Oman plans to award 2 onshore oil blocks to MNCs

PTI Dubai | Updated on March 12, 2018

Oman will award two onshore oil blocks to multinational firms for development on a production sharing basis by the year-end, even as it plans to re-tender offshore Block 18 relinquished by Reliance early this year.

This is close on the heels of two similar agreements — one with the US-based international energy firm PetroTel to develop offshore Block 40 in Musandam and the other with Canada’s Allied Petroleum Exploration for the development of Block 36 in the Dhofar region — a newspaper report has said.

Block 42 has been identified as a suitable starting point to implement the OOCEP’s (Oman Oil Company Exploration and Production) goal to conduct exploration operations in Oman. The block covers an area of about 25,600 square kilometres.

“We expect to award two onshore blocks by the end of the year,” Nasser bin Khamis Al Jashmi, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Oil and Gas, said on the sidelines of a signing ceremony for block 42.

It appears that the tendering process is at an advanced stage and the other government agencies are expected to give clearance for proceeding with the proposed concession agreement.

On the plans to re-tender block 18, Mr Al Jashmi said: “We think there are (still) prospects in the block. It will be re-tendered. Probably they (Reliance) must have drilled in a wrong place. We are now compiling all the data and will try to attract companies,” he was quoted by the Times of Oman as saying.

The Ministry of Oil and Gas has already signed two agreements — one for exploration and production sharing for Block 42 and the other a gas sales agreement for Block 60 — with Oman Oil Company Exploration and Production (OOCEP), the report said.

“The commitment of the company under this agreement (for Block 42) is to acquire new seismic data and drill one exploratory well in the initial phase, stipulated for three years. Previous exploration wells in the block indicated hydrocarbons and the OOCEP plans to further assess their prospects,” a Ministry statement said.

The statement said that Block 60 is an onshore block covering 1,485 square kilometres and contains the Abu Tubul gas and condensate field, which was discovered in 1998.

Published on October 13, 2011

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