Italian energy major ENI and the state company Oman Oil Company Exploration and Production (OOCEP) signed on January 14 an Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA) for Block 47 with the Government of Oman, ENI said.
Block 47 is located onshore in the Omani A’Dakhiliyah Governorate and covers an approximate area of 8,524 square kilometres. The Block was awarded to ENI and OOCEP following their joint bid as part of the 2017 Oman Licensing Round
Pursuant the EPSA, ENI is the Operator of the block and with a 90% participating interest and OOCEP holds the remaining 10% participating interest. Exploration operations are expected to commence in 2019.
In addition, ENI has signed with the Ministry of Oil & Gas and with BP a Head of Agreement (HoA) that sets up the principles for the acquisition of the Exploration and Production rights of Block 77 onshore, with an acreage of 3,100 square kilometres, 30 kilometres east of the BP-operated Khazzan Field.
Under the Agreement, ENI and BP hold 50% each with Eni acting as operator during the exploration phase.
ENI to expand presence Middle East presence through Bahrain
Meanwhile on January 13, ENI and the National Oil and Gas Authority of the Kingdom of Bahrain (NOGA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the aim to pursue petroleum exploration of Block 1, an offshore area of over 2,800 square kilometres still largely unexplored, located in the northern territorial waters of the Kingdom of Bahrain with water depth ranging from 10 metres up to 70 metres.
Bahrain Oil Minister and NOGA Chairman Mohamed Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa and ENI CEO Claudio Descalzi signed the agreement. “This strategic partnership with ENI is a major step towards utilizing the Kingdom’s offshore natural resources,” the minister said. “With this signing, we aim to hold various discussions to review all relevant aspects of the technical and commercial terms of the potential exploration and development within a reduced timeframe”.
For his part, Descalzi welcomed the opportunity to explore the potential of Block 1. “This MoU and the exploration in Block 1 will allow ENI to start cooperating and investing in a country that was one of the first in the Gulf to produce oil and which now aims at unveiling its offshore potential,” he said, adding that ENI is eager to expand its presence in this “key region of the Middle East.”