US firm Occidental (Oxy) has spudded the first exploration well at its Onshore Block 3 asset in Abu Dhabi, state-firm Adnoc confirms. Oxy had previously told MEES that drilling was set to begin at the end of 2019, so the project appears to be on track (MEES, 15 November 2019). The US firm is confident that its understanding of the regional geology, having a swathe of acreage to the east in Oman, will aid its campaign.

Adnoc praised Oxy's “rapid progress... since winning this concession in the first quarter of 2019" which "underpins the momentum behind our block bid approach and demonstrates how our international partners are accelerating the exploration and development of Abu Dhabi’s vast untapped hydrocarbon resources.” Awards for Adnoc’s second licensing round are slated to be made in 1Q 2020. (CONTINUED - 129 WORDS)