Sharjah: The Sharjah National Oil Corporation (SNOC) has finalised a deal to acquire a 30 per cent participation stake in Block 7, Ras Al Khaimah, from Italian energy company Eni, covering an area of 430sqkm. Block 7 has seen notable activity in oil and gas exploration, including the ongoing drilling of an exploration well named Fennec-01.

Following the deal, Eni, as the operator, will hold 60 per cent of the exploration rights in Block 7, while SNOC will hold 30 per cent, and RAK Gas will hold 10 per cent.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Vice President of Petroleum Council said: “This agreement with our partner Eni extends the existing collaboration between the two Emirates of Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah. We look forward to the drilling results and to delivering further progress and growth in due course.”

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saud Al Qasimi, Chairman of the RAK Petroleum Authority, said: “The joint cooperation between Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Eni contributes to supporting and stimulating the growth of the energy sector through strategic partnerships, strengthening further growth in the region.”

The partnership reinforces the existing cooperation between SNOC and Eni, which has continued to operate in Sharjah for the past five years until the discovery of the Mahani natural gas and condensate field and the identification of several new exploration opportunities.

The deal is also a natural development given the close relationship with Eni and RAK Gas, and the cooperation between Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah in developing the UAE's energy infrastructure.

Hatem Al Mosa, CEO of SNOC, said: "SNOC is partnering with Eni and RAK Gas to explore Block 7, in addition to being SNOC's first investment outside the emirate of Sharjah. The deal will also help reinforce the mutual relationship between the emirates of Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah.

Chris Wood, CEO of RAK Gas, said: "The synergy between SNOC, Eni and RAK Gas in Block 7 represents a shared belief in the potential of Ras Al Khaimah's natural gas resources.