Italy’s giant Eni and Oman Oil Company Exploration and Production (OOCEP) won an Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA) for block 47 in Oman, Pipeline Oil and Gas Magazine reported.

The exploration phase is expected to begin in 2019. Eni will be the block’s operator, holding 90% interests of the block, while OOCEP will own the remaining 10%.

The block was awarded to Eni and OOCEP after they had taken part in the 2017 Oman Licensing Round.

Oman’s Block 47 is located onshore in the Omani A’Dakhiliyah Governorate and it covers an area of around 8,524 km2.

Signing the Block 47 deal represents a major step in Eni’s strategy, which aims to reinforce its presence in Oman and strengthen the collaboration with OOCEP.