Oman’s Oil and Gas Ministry has awarded the US’ Rex Oil & Gas and the Ivory Coast’s state-owned Petroci Holding an offshore oil exploration licence.

Block 50, off the sultanate’s south east coast covers an area of 16,903 square kilometres surrounding Masirah Island in the Arabian Sea, although the concession does not cover the island itself.  

The joint venture plans to invest around $26m on the first phase exploration on the block. The scope of the work includes reprocessing old seismic data, acquisition of 2D and 3D seismic images, processing satellite gravity data, and drilling exploration wells.

The block will be Rex’s first in Oman, but the company has a similar concession in the nearby UAE emirate of Ras al-Khaimah.