By royal decree, Oman this week established a new state firm Energy Development Oman (EDO) which is set to acquire the Omani government’s 60% share in Petroleum Development Oman (PDO; Oman 60%, Shell 34%, Total $%, PTT-owned Partex 2%) in a bid to boost financing for the cash-strapped sultanate. Setting up EDO as a holding company for PDO essentially enables Muscat to tap international debt markets through the new company, with around $3bn in bonds planned next year (MEES, 13 November).

PDO’s balance sheet certainly inspires more confidence than the Omani government’s. With around 650,000 b/d oil production capacity at the massive Block 6, the state-led firm is the key player in Omani upstream and has managed to add several major projects in recent years. (CONTINUED - 151 WORDS)