Italian oil and gas company Eni has signed an exploration and production sharing agreement (EPSA) for an offshore location with the Government of Oman and state company Oman Oil Company’s (OOC) subsidiary Oman Oil Company Exploration and Production (OOCEP).
The site is known as Block 52 and is situated off the shore of Oman’s southern region, covering an area of nearly 90,000km2 with water depths ranging from 10m to more than 3,000m.
The under-explored area is noted to hold significant hydrocarbon potentiality.
Eni is set to operate the block via its subsidiary Eni Oman with an 85% stake under the EPSA, while the remaining interest will be owned by its partner OOCEP.
Eni also entered another arrangement to assign a 30% interest of Block 52 to Qatar Petroleum during the agreement signing ceremony.
The agreement is subject to approval from the respective authorities of Oman. It will see Eni’s ownership stake in Block 52 revised to 55% after completion, while Qatar Petroleum will own 30%.
OOCEP will continue to own 15% interest in the EPSA.
Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi said: “The signing of the Block 52 EPSA represents an important milestone in Eni’s strategy to reinforce its presence in the Middle East region.
“We wish to establish with the Sultanate of Oman, which is a historical oil and gas producer in the region, a long-lasting relationship in the best tradition of Eni.
“It is also remarkable that on the same day, we are welcoming Qatar Petroleum as a partner in Block 52, to join our efforts with such a strong partner that is currently leading the LNG business worldwide.”
All parties are expected to begin an exploration programme at Block 52 in the near future.
The work will involve the acquisition and processing of 3D seismic data followed by exploration drilling activity.