Ever since the first systematic geological survey of Oman was undertaken more than eighty years ago, the Sultanate’s subsurface heritage has been the subject of intense work by geologists and oil explorationists. The discovery of the Yibal field in 1962 was quickly followed by other significant finds leading to the first export of oil in April 1967. Each discovery provided added impetus for further work on the Nation’s geology, culminating in the discovery of close to 150 oil and gas fields.
This book is the result of more than half a century of work by geologists – most of them working for PDO. It comprises a systematic description, and the current geological understanding, of the rocks that contain Oman’s oil and gas fields. Sharing this knowledge is important for all companies operating in Oman. It provides a common base for communication and a solid foundation from which our geological understanding of these rocks can be refined. This is essential for the successful exploration of new hydrocarbons and the optimal production of Oman’s existing oil and gas fields.
The timing of the book is opportune and comes when Oman’s oil and gas industry is expanding, with an increasing number of companies both exploring for and producing oil and gas. It also provides detailed geological information for academia, which will undoubtedly lead to, and support, future geological studies.
The Oman Ministry of Oil and Gas has consistently maintained a very open and supportive policy with respect to the publication of scientific results. This has led to an impressive amount of high quality publications that have impacted geological understanding not only for Oman, but on Middle East and truly global scales.
The Ministry has therefore also encouraged and supported the publication of this ‘Lexicon of Oman Subsurface Stratigraphy’, recognising the need to open up Oman’s substantial geological wealth to all. This is important for the future development of the oil and gas industry in Oman. It is also important for the scientists who strive to unravel the complex geological history that has shaped Oman, building on the significant discoveries already made and undoubtedly leading to new discoveries in the future. This will not be easy, but it is hoped that with the publication of this book a solid foundation will be provided for the future.