Muscat: Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has awarded a contract to Petrogas Rima (Petrogas) to develop a cluster of 18 small oil fields in the Rima area of south Oman, according to a company statement.

Oman Oil Company (OOC) will also participate in the service contract as a partner with Petrogas. The contract was awarded on the basis of a highly competitive open tender in which more than 200 companies from both Oman and abroad participated.

The 15-year service contract is aimed at raising the production levels of these fields, which contain more than 500 million barrels of oil and produce about 2,000 barrels of oil per day.

The contract allows PDO to dedicate its resources to the development of its larger fields and execute its complex enhanced-oil recovery projects.

The contractual objective as well as the tendering strategy had the full support of PDO's shareholders.

John Malcolm, PDO's managing director cited the Rima small-fields service contract as "another good example of how, with the support of the government and private shareholders, we have radically transformed our working relationship with contractors".

He explained how the contract would give the service provider "a high degree of autonomy, coupled with clearly defined financial incentives, so as to improve the delivery of oil from fields that are too small and too remote to merit PDO's undivided attention."

'Excellent results'

Mohammad Al Barwani, chairman of MB Holding Company, the parent company of Petrogas, said, "The contract demonstrates that a 100 per cent Omani-owned company has become a mature operator. I am sure PDO and Petrogas, together with the Oman Oil Company, will work in partnership to deliver excellent results."

As part of the agreement, Petrogas Rima signed a joint operating agreement with OOC taking 25 per cent participation interest in the service contract.