Indian Oil Enters Oman

Shell’s departure from Oman’s 120,000 b/d Mukhaizna heavy oil field has facilitated India’s efforts to boost its Middle East upstream presence. The Anglo-Dutch firm announced on 5 April the sale of its 17% stake in the field to Indian state firm Indian Oil Corporation (Indian Oil) for $329mn. Backdated to 1 January 2017, the transaction marks Indian Oil’s second splash in the region in less than two months after a consortium including Indian state firms ONGC Videsh and Bharat PetroResources paid a $600mn signing bonus for 10% in Abu Dhabi’s 360,000 b/d Lower Zakum concession in earlier this year ( MEES, 16 February ).

The deal sees Shell exit the heavy oil field, leaving it with just one remaining upstream asset in Oman—its stake in state-led Petroleum Development Oman (Oman 60%, Shell 34%, Total 4%, Partex 2%), which remains its largest Mena asset. It also has a 30% stake in Oman LNG and a 11% interest in Qalhat LNG and signed a heads of agreement last year with Oman Oil Company (OOC) to operate Block 42, although the deal is pending final approval. (CONTINUED - 387 WORDS)