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Oman denies deal signed with Iran on joint oil field

Picture shows an Aerial view of offshore oil platform [BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP via Getty Images]
Picture shows an Aerial view of offshore oil platform [BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP via Getty Images]

The Omani Minister of Energy and Minerals, Mohammed Bin Hamad Al-Ramahi, yesterday denied Iranian media reports claiming Muscat had reached an agreement with Tehran on the distribution of shares in a joint offshore oil field.

The Omani minister added in a statement issued by the Ministry of Energy that no technical discussions or commercial negotiations had taken place related to the joint offshore oil field and denied any agreement to distribute shares between the parties.

Maximising the benefit of the gas field would only be achieved through joint development, he added.

"The joint offshore oil field (West Bukha-Hengam) is located between the maritime borders of the Sultanate of Oman and the Islamic Republic of Iran, off the Musandam Governorate from the Omani side. The part of the Iranian side is called Hengam and on the Omani side it is called West Bukha in concession area block 8. Production in the West Bukha field of the Sultanate of Oman started in 1985," the ministry explained.

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The statement indicated that there had been discussions on joint development and the division of shares between Muscat and Tehran, but they did not lead to an agreement.

Al-Ramahi confirmed that his country has agreed with Iran to develop the Hengam oil field and to follow a common path for development that would benefit both parties by reducing damage to the field.

The joint field contains huge reserves of oil and gas, estimated at 700 million barrels of oil, in addition to two trillion cubic feet of gas.

Iranian media outlets have recently reported that the Omani and Iranian sides had reached an agreement on the division of shares, according to which Iran would get an estimated 80 per cent of the field's production, while the Sultanate of Oman would receive 20 per cent.

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