Oman plans to award four oil blocks in the sec­ond quar­ter of next year

Bid­ding has started for blocks 43B, 47, 51 and 65. While 51 is an off­shore block, all oth­ers are on­shore blocks.

Times of Oman - - MARKE - A E JAMES

MUSCAT: Oman’s gov­ern­ment is ex­pected to award four oil and gas blocks to in­ter­na­tional oil com­pa­nies on a pro­duc­tion shar­ing ba­sis in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2018, ac­cord­ing to a se­nior of­fi­cial at the Min­istry of Oil and Gas.

The Sul­tanate’s Min­istry of Oil and Gas has started a bid­ding round for blocks 43B, 47, 51 and 65 in Septem­ber. Of these four blocks, 51 is an off­shore block, while all oth­ers are on­shore blocks. Also, out of the four blocks, three blocks have crude oil de­posits, while the fourth one is mainly a gas block.

“The re­sponse is very good since the oil price is at­trac­tive now,” said Dr. Saleh A Al An­boori, di­rec­tor gen­eral of Man­age­ment of Petroleum In­vest­ment at the Min­istry of Oil and Gas.

An ear­lier re­port sug­gested that there are cur­rently over 10 open blocks, in­clud­ing the four blocks un­der ten­der­ing process, for de­vel­op­ment.

Dr. Al An­boori said the eval­u­a­tion of bids will be con­ducted for three to four months, af­ter the com­pa­nies sub­mit their bids. And de­pend­ing on the con­ve­nience of the min­istry and win­ning bid­ders, agree­ments will be signed.

He also noted that the Oman gov­ern­ment has been en­cour­ag­ing multi­na­tional oil gi­ants to find new reser­voirs in a move to sus­tain pro­duc­tion lev­els. As huge in­vest­ment is re­quired for bring­ing crude oil and nat­u­ral gas above the ground in view of the pe­cu­liar na­ture of reser­voirs in the Sul­tanate, the gov­ern­ment has been en­cour­ag­ing multi­na­tional firms to un­der­take ex­plo­ration and pro­duc- tion on a pro­duc­tion shar­ing ba­sis.

The Min­istry of Oil and Gas in Jan­uary 2017 signed an ex­plo­ration and pro­duc­tion shar­ing agree­ment with Oman Oil Com­pany Ex­plo­ration and Pro­duc­tion for de­vel­op­ing block 48, lo­cated between the Al Wusta and Al Dhahira re­gions. Un­der the agree­ment, the Oman Oil Com­pany Ex­plo­ration and Pro­duc­tion, which is a sub­sidiary of the state-owned Oman Oil Com­pany, will ex­plore oil and gas in an area of 2,995 square kilo­me­tres.

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