Dubai-based Reliance Exploration & Production has withdrawn from an offshore exploration block in the Gulf of Oman, after the company admitted that drilling work had “not been encouraging”.

The subsidiary of India’s Reliance Industries Limited bought the concession to Block 18, a 21,140 square kilometre concession off the Batinah coast, in 2005. The state-owned Oman Oil Company Exploration and Production (OOCEP), which holds a 30 per cent stake in the concession since 2009, will not take on the project. Instead, the Ministry of Oil & Gas is likely to remarket the block.

Reliance will continue exploration work on its other Oman concession, Block 41, an 23,800 square kilometre area offshore from the Sharqiya coast.