Oman has awarded deals on oil blocks to both France’s Total and the local Petrogas Kahil, with a third block expected to be awarded in the coming months.

On 12 December, it was announced that Total signed an exploration and production-sharing agreement (PSA) with the government of Oman for Block 41, an offshore oil concession in the northeast of the sultanate.

The contract was awarded after an exploration round launched by the Omani government in November 2012. The block covers an unexplored area of almost 24,000 square kilometres, with water depths ranging from 30 metres to more than 3,000 metres.

Meanwhile, Petrogas was awarded the onshore Block 55; a 7,564 sq km area on the east coast of the central Al-Wusta governorate.

Petrogas will carry out the exploration work in two phases. First it will involve seismic survey which, if successful will lead to developing four wells over two years.

Total is preparing its exploration programme with seabed coring in 2014.

Nasser bin Khamis al-Jashmi, the undersecretary at the Oil & Gas Ministry, was reported by the Times of Oman as saying another block will be awarded in the coming months to a “multinational oil firm”.

Total produced 37,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day (boe/d) from Oman in 2012 through its 4 per cent stake in Block 6 operator Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) and 2 per cent stake in Block 53.

Petrogas produced an average of 1,100 barrels a day (b/d) in 2012, according to the ministry.