Thailand’s P&T Exploration & Production (PTTEP) has been awarded exploration rights in block 58. The block is one of five concessions carved out of former Petroleum Development Oman acreage which were tendered in August (MEED 19:8:05).

The block covers an area of 2,264 square kilometres in the southwest of the sultanate. A formal production sharing agreement is due to be signed by the end of June.

PTTEP already operates block 44, which it acquired in 2002 and where production is due to begin by the middle of the year.

The Oil & Gas Ministry also recently awarded two other blocks 54 and 56 from the licensing round. The final two 55 and 57 are expected to be awarded imminently (MEED 7:4:06).

Australia’s Oilex, which is the operator of the consortium awarded block 56, in mid-April announced details of the planned work programme in the area. It said that 2D and 3D seismic data already available was insufficient to identify immediately drillable prospects.

However, the consortium will proceed with a workover programme, aiming to invest $7.5 million over the coming three years. Drilling is expected to start in the first half of 2007.