Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the annual media briefing on Sunday, H E Dr Rumhi said that the study regarding the project is ongoing.
He said, "Work is quite challenging due to the sheer size of the project. There are a number of issues that needs to be discussed. There are disagreements between both sides, but we are very optimistic on reaching an agreement, hopefully in the coming weeks."
Following a deal with the government in 2007 for the appraisal and development of Block 61 and the Khazzan and Makarem gas fields, BP said it is currently in the middle of negotiations with the government.
"We are still in the middle of negotiations with the government on the project. These negotiations take time but we are still making good progress. We are hopeful that we will get something complete this year. BP has always maintained 2013 as the deadline," said Daniel Blanchard, general manager of BP Oman.
When asked about the delay in signing the heads of agreement, Blanchard said, "It's primarily due to the project cost at this point. We are still internally reviewing our project cost in an understanding with the government. There is a gap between the government and our position in it but not substantial. We expect the agreement to be signed some time this year."