BP and Eni are looking to collaborate on unlocking unconventional gas reserves in Oman. The pair signed a preliminary contract this week to pursue a “major new exploration opportunity” in the sultanate. Under the terms of the heads of agreement (HoA) the two firms “will work towards the award of” an exploration and production sharing agreement (EPSA) to develop what they refer to as “Block 77.”

This block, which does not appear on any existing oil ministry map, has seemingly been drawn up in consultation with the two majors. The firms say it is 3,100 km2 and lies 30km east of BP’s 1bn cfd Khazzan tight gas field (BP 60%op, Oman Oil Company [OOC] 30%, Petronas 10%). Eni and BP will each hold 50% stakes during the exploration phase, with Eni acting as operator (see map). (CONTINUED - 804 WORDS)