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Total eyes new blocks offshore the Sultanate

8/12/2014 by Sharon Shahzad


Energy major Total has pledged to deploy cutting-edge technology solutions to unlock the hydrocarbon potential of Block 41 offshore Oman’s northeastern coast, according to a high-ranking executive of the French oil and gas group. François Bichon, CLOV Project Director — Total E&P Angola, also voiced the energy giant’s keenness to build on its well-established association with the Sultanate’s energy sector by acquiring new offshore acreage. “Since 1937, Total has been a long-standing partner of Oman in the development of its oil and gas industry. We are now actively looking for additional blocks where we could apply our expertise and contribute to increasing the reserves and then the subsequent production in Oman,” he stated in exclusive comments to the Observer.

Bichon is due in Muscat this week to showcase Total’s ground-breaking CLOV project in Angola at the ‘Offshore Development Oman’ set to be held at Al Bustan Palace — A Ritz Carlton Hotel during December 9-10, 2014. Organised by well-known event management firm Global Exhibitions and Conferences LLC (GEC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Oil and Gas, the two-day conference will spotlight offshore opportunities in the Sultanate. Last December, the group’s local subsidiary Total Exploration and Production Oman Petroleum BV, signed an Exploration & Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA) with the Omani government for offshore Block 41. Located northwest of Muscat, the concession covers a large unexplored area of almost 24,000 square kilometres in water depths ranging from 30 to more than 3,000 metres.

According to Bichon, the company has since made headway in the acquisition of new data from the ultra-deep waters of this block. “The first steps mainly involved acquiring additional data, to complement existing data, aimed at derisking the drilling of the well. Seabed coring was carried out and shallow subsurface geological samples were collected using a weighted corer lowered from the side of a special-purpose vessel. Geochemical studies were carried out on these cores to assess the area’s potential,” he explained.

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