Oman’s Ministry of Oil and Gas will allow international oil companies (IOCs) to invest and develop the ultra-heavy oilfield at Habhab using their technological and financial abilities, Oman Observer reported.

Habhab, part of Petroleum Development Oman’s (PDO) Block 6 concession, contains heavy and viscous oil accumulation, which  will be offered up to the IOCs with the means to produce and refine the reservoir’s almost bitumen-like hydrocarbon.

“We will be open to companies that have the technical might and the investment, firstly to study the reservoir and then to put together a proposal to unlock its heavy oil,” Salman Al Shidi, Director General of Management of Petroleum Investments at the ministry, said.

Habhab was discovered in 1982 and has 2.4 billion barrels in estimated reserves.