Oman is in the final stage of selecting international oil companies to develop the concessions it tendered in its latest bid round, according to an official in the ministry of oil and gas.

Bid results on blocks 30 and 49, which were expected to be announced on 15 December 2016 and 31 January are in the “final stage of evaluation” and the outcome will be conveyed “exclusively to the participating companies”.

The official declined to say the number of international oil companies that had submitted bids or new deadlines for bid results.

Block 30 is a 1,185 square kilometre concession that straddles the Hajar mountains in the Omani interior and includes the Nadir, Al-Sahwa and Hafar as well as the Hamrat Duru gas fields.

The southern Block 49 was previously owned by Irish exploration and production company Circle Oil, which abandoned the 15,439 square km block in 2015 citing “drilling difficulties”.

Other concessions on offer include the 8,526 square km Block 31 in the north as well as the offshore 90,760 square km Block 52.

Bid submission deadline for both blocks is 15 February and results are expected on 15 March.

The ministry of oil and gas recently awarded Block 48 to Oman Oil Company Exploration and Production.