The IOCs will be invited to develop two offshore and two onshore blocks. The acreage is situated between Musandam in the north of Oman and Salalah in the south.

The first concession agreements are expected to be signed before the end of the year, the minister said on the sidelines of a Petroleum Development Oman event.

In February, the undersecretary of the oil ministry Khamis al-Jashmi said oil output was expected to rise to 790,000 barrels a day (b/d) in 2008 from 710,000 b/d in 2007.