Eng Salim al Aufi, Under-Secretary of Oman's Ministry of Energy and Minerals, said the government is planning to award three more blocks to oil and gas companies this year to ramp up the country's oil and gas exploration and production.
"We have three blocks in the market. We are just waiting for the final bids to arrive. I think last day is March 31 of this year, then we will start looking into evaluating the bids and hopefully allocating some of these blocks," the Under-Secretary said during an SPE virtual fireside chat.
Al Aufi added the government is in talks with TotalEnergies and Shell to sign a commercial agreement to develop Block 11, which is adjacent to gas-rich Block 10.
"Discussions are ongoing now to finalise the commercial agreement between the government and the same [Block 10] partners for Block 11," Al Aufi added.
OQ, Shell and Marsa Liquefied Natural Gas LLC (a JV between TotalEnergies [80 per cent] and OQ), signed a contract last year to develop gas from Block 10, with start-up expected in two years to eventually produce 0.5 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day (bscf/d).
Under a concession agreement with the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, Shell will operate Block 10 with a 53.45 per cent working interest, with OQ and Marsa Liquefied Natural Gas LLC holding 13.36 per cent and 33.19 per cent, respectively, Shell said in a statement last year.
Located in the Al Wusta Governorate of central Oman, Block 10 holds a number of gas accumulations, including the main gas field to be developed — Mabrouk North East.