French energy group Total has 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.

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

The company 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.

Most of Oman’s oil production comes from onshore operations with the largest offshore output coming from the Musandam enclave to the north of the country.