Omani firms are increasingly venturing into upstream oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) sector as operators, long regarded as the exclusive preserve of international players, a senior official at the Ministry of Oil&Gas informed, according to Trade Arabia.

As Zawya explained, among the recent additions to the list is Oman Oil Company Exploration & Production (OOCEP), the upstream energy arm of the wholly Omani government owned energy and strategic investment vehicle Oman Oil Company. OOCEP is currently operating two licenses – Blocks 60 and 42 – and is exploring additional investment opportunities, the Under-Secretary at the ministry, Salim bin Nasser al-Aufy, said.

Daleel Petroleum, which is producing over 50,000b/d of oil from its Block 5 license in the west of the country, has also been listed.

Sister company Petrogas E&P LLC, a holding company of MB Holding Company’s E&P interests, is the operator of the recently acquired Block 55 license.

Similarly, Intaj LLC, a local Omani firm, is playing a key E&P role in Block 56 onshore Oman.

Finally, making its debut in E&P services, Hydrocarbon Finder, a wholly Omani company has acquired the license to Block 7 in 2015.

As operators, oil-field companies require not only substantial human resources and technical wherewithal, but also need to have deep pockets to develop hydrocarbon prospects within their concessions, the ministry’s Under-Secretary noted.