Oman announced on December 6th that it aims to sign production-sharing agreements with foreign oil companies in 2001 worth $1 billion in the hopes of jumpstarting new crude exploration.
The country currently produces nearly 900,000 b/d, but will need to enlist greater foreign involvement to meet its output goal of 1 million b/d by 2004.
An Omani oil official said that: “The oil ministry has estimated about $1 billion will be needed to develop new fields next year to replace old ones.”
The official indicated that the ministry has targeted fields for exploration in the coming year in order to increase production and will seek foreign participation in these developments.
The non-OPEC producer spent $198 million in 2000 on new oil fields, yielding 62,000 b/d from three of them.
Production-sharing deals will allow Oman to share the costs of drilling deep wells and utilizing new technologies, including subsurface imaging and multilateral drilling.
Oman may also re-explore existing fields and re-evaluate production levels on already-producing wells to maximize output.
Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), which produced an average of 890,000 b/d over the first nine months of 2000, is 60 percent owned by the Omani government, with Royal Dutch/Shell holding 34 percent TotalFinaElf owning 4 percent and Partex having a 2 percent stake.