H E Mohammed bin Hamad al Rumhi, Minister of Oil and Gas, signed the agreement on behalf of the Omani government along with Salah Khayat, chief executive officer of Petroleb. Headquartered in Beirut, Petroleb is an upstream oil and gas company.
Block 57, also know as Al Afif onshore oil block, lies in the southwestern part of the sultanate and is situated between South Oman Salt Basin and the Rub al Khali Basin. The block is spread across 2,262sq km.
As per the agreement, Petroleb has committed to carrying out geological and geophysical studies along with 3D seismic acquisition and drill wells during exploration periods. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a signing ceremony, Khayat said block 57 would be Petroleb's first investment in Oman.
He said, “The contract has a number of phases and under the first phase, only exploration activities would be conducted. Oil exploration is a capital-intensive business, so there is a sizeable investment involved and we will do it. The money would be primarily spent on seismic activities and drilling one very deep well.”
On future prospects of the block 57, Khayat said, “We looked at a number of blocks, not just one block. And we believe that we could add value to this particular block. We submitted our technical programme and our bid, and we were awarded this block.” On investments, he declined to reveal details but said it would require millions of dollars to conduct studies and drill wells.