Oman has signed agreements with Shell and Total to develop its natural gas fields, The National reported.

The companies signed separate memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with Oman to develop several onshore gas deposits in Block 6, located in the Greater Barik area. Shell and Total own respective 75% and 25% stakes in the block.

The project aims to produce an initial 500 million standard cubic feet per day (cf/d) with a potential production of 1 billion cf/d “at a later stage”.

Neither of the companies provided a timeline for the project’s completion or an estimated cost.

The MoU signed between Oman and Shell will see the Anglo-Dutch company operate a gas-to-liquids project with the state-owned Oman Oil Company.

Shell already holds a 34% stake in Petroleum Development Oman and a 30% stake in Oman LNG.

“We are hopeful we can use Shell’s integrated gas and new energies investment to accelerate Oman’s diversification and industrialization agenda,” said Maarten Wetselaar, Shell’s director of integrated gas and new energies.

“The proposals could also enhance in-country value, resulting in value and job creation in Oman’s economy.”

Under the terms of Total’s MoU, the French company will also develop a liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering facility in the port of Sohar to supply LNG to marine vessels. In addition, it will

Total’s current interests in Oman include a 5.54% stake in Oman LNG and 2.04% holding in Qalhat LNG.

“We will bring our expertise in LNG and will introduce access to a new gas market for the Sultanate,” Total’s president of exploration and production, Arnaud Breuillac, said.

Oman is looking to develop its energy sector to combat its dwindling income from hydrocarbons. BP and OOC recently approved the second stage of the onshore Khazzan gas project, which will begin production in 2021 and increase overall output at the site by 50% to 1.5 billion cf/d.