Oman awarded concession rights to a consortium of France's Total and Thai company PTT Exploration and Production to develop gas in a central block.
Block 12, which stretches across an area of 9,546 square kilometres will be operated by Total with an 80 per cent interest, with PTTEP holding the remaining 20 per cent stake. The two companies will explore and develop non-associated gas as part of their exploration and production sharing agreement, the ministry said.
Oman, one of the smaller producers for oil and gas in the Middle East has been prioritising the development of its gas resources to meet industrial and residential needs. The country, which is not a member of Opec, has comparably sparser gas reserves and has been investing heavily in developing some of its tighter reserves.
BP, for instance, is engaged in the development of Oman’s massive tight gasfield at Khazzan, from where production is expected to reach 1.5 billion cubic feet a day when completed. The gas field, which will see an estimated $16 billion (Dh59bn) in investment, currently produces 1 billion cf/d of gas and around 35,000 barrels a day of condensate.
Gas production in the sultanate is also expected to eclipse its oil output by 2023, according to a study by Rystad Energy.
Oman’s gas production is expected to increase by 130 million cubic metres a day, changing the overall fuel mix to 50 per cent by 2025 from 35 per cent gas in 2015 , according to the Norwegian consultancy.
The sultanate produced 36 billion cubic metres of gas in 2018, which was an increase of 11.4 per cent over the previous year, according to BP's Statistical Review of Energy.