Oman secured a notable new player in its upstream sector this week, with US firm EOG Resources signing an Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA) for Block 36. EOG joins Canada’s Apex, which has been the sole player at the block since Norway’s DNO exited in 2017 after drilling a duster in 2016 (MEES, 16 March 2018).

Located in Oman’s far south-west in the Empty Quarter against the Saudi border, Block 36 is well away from Oman’s producing acreage. However, EOG Chairman and CEO William Thomas said “we are pleased with the opportunity to evaluate this oil-rich basin for potential horizontal development.” With conventional exploration having failed to discover commercial reserves at Block 36, Oman is hoping that bringing in one of the leading US unconventional players will enable it to unlock additional reserves. EOG is overwhelmingly a US player and its entry into the Middle East bucks the trend of such firms, raising the prospect that it has seen something it likes in the geology. (CONTINUED - 193 WORDS)