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Sohar International Bank announced a binding merger deal with HSBC Oman on 16 November. Sohar will take over HSBC Oman’s assets, with the latter’s shareholders paid in cash and Sohar shares.

Oman
Issue 1157 - 04 November 2022

Oman’s Sultan Haitham visits Manama

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Oman’s Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al-Said made a relatively rare trip within the region in October, travelling to Bahrain for talks with King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa. The two rulers witnessed the signing of several agreements, including ones on co-operation in security, transport, tourism, education and other areas.

Bahrain | Oman
Issue 1156 - 07 October 2022

UAE president travels to Oman

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UAE President Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (MBZ) paid a two-day visit to Muscat, where he met Oman's Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al-Said. In a joint statement afterwards, the leaders said they held "fruitful talks". One of the main developments was the revival of plans for a cross-border rail link.

Oman | United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Diplomat Sayyid Nizar Al-Julanda Majid Al-Said has been named as Oman’s new ambassador to Italy, replacing Ahmed Salim Mohammed Ba’Omar.

Oman
Issue 1155 - 26 September 2022

Oman: Muscat makes use of oil windfall

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GSN Risk Grade – B3 Hydrocarbons windfall improves rating: Oman is expected to be among the region’s main beneficiaries from elevated oil prices in 2022-23. Along with reforms introduced on Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al-Said’s watch, this feeds into an improved economic outlook.

Oman
Issue 1155 - 23 September 2022

Oman: Majors sign for Block 11

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Oman’s Ministry of Energy and Minerals signed an exploration and production-sharing agreement on 16 September for onshore Block 11 with operator Shell (67.5% equity), TotalEnergies (22.5%) and state-owned OQ (10%).

Oman
Issue 1154 - 09 September 2022

Oman/UAE: Ammonia exports pick up

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Ammonia production has started at a facility developed by state-owned OQ in Oman's Dhofar.  Asian markets are a key export target.

Oman | United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Oman's Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al-Said arrived back in Muscat, following a month-long visit to Europe. He has kept a low profile since his return, with no major official engagements.

Oman
Issue 1153 - 26 August 2022

Oman: Maha sells stake in Mafraq field

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Sweden’s Maha Energy has sold a 35% stake in its exploration and production sharing agreement for onshore Block 70 to Oman's local Mafraq Energy.

Oman
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Oman drew an audience of international oil companies and others to an event at London’s Mansion House in late July to push green hydrogen (GH2) and other ‘future fuels’ projects.

Oman
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The visit of Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) commander Lieutenant General Prince Turki Bin Bandar Bin Abdelaziz to Muscat follows that of several other senior Saudi military officials to Oman in recent months.

Saudi Arabia | Oman
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Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al-Said oversaw the passing out of officer cadets at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS), the British Army’s officer training centre south-west of London, on 23 July. He watched his son, heir apparent and culture, sports and youth minister Seyyid Theyazin Bin Haitham, pass out from RMAS’ eight-week Commissioning Course Short 222.

Oman
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Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) commander Rear Admiral Saif Bin Nasser Al-Rahbi travelled to Tehran for talks with his Iranian counterparts including Islamic Republic of Iran Armed Forces (Artesh) chief of staff General Mohammad Hossein Baqer.

Iran | Oman
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Omani Ruler Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al-Said will be a notable absentee from the mid-July Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) summit, which is also set to involve United States President Joe Biden and leaders from Egypt, Iraq and Jordan. For the third consecutive time since coming to power in January 2020, Haitham has side-stepped the gathering of GCC leaders.

Oman
Free

US President Joe Biden’s imminent trip to the Middle East has prompted renewed discussion about the idea of a region-wide defence pact to counter Iran. Such ideas have long been floated for the GCC states alone – and always failed due to a lack of commitment among the six countries to pool their defence resources and command-and-control structures. The talk these days is of an even wider arrangement, involving the likes of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Israel.

Israel | Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | Bahrain | Oman | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Qatar