The Oil & Gas Ministry on 6 September signed agreements with three international oil companies for exploration in two blocks in the sultanate. A Danish/Swedish team took onshore block 15, in the Dhahirah region, and Ireland's Circle Oil was awarded offshore block 52, close to the Yemeni border.
Sweden's GotOilwill operate block 15, with Denmark's Odin Energyas the minority stakeholder. The team is committed to investing $11 million over a six-year exploration period. The block covers 1,389 square kilometres. Circle will pump $18 million over the same period into exploration of block 52, which spreads across some 90,790 square kilometres. The Irish firm was awarded the block 49 concession in March (MEED 1:4:05). Muscat is stepping up exploration activity and in August launched a bid round for five blocks carved out of acreage relinquished the previous month by Petroleum Development Oman(MEED 19:8:05).
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