Canadians sign oil block deal

25 February 2003
Canada's EnCana Corporationsigned on 9 February a three-year exploration and production sharing agreement for blocks 3 and 4, which cover a 39,000-square-kilometre area in the Jiddat al-Harasis area of eastern Oman. The blocks were previously operated by France's TotalFinaElfand Cayman Islands-based Nimir Petroleum Companyrespectively (MEED 12:7:02; 15:3:02).

Ten other companies were understood to have entered the data rooms, including Gulfstream Resources Oman, Occidental Petroleum Corporationand Hunt Oil Company, all of the US, Austria's OMV, Croatia's INAand Maersk Oil Oman. The Canadian company intends to invest $17 million in developing the concessions.

The Oil & Gas Ministry is opening up more acreage for exploration in an effort to bolster the sultanate's reserves, which stand at about 50 billion barrels of oil in place (MEED 13:12:02, Cover Story).

Three further concessions - blocks 41, 18A and 18B, all located offshore in the Gulf of Oman - are due to be awarded later this year.

International oil companies have been invited to bid by 15 July for the concessions, which have been surveyed by the UK/Norwegian Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS- MEED 24:1:03).

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