Oman plans to award four oil blocks to multinational firms
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 | 00:00
The Oman government is all set to sign agreements with multinational oil companies for developing three to four oil blocks on production sharing agreement, a top-level official at the Ministry of Oil and Gas said here yesterday.
“We are planning to sign additional three to four agreements for developing oil blocks with international companies. These blocks were tendered last year and most of the negotiations are over now,” Nasser bin Khamis Al Jashmi, undersecretary at the Ministry of Oil and Gas, told media on the sidelines of PDO’s annual press briefing.
He said these oil blocks, which are mostly onshore, are not carved out from Petroleum Development Oman’s (PDO) concession areas.
Referring to the progress on BP’s plans for developing block 61 tight gas fields in north-central Oman, Al Jashmi said the government and the British oil giant are expected to sign an investment plan agreement by 2013. “BP is continuing their activities to appraise the field and drill more wells. According to the plan, we will make the final investment decision in 2013,” he said.
BP is envisaging a whooping $15 billion investment over a 10-year period for the full-field development of its block 61 tight gas fields. The British oil firm, which has announced the successful completion of an extended well testing project last year, earlier said the anticipated commercial production of natural gas from its Khazzan and Makarem gas fields would be around 1.2 billion cubic feet.
Al Jashmi said the country’s daily oil production is expected to reach 900,000 barrels by the end of the current year. “There will be marginal increase in production from all producers, like Daleel and Mukhaizna. It is not a massive increase of any one producer. There is a growth in crude oil production at Mukhaizna, which is expected to go up to 120,000 barrels per day this year,” added Al Jashmi.
The natural gas production is expected at 97 million cubic meters per day this year. The average oil production of crude oil last year grew 2.4 per cent to 884,900 barrels per day last year, from 864,600 bpd in 2010. The average production of natural gas moved up by 4.4 per cent to 95.1 million cubic meters in 2011 compared to 91.1 million cubic meters in the previous year. “On the other hand, the average price of Oman crude oil in 2011 amounted to $102.9 per barrel, compared to $76.6 per barrel in 2010, showing a growth of 34.3 per cent.”
Responding to a question on Iran’s recent treat to block Strait of Hormuz, the undersecretary said Oman is outside the trade route and therefore, the country does not foresee it as a threat. “Also, we do not foresee any such threat (to block the sea route).”
On a long-pending plan to import gas from Iran, he said there was not much progress on that front. “There was a brief discussion when the (Iranian) delegation came here. It was supposed to be followed by meetings. However, so far, we have not met,” he explained.
Al Jashmi also said that the government is planning to increase the price of natural gas supplied to some large industries as feed stock. However, no decision has been taken so far. “We have a team for looking at this issue.”
Source: Times Of Oman