Oman Oil Company Exploration & Production (OOCEP), the upstream arm of state-owned Oman Oil Company (OOC), has been named as the temporary operator of the offshore block 8 in the Musandam Peninsula, following the departure of the asset’s previous operator, Norway’s DNO.

Block 8 in Musandam has Oman’s only offshore producing wells.

DNO announced earlier this year that it was exiting the block as part of a “high-grading” of its upstream portfolio in the region.

OOCEP has reportedly been tapped to take over the concession as an interim measure pending the finalisation of a “long-term solution”.

Offshore potential

Oman’s Oil Minister, Dr Mohammed bin Hamad al-Rumhy, has been recently quoted as saying that the hydrocarbon potential of block 8 is still promising, despite declining output from the Bukha and West Bukha fields.

Natural gas output from the fields is currently channelled to the Musandam Power Plant – a 120MW-capacity facility that came into operation last year.

Oman is also planning to conduct 3D seismic studies of block 8 to better understand the hydrocarbon potential of the area.

Production from block 8 amounted to 1.6 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) in 2017, with a cumulative production of 89.5 million boe since the West Bukha field came into operation in 1994, followed by Bukha in 2009.

Output from block 8 has declined in recent years from 15,678 boe a day (boe/d) in 2014, to 8,193 boe/d in 2015, slumping further to 5,325 boe/d in 2016.

Last year, volumes dipped to 4,484 boe/d, split almost evenly between oil and gas.

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