MUSCAT: The first international downstream exhibition and conference, Oman Refining and Petrochemicals Exhibition and Conference (ORPEC), organised by Omanexpo and global organisation World Refining Association (WRA), is set to be held from March 16 to 18 at the Oman International Exhibition Centre.

The event is spearheaded by the Oman Oil Company (OOC) and Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic), the biggest entities in the Middle East’s refining and petrochemical sector.

The oil and gas industry in Oman has always been the key driver of the country’s economy. While exploration and enhanced oil recovery (EOR) activities continue to take centre stage, the government is placing equal attention on the refining and processing of petrochemicals and crude oil and distribution of its by-products, creating investment and employment opportunities for downstream industries, and boosting downstream facilities. It has also invested in multi-million projects such as the Duqm Refinery, Muscat-Sohar Pipeline Project and Liwa Plastics Project.

Eihab A Abutaha, CEO of communications, SABCO Group, said, “An established downstream industry felicitates building a value-added portfolio harnessing in-country value and wealth creation with an array of production and investment opportunities. ORPEC will become a fundamental and powerful platform for industry leaders and players to engage and discuss the challenges and opportunities posed by the value-driven downstream industry.”

Government-owned Oman Oil Company, the national flagship company, plays a significant role in seeking areas of investment within Oman and outside of Oman, the development of oil and gas-based industries and other energy and energy-related projects in cooperation with global industry players.

Oman Oil Company’s participation, along with its subsidiaries Duqm Refinery, Salalah Methanol Company, OXEA and Oman India Fertiliser Company (OMIFCO), follows its economic development objectives to pursue avenues that will help create business and encourage investment and to diversify the economy by investing in a variety of industrial and commercial activities within the global energy sector.