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Oman Business News

Tethys Oil gearing up for Block 49 exploration

Tethys Oil, one of the largest concession-holders in the Sultanate’s upstream sector by acreage, says it is preparing to intensify exploration activities targeting its wholly-owned and operated onshore Block 49 in the southwest of Oman.

Block 49 also known as the Montasar block covers a 15,439 sq kilometre area in the far west of Dhofar Governorate. Under-explored, yet promising, the licence is home to Dauka-1 the first well drilled in Oman in 1955.

“Prospect maturation on Block 49 will get seriously under way (in 2019)” said Magnus Nordin, Managing Director Tethys Oil. “We have reprocessed some 1,500 km of vintage 2D seismic data, and a number of seismic anomalies were identified. This could be possible primarily stratigraphic oil traps. After integration of all available data in Tethys Oil’s geological model, the presence of source rock as well as potential reservoir rocks have also been confirmed. Processing of the seismic data acquired late in 2018 is ongoing and the data will be ready for interpretation and mapping during 2019” Nordin stated in the company’s newly published Annual Report for 2018.

The Swedish-based international oil and gas company acquired Block 49 in an Exploration & Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA) signed with the Omani government in late 2017. It was Tethys Oil’s first 100 per cent owned and operated licence in the Sultanate, having long had a presence in Oman through its 30 per cent interests in Block 3&4 in the north of the country.

According to the company, more than 11,000 km of 2D seismic data acquired by previous operators has been made available to Tethys Oil. Nine wells have been drilled by previous operators within the block boundaries, several of which are reported to have encountered oil shows.

Speaking to the Observer during his recent visit to the Sultanate, Nordin said the company’s local subsidiary, Tethys Oil Montasar Ltd, has its sights on drilling its first exploration well in Block 49 later this year.

“We completed the first seismic campaign in December (2018) / January (2019), and we are currently waiting for the reprocessed data to be interpreted. Over the next six months or so, we will be spending most of our time interpreting the seismic data, and hopefully we will find enough interesting things that we can be looking into drilling a well later this year. We are working on a comprehensive geological model of what we think is happening and the more data we get the better the model.”

Under the EPSA signed with the Ministry of Oil & Gas, Tethys Oil has committed to geological studies, seismic acquisition and processing, and exploratory drilling during the initial three-year exploration phase of the pact (extendable by a further three years). Upon the discovery of a proven commercial find, the company is entitled to a further 15-year extension while the government can exercise a back-in right to acquire 30 per cent of the equity against refunding of pro rata past expenditure.
  • Tethys Oil
  • Upstream Sector
  • Block 49
  • Oman
  • Onshore Block
  • Montasar Block
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