Development in the Sultanate of Oman is predicated upon high quality Earth Science Information. This information is vital for Oman as it continues to develop industry and an infrastructure in what is a sometimes a hostile and precarious natural environment. Oman is blessed with rich geological heritage, including the world famous Oman Mountains and sedimentary basins that host abundant energy and mineral resources.
The continuous growth and emergence of new technologies in earth sciences research over the last few years, the need of local and international community for advice and consultation in different fields of earth sciences, and the need for detailed geological information and maps, requires the establishment of an earth science research centre, which shall meet and respond to the requirements and needs of Oman and enable planning for future natural resources development. Sultan Qaboos University is uniquely suited for hosting such a premier research centre dealing with these geological resources. The geological importance of Oman lies in its ophiolite (Semail and Masirah) and in its Mountain ranges.
The Semail Ophiolite is the largest, best preserved, best exposed, and best-studied in the world. It is also the host to numerous minerals that include copper and chromites, which form the basis of the mineral industry in Oman. Oman Mountains include an excellent exposure of Precambrian to Recent sedimentary rocks, which are the lateral equivalents to those of the subsurface hydrocarbon sources and reservoirs in one of the most important hydrocarbon-bearing sedimentary basins in the world. It is well known that the main income of the Sultanate of Oman comes primarily from the revenue of the oil and gas industry, while smaller revenue comes from the mining industry. Continued research in these sectors will contribute towards their development and efficient exploitation.