Muscat: The volume of investment in the sector of oil and gas exploration, production and development during the first half of 2023 stood at about $5.84 billion. Capital expenditure—including geological surveys, drilling, facilities—accounted for 62 percent of total investment, while 38 percent went to operating expenses.

Dr. Saleh bin Ali Al Abbouri, Director General of Oil and Gas Exploration and Production at the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, said that, during 2023, oil companies operating in the Sultanate of Oman drilled many exploratory wells in various oil and gas concession areas.

The operations targeted different reservoirs and at varying depths, indicating that the initial results of some of the wells are “promising” and will be confirmed through long-term testing that may extend for several months or more, said Al Abbouri, noting that some wells need further study and testing, with the main objective of maintaining stable levels of production and reserves.

Untapped concession areas are open areas for investment, said Al Abbouri, noting that the Ministry launched a tour of bidding early this year (2023) for Blocks 15, 54 and 36.

The move received great interest from several local and international companies, said Al Abbouri, adding that the Ministry is currently studying the offers and that the areas will be assigned shortly.

Occidental Oman recently announced operations within “Block 65” oil field, said Al Abbouri, noting that the well is not exploratory, but rather one relating to previously discovered fields, though its initial production reaches 6,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, relatively higher in volume, compared to wells explored previously in the region. Yet, the production there is expected to decrease naturally.

The company is currently working on a water injection project to maintain the same production levels from this well and wells to be drilled in the future in the same field, Al Abbouri explained.

He affirmed that the Sultanate of Oman is currently committed to its agreement with the “OPEC+” countries to reduce its production of crude oil. Oman has announced voluntary reduction of 40,000 barrels per day of crude oil in May 2023, said Al Abbouri, adding that the country is committed to doing so until December 2024.

The oil and gas exploration and production sector constitutes a fundamental pillar of the energy sector and a major source of investments. Efforts are underway to develop and sustain this sector through new explorations to boost the national economy.

Oil companies operating in Oman keep increasing the number of exploratory wells in various oil and gas concession areas through continuous supervision, amid follow-up by the Ministry of Energy and Minerals.

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