ABU DHABI ø China and Oman have signed an energy accord for
exploration and development of the southern part of the sultanate.
The agreement signed by the government in Muscat and China's Sinopec
called for the state-owned corporation to explore for crude oil and natural
gas in Blocks 36 and 38 -- comprising a combined area of 36,000 square
kilometers -- in southern Oman. Sinopec was expected to conduct geological
assessments and drill a well by 2007.
Officials said Sinopec would spend $22 million on energy exploration.
contract contained an option for Sinopec to invest an additional $29 million
extension of the exploration period.
Muscat would not bear any investment risk during the exploration,
officials said. Two wells have already been drilled in the areas of Block 36
and 38. China, with three companies operating in the sultanate, was expected
to invest a total of $600 million in energy exploration in Oman.