Oman’s Ministry of Oil and Gas this week opened bidding on six new concession areas, five of which lie in the country’s south. The tender will remain open until 30 May, and if previous licensing rounds offer any indication, any exploration and production agreements will be finalized in around a year.

Muscat is looking to capitalize on the interest foreign firms have recently showed in its upstream prospects. Last year’s bid round saw the likes of Occidental (Oxy) expand its portfolio in the sultanate (MEES, 9 November 2018) whilst the 2017 bid round brought Italy’s Eni and Qatar Petroleum into the fold (MEES, 15 September 2017). Oman’s Oil Minister Muhammad al-Rumhy told MEES last year that bringing bigger, more prestigious firms onboard is a top ministry priority (MEES, 7 September 2018). (CONTINUED - 601 WORDS)