The Government of Oman is planning to award three oil and gas blocks this year to increase its exploration and production, reported Oman Daily Observer.

At a virtual meeting, Oman’s Ministry of Energy and Minerals Under-Secretary Salim al Aufi said that the government is in negotiations with oil and gas firms Shell and TotalEnergies to sign a commercial agreement that will see the development of one of its blocks, namely Block 11.

Al Aufi stated: “Discussions are ongoing now to finalise the commercial agreement between the government and the same [Block 10] partners for Block 11.”

Block 11 is located adjacent to Block 10, which is expected to have peak production capacity of 0.5 standard cubic feet of gas per day (bscf/d).

Planned to start production in two years, the gas-rich Block 10 was awarded to Shell and its partners in December 2021.

Shell holds a 53.45% stake in Block 10 while partners Oman’s national petroleum investment company OQ and Marsa Liquefied Natural Gas own 13.36% and 33.19% interests, respectively.

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By GlobalData

Marsa Liquefied Natural Gas is a joint venture of OQ and France’s TotalEnergies.

Al Aufi added: “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.”

According to National Center for Statistics and Information, Oman’s total natural gas production and imports was 46.05 billion cubic metres (bcm) in the first 11 months of 2021.

This marks an increase compared with 42.186bcm in November 2020.