The Sidi Mansour block, approximately 30 kilometres north of the Ashtart oil field in the Gulf of Gabes, is subject to approval by Entreprise Tunisienne d’Activites Petrolieres (Etap) and the Tunisian authorities.

Its licence for Sidi Mansour spans 6,592 square kilometres in water depths of about 60 metres.

OMV, which holds five production and two exploration licences in Tunisia, says work on its new block will begin later in 2008 with the acquisition of 500 kilometres of 2D seismic data.

OMV is already working on the Ashtart field, one of the country’s largest oil fields (MEED 1:9:06).