Frontier sign oil exploration deal in Oman

oil-omanBlock 38 is located in the Dhofar region of southwest Oman. (Image source: Helen Wilkinson/Wikimedia Commons)Frontier Resources (Oman) Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Frontier Resources International Plc, has signed an exploration and production sharing agreement (EPSA) with the government of Oman for a 100 per cent interest in Block 38

The EPSA is a six-year agreement comprising of two three-year phases. The block, also known as the Mudayy Block, covers an area of 17,425 sq km and is located in the Dhofar region of southwest Oman, south of the Rub Al Khali Basin.

Only three wells have been drilled in Block 38, where recent findings based on the evaluation of vintage seismic suggest that the block contains an untested salt basin potentially analogous to the other proven salt basins of Oman.

Carbonate stringers embedded in Ara Group salts at depths of between 3,000 and 5,000 metres and areas in Haima Play, which showed minor oil during drilling, are indicative of oil presence in the region. The deeper Buah Formation has proven to be gas productive elsewhere in Oman.

Frontier will conduct geophysical and geological studies during the first phase of the agreement to determine the range of drilling opportunities. The firm would then design a 3D seismic survey the results of which will lead to the drilling of a well if suitable.

New technology, such as airborne FTG (Full Tensor Gravity), will significantly reduce the exploration risk by demonstrating the presence of halite (salt rock) in the Ghudun Basin, which is an indicator for Huqf source rock presence there. The FTG survey results will also help to focus subsequent exploration efforts on priority areas, reducing the cost of the 3D seismic survey by reducing the area of oil investigation.

Jack Keyes, CEO of Frontier, said, “The competent person's report (CPR) gives Block 38 an estimated original oil in place (OOIP) of 10,865 million barrels of oil equivalent and we believe that Block 38 contains an untested salt basin analogous to the other proven salt basin of Oman, which we are looking forward to exploring this very interesting area next year”.

According to the firm, the estimated oil and liquids prospective resources for Block 38 at lowest is 23 million of barrels (mmbbls) whereas at the figure at best is 140 mmbbls. The gross high estimate amounts to 372 mmbbls.

The total oil initially in place (OIIP) for the Block is 10,865 mmbbls.

The total investment will amount to nearly US$21mn and it includes data acquisition, 3D seismic survey over an area of 500 sq km and testing of drills.

The Block 38 Permit will help develop an onshore oil and gas production, according to Frontier.

"There is, however, insufficient data to estimate a net present value for Block 38," the firm stated.

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