Oman Bolsters Sohar Ship-Fuel Services in Bid to Rival UAE Port

Oman, the largest Arab oil producer outside of OPEC, is bolstering ship-fueling services at the container and commodities port of Sohar as it looks to rival the region’s busiest shipping terminal in the neighboring United Arab Emirates.

Sohar Port and Freezone signed an agreement with Muscat-based Hormuz Marine to begin offering bunkering, as vessel-fueling is known, services from the the middle of September, the shipping facility’s operator said in a statement. Bulking up options for refueling vessels as they unload or pass by could bolster Sohar’s effort to capture business that’s dominated by Dubai’s Jebel Ali. 

The Omani port is located outside the Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping chokepoint at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. About a fifth of global crude suppliers pass through Hormuz, an area that’s been plagued with attacks on tankers in recent years. Jebel Ali is located on the UAE’s Gulf coast inside of Hormuz.

Sohar is expanding to serve as a container, food and chemicals entrepot for the Arabian Peninsula. Hormuz Marine plans to offer low-sulfur fuel oil, heavier bunkers and marine gasoil to vessels at Sohar, according to the statement. The Omani shipping terminal is a joint venture between the sultanate and the Port of Rotterdam.

Oman’s Sohar Port Plans Oil-Product Storage After Expansion: CEO

Oman, which can pump as much as 1 million barrels of crude a day, allied with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers that aren’t in the group to restrict output and help bolster prices after the coronavirus pandemic throttled global energy demand.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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