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Oman to launch new oil, natural gas blocks licensing round September 20

Dubai (Platts)--11 Sep 2017 531 am EDT/931 GMT


Oman's oil and gas ministry has unveiled four new onshore oil and gas blocks which it will tender on September 20, the ministry said in a statement.

Registration for the licensing round will begin September 20, and bids are due to be submitted by December 31.

The license includes the 11,967 sq km Block 43B, located along the coastal area of the sultanate north of the Hajar Mountains. It had previously been operated by Hungary's MOL, which drilled two wells, but no discoveries were made.

There is also the adjoining 8,524 sq km Block 47, previously operated by Norway's DNO.

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Block 51 is a 10,132 sq km license in the interior of the country, with 19 wells already drilled so far. The smaller 1,230 sq km Block 65 has at least two wells drilled.

In May, the oil ministry signed an agreement with Italy's Eni and state-owned Oman Oil Co. for exploration at its biggest offshore concession, Block 51, following its last international bid round launched in October 2016.

The 90,000 sq km offshore block, with liquid hydrocarbon potential and water depths ranging from 10 to 2,000 meters, is located in the Indian Ocean offshore southwestern Oman, extending northeast from the sultanate's maritime border with Yemen.

Oman's government faces the task of sustaining momentum on major petroleum developments on which it is counting for future state revenue -- in a low oil price environment -- as its borrowing costs mount due to the country's increasing indebtedness.

--Adal Mirza, adal.mirza@spglobal.com
--Edited by Geetha Narayanasamy, geetha.narayanasamy@spglobal.com




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