• Circle Oil hits drilling difficulties on Block 49
  • Firm unable to farm out risk on offshore Block 52
  • Circle Oil will not bid for future Oman concessions

Circle Oil has pulled out of Oman after relinquishing both its exploration blocks in the sultanate, the Ireland-based company said in its annual financial results.

The firm said it has written off its investments blocks 49 and 52 in Oman and would not be bidding for new acreage in the country.

“The onshore exploration well, Shisr-1, drilled in the first quarter of 2015 in the southwest area of Block 49, was plugged and abandoned due to drilling difficulties,” Circle Oil said in an update on Oman.

“In light of this and coupled with insufficient interest in the farm-in on Block 52 and Circle Oil’s unwillingness to sole-risk shallow water wells, the group will be exiting Oman,” the company added.

Circle Oil was awarded an exploration and production sharing agreement (EPSA) for the onshore Block 49 in southern Oman in 2005. The 15,438-kilometre area is on the border with Saudi Arabia.

Block 52, also signed in 2005, is a 90,760km offshore area covering Oman’s entire southern Arabian Sea coastline. Circle Oil’s strategy was to farm-out and share the risk on the licence, but this proved unsuccessful.

Circle Oil, which is listed in London, also has activities in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.

Stay informed with the latest in the Middle East
Download the MEED app today, available on Apple and Android devices