Oman has awarded a hydrocarbons exploration licence to the US’ PetroTel that will see the company search for oil at Block 40 which is off the coast of Musandam in the north of the sultanate.

The block is the second to be awarded to PetroTel by Oman. In 2009 it was awarded the adjacent Block 17.

Both blocks are being developed on an exploration and production sharing agreement (Epsa) basis and both are believed to be holding promising potential reserves of oil.

PetroTel will invest at least $35m on Block 40 on activities including geological and geophysical studies,as well as the reprocessing of old seismic and the acquisition of new 2D seismic informatioin. A drilling phase will then follow.