Oman has approved an expansion of its liquefied natural gas plant through a third train which is expected to raise the country’s output by 50% to 9.9 million tonnes a year, an oil ministry official has said. “The government has decided to go ahead with the expansion and we hope to start production from the new train some time in 2005,” Oil Ministry technical adviser Khalifa al-Hinai said, adding that construction would start in early 2003. Oil Minister Mohammed bin Hamad al-Rumhy said earlier this month the third train would cost between USD 500 and USD 600 million. Oman’s LNG expansion plan has a capacity to produce from a maximum of five trains from the current two in operation at Oman LNG. Officials said last year the firm was looking to secure 50% of offtake before deciding on a third train.