Dubai — Oman, the biggest Middle East oil producer outside OPEC, awarded France's Total and Thailand's PTTEP rights to explore and develop non-associated gas deposits in the sultanate, which is ramping up exploration and development of gas resources.
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Oman's Minister of Oil and Gas Mohammed al-Rumhy signed the exploration and production sharing agreement for Block 12, which spans 9,546 square kilometers in central Oman, the ministry said Wednesday on Twitter.
Total will be operator of the block and hold an 80% stake, with the rest held by PTTEP.
Last year, Italy's Eni and BP Oman won rights to explore for oil and gas in Block 77 and Shell Oman was granted rights to Block 55.
Oman, which currently produces around 3 billion cubic feet of gas/day, is ramping up exploration and undertaking multi-billion dollar projects to monetize gas from the Mabrouk field that was discovered in 2018. Total and Shell are conducting downstream and upstream projects in Mabrouk that could cost more than $20 billion.
State-run OQ, Total and Shell are partnering in the upstream development of Mabrouk while Shell and Total are separately working on a gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant to be developed by Shell and an LNG bunkering facility to be developed by Total.
The sultanate is also developing its giant Khazzan gas field with the help of BP, which is boosting production from the current 1 Bcf/d to 1.5 Bcf/d by 2021.