Oman, the largest oil producer in the Middle East region that is not a member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is looking to set up deals with international oil supermajors like Shell, Total and Eni for hydrocarbon exploration before the end of the year, in a bid to raise production in the sultanate, according to The National.
Oman’s Oil Minister Mohammed Al Rumhy told the daily that the contracts would combine bilateral tie-ups, alongside awards offered last year in a licensing round.
Al Rumhy also stated the country would look to forge collaborations with Chinese and Indian energy players to increase domestic output.
Oman has a Brent crude breakeven price of $76.3 a barrel according to data compiled by the International Monetary Fund, one of the highest in the region, while its production costs are high due to the unconventional nature of some of its reserves.
Recently, supermajor Royal Dutch Shell sold its stake in the Mukhaizna oilfield to the Indian Oil Corporation, as several international firms have reduced their presence in the sultanate. However, Shell holds a 34% stake in the country’s main oil and gas firm, Petroleum Development Oman.
The Mukhaizna field is estimated to generate around 13% of the country’s output which hovers around 950,000 barrels per day.