Block 56 (the “Block”) covers an area of 5,808 km2 in the south-eastern part of Oman some 200 km south of Blocks 3&4. Previously, 11 wells have been drilled on the Block and all but one have encountered oil or oil shows, although none have been determined to be commercial. The previous operator has successfully drilled three of these wells. Testing operations of three previously drilled wells were successfully completed in the first quarter 2020. One of the wells confirmed the presence of an active petroleum system with a crude oil quality of 20-25 degrees API and medium viscosity, although the commercial viability is yet to be determined.
Tethys Oil acquired its initial 20 percent interest in the block in the fourth quarter 2019. In October 2020, Tethys Oil, entered into an agreement with Medco Arabia Ltd whereby Tethys acquired an additional 45 percent interest in the exploration and production license covering Block 56 onshore Oman. The transaction increased Tethys’ interest in Block 56 from 20 to 65 percent and upon closing, Tethys Oil assumed operatorship of the block from Medco.
The Block lies at the intersection of different geological provinces including the prolific South Oman Salt Basin. It offers exploration potential in multiple play concepts, both proven and unproven, many of which are familiar to Tethys Oil from its current operations in the country.
Tethys Oil’s focus on Block 56 has been divided between, primarily appraisal, activities in the Al Jumd area in the north-western part of the Block and exploration activities in the central area further to the south.
In early 2022, Tethys Oil drilled the horizontal Al Jumd-2 with positive results and an initial flowrate of some 700 barrels of oil per day, confirming the company’s model of the discovery. Following the positive results, the discovery’s appraisal programme was expanded by an additional two wells, Al Jumd-3 and -4, in the third quarter 2022. In total, Al Jumd-2, -3 and -4 are targeting the structure’s north-western, north-eastern and southern areas respectively and cover a significant portion of the discovery.
In parallel with the drilling, preparations commenced for an extended well test (“EWT”) with the primary purpose to establish the resource volume and production capability of the Al Jumd discovery. The EWT is expected to start in the first quarter of 2023.
The central area of the Block is, based on legacy seismic data and results from previously drilled exploration wells, estimated to hold some 50 million barrels of unrisked resources. To further investigate the potential of the area, a seismic acquisition campaign of some 2,000 km2 was completed in the first quarter of 2022 after which processing and, later on, interpretation of the 3D data commenced. The interpretation will establish more details on the prospective volumes of the area and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2023. From the interpreted data, a detailed prospect maturation process will take place from which several drillable prospects will be established ahead of a planned exploration well in the third quarter of 2023.
The license for Block 56 is governed by an Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement signed in November 2014. Its initial three-year exploration phase was extended until December 2020. The partners have elected to enter into the second exploration phase ending in December 2023.