Oman’s Ministry of Energy this week awarded onshore Block 70 to Maha Energy, a Stockholm-listed minnow with assets in Brazil and the United States. Per the agreement, Maha has a three-year exploration period followed by an optional three-year extension. In the case of a move to commercial development, the Omani government will acquire “up to” 30% equity in the project per a 15-year production license.

The main asset in the 639 km² block is the Mafraq heavy oil field in a potentially prolific shallow play in the oil producing Ghaba salt basin in central Oman. The announcement didn’t specify work commitments, but other recent awards have entailed a commitment to shoot additional seismic and drill two wells. Oman’s Energy Ministry says the block could also contain gas-condensate plays in deeper basins in addition to the proven Mafraq reserves. (CONTINUED - 711 WORDS)