ARA Petroleum ea­ger to grow port­fo­lio

Oman Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE - CON­RAD PRABHU MUS­CAT, NOV 14

ARA Petroleum LLC, which made its de­but in Oman’s up­stream sec­tor last year with the ac­qui­si­tion of Block 44 from Thai­land’s PTTEP, has am­bi­tions to grow in­ter­na­tion­ally, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany’s Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer.

Sul­tan al Ghaithi said the com­pany, which signed an Ex­plo­ration & Pro­duc­tion Shar­ing Agree­ment (EPSA) yes­ter­day with the Min­istry of Oil & Gas for Block 31 on­shore Oman, al­ready has in­di­rect oil­field in­vest­ments out­side the Sul­tanate, and is also un­der­tak­ing a key ser­vice con­tract for Petroleum De­vel­op­ment Oman (PDO) cov­er­ing a field in cen­tral Oman.

“We want to be a stronger player here in the Sul­tanate,” Al Ghaithi said. “Hav­ing a lo­cal setup will al­low us to go to the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket as well.”

ARA’s new­est ac­qui­si­tion — the 8,528 sq km Block 31 in the north­west of the Sul­tanate — is lo­cated ad­ja­cent to Block 44, a fea­ture that was key to its bid for this con­ces­sion, said the CEO.

“It makes it more eco­nom­i­cal for us in the case of a dis­cov­ery. Be­sides, it will be much easier to use ex­ist­ing the in­fra­struc­ture to ac­cel­er­ate pro­duc­tion of the field when a dis­cov­ery is made. Also, when you look at the sub­sur­face, we have the same team that han­dled (Block 44), so the knowl­edge can be shared. It will be much easier for one team to han­dle the whole thing. But at the end of the day, com­mer­cial­ity is the most im­por­tant thing; it’s key for us to get into this block.”

Aside from its in­vest­ments in Blocks 44 and 31, ARA Petroleum is also un­der­tak­ing a Ser­vice Con­tract for PDO cov­er­ing the ex­plo­ration and de­vel­op­ment of Qarat al Milh, a small field near Qarn Alam in cen­tral Oman. “This con­tract re­quires a lot of in­vest­ment be­cause of the amount of ac­tiv­ity there – we have 12 dis­cov­er­ies and we have to de­velop them faster than any­where else,” said Al Ghaithi.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the com­pany is also fo­cused on build­ing a de­vel­op­ment plan for the Shams field in Block 44. “There are some oil dis­cov­er­ies that we are look­ing to ac­cel­er­ate as well. Hope­fully, by the mid­dle of next year, we will start ma­jor ac­tiv­i­ties, like drilling some wells to boost pro­duc­tion.”

Out­put from Shams cur­rently av­er­ages 16 mil­lion stan­dard cu­bic feet of gas per day, in ad­di­tion to 700 bpd of oil.

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