Roadshows kick off for Gulf of Oman licensing round

25 February 2003
A roadshow was held in London on 18 February for the first licensing round covering three deepwater concessions in the Gulf of Oman. Representatives from more than 15 oil companies attended the presentation, which was given by senior officials from the Ministry of Oil & Gas and the US/Norwegian PGS Geophysical. A second roadshow took place in Houston on 20 February, while a third is planned in Singapore on 4 March. Proposals for the three blocks are due to be submitted on 15 July, with awards expected by the end of the year (MEED 24:1:03).

The licensing round covers three offshore blocks, 18A, 18B and 41, with a total area of 45,000 square kilometres, running from the south of Muscat up to the edge of the Musandam. Water depths range from 1,000 metres in the 7,000-square-kilometre block 18A up to 2,000-3,000 metres in the 23,000-square-kilometre block 41. Interested companies have been requested to submit separate proposals for each block.

Seismic acquisition in the blocks started in 1965 with a consortium headed by Germany's Wintershall. The consortium subsequently drilled two wells, which yielded initial oil and gas shows, but then decided to relinquish the blocks. Over the next 20 years, further seismic work was carried out by Cluff Resources, IPL, BHP Petroleum and most recently the Royal Dutch/Shell Group. Following Shell's relinquishment of block 18 in early 2002, the ministry and PGS shot 5,800 kilometres of 2D seismic surveys in the three blocks.

In addition to the three Gulf of Oman concessions, there are six other blocks open in the sultanate, all of which are located onshore.

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