x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Oman signs gas deal with Occidental, Mubadala

The project partners, which include state-owned Oman Oil, will implement an intensive exploration programme.

Mubadala Development, the Abu Dhabi investment firm, is part of a consortium that has won a concession from the Omani government for gas exploration and development in central Oman. Under terms of the agreement, the consortium led by the US oil and chemicals company Occidental Petroleum will invest more than US$500 million (Dh1.83 billion) in the project located in Oman's Habiba area.

The project partners, which include state-owned Oman Oil, will implement an intensive exploration programme that comprises drilling exploration wells and developing four fields, the Oman News Agency reported, quoting Mohammed al Rumhy, the Omani oil and gas minister. The ministry was in final talks with two companies for oil and gas exploration projects and the agreements would be signed in January, Mr Rumhy said.

Mubadala has become increasingly active in international energy projects in the past year, investing in Caspian Sea oil development, international oilfield services and a UK wind-power project, among other things. While helping to provide Oman with much-needed additional gas production for domestic needs, the Habiba project could also help strengthen co-operative efforts between the UAE and its neighbour to develop regional gas supplies and infrastructure.

Last month, Abu Dhabi-based Dolphin Energy, in which Occidental and Mubadala are both partners, began supplying Qatari gas to Oman through the Middle East's first cross-border gas pipeline system. Oman had previously exported gas to the UAE. @Email:tcarlisle@thenational.ae