Royal Estates Affairs, Royal Court Affairs, which is building the museum, and PDO External Affairs and Value Creation Director Abdul-Amir Abdul-Hussein Al Ajmi.
His Excellency said: “The Oman Museum: Across Ages project is a great national project. The preliminary works have been completed and the construction works, such as concrete and steel structures, have started. It is expected to be the largest museum in the Gulf.”
“We thank PDO and other government and private sectors for their support for this outstanding national project.”
The MoU signing is one of a number of highlights of a landmark year for PDO in which it celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first export of oil and the 80th year since its inception.
Al Ajmi said: “I’m delighted that PDO’s history in serving this great nation will be showcased in the splendid new museum and that we were able to announce the donation of these important artefacts and objects in our double anniversary year.”
“These items encapsulate an important part of our journey from humble beginnings to the modern, pioneering and globally respected company you see today.”
The wellhead, which PDO is donating to the OMAA, comes from Fahud-2 well which in 1964 confirmed for the first time there was commercial oil in the field. The well produced up to 12,500 barrels of oil per day until it was finally shut in 1983. The wellhead has been exhibited at PDO’s Knowledge World building since 2005.
The invoice – or bill of lading – records the first export of Omani crude oil on 27 July, 1967 delivered by the tanker Mosprince from Mina Al Fahal to Japan. The cargo of 543,800 barrels (at US$1.42 a barrel) was valued at US$750,000, or US$5.5 million today.
To mark the occasion, His Majesty’s father sent the type-written message of appreciation and thanks to PDO staff, which will now also be exhibited in the OMAA. Part of this stated: “The successful completion of all this work within the time schedule planned by the Company reflects great credit on all who have worked hard and loyally.”
“We are thus on the threshold of a new phase in our country’s history and we wish you therefore to continue your good work which by its nature is the foundation upon which the future progress of our country and our people will depend.”
Note to editors: Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) is the major exploration and production company in the Sultanate. It accounts for about 70% of the country's crude-oil production and nearly all of its natural-gas supply. The Company is owned by the Government of Oman (which has a 60% interest), the Shell Group (which has a 34% interest), Total (which has a 4% interest) and Partex (which has a 2% interest). Gas fields and processing plants are operated by PDO exclusively on behalf of the Government.