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Tethys accelerates Oman programme

Exploration & Production

The development and exploration program on Blocks 3 and 4 onshore the Sultanate of Oman accelerated after a second drilling rig has been contracted.

The first well being drilled by this rig is the Farha South-6 well ("FS-6") on Block 3. The new rig, a 750 horsepower Deutag T-55, is operated by UK drilling contractor KCA Deutag Drilling Company. The new rig will be used alongside the Abraj 204 rig already in use on the Blocks, and currently drilling the SE-7 exploration well on Block 4.

"We are very pleased that the work program of Blocks 3 and 4 of Oman is been accelerated, underpinning both the extent of Blocks 3 and 4 areas which remain un-explored to-date as well as remaining geological uncertainties before a fully-fledged development plan is put in place. Two rigs will allow a speedier drilling schedule for 2011," said Magnus Nordin, Managing Director of Tethys Oil AB.

FS-6 is drilled as a vertical well, designed to target the lower Barik formation. The drill site is located 140 meters southeast of well FS-4 and 750 meters south-southwest of well FS-3.

Tethys has a 30 per cent interest in Blocks 3 and 4. Partners are Mitsui E&P Middle East B.V. with 20 per cent and the operator CC Energy Development S.A.L. (Oman branch) holding the remaining 50 per cent.

Shell to start drilling at Majnoon Shell along with its partners, Malaysia's Petronas and the Iraqi state Missan Oil Co., will start drilling the first new well in the super-giant Majnoon oil field in July, a company executive said recently.

"Shell is targeting July 2011 to spud the first well," Ole Myklestad, managing director of Shell in Iraq told reporters in Basra.

Between 15 and 20 wells will be drilled in Majnoon oil field in southern Iraq and some 27 others will be refurbished to bring output to 175,000 barrels a day by the end of next year from the current 60,000 barrels a day, Myklestad said.

The new wells and the refurbish work is part of an early production plan. The well drilling is part of a contract Shell and its partners signed with U.S. service giant Halliburton and the state-run Iraqi Drilling Co. last year.

The executive also said that Shell has opened a new office in Basra to manage its projects in Iraq. The office is to make sure that "we have the human resources and all the supports required by an international company in Basra."

Myklestad said that there are some 300 Iraqis working on the Majnoon project and they are from the state-run South Oil Co. Some 50 Shell expatriate personnel are also working on the project, he said.

Shell and Petronas won the right to develop Majnoon oil field, located in Basra governorate in southern Iraq, at an auction held in Baghdad December 2009. Shells owns 45 per cent of the venture and Petronas 30 per cent, with Iraq's Missan Oil Co. the remaining 25 per cent.

Shell also will start constructing a 75 kilometer pipeline to connect Majnoon with the crude oil depots in Faw, as a stop before shipping the crude into vessels in the Gulf.

Myklestad said that Shell and its partner would provide the finance for building the pipeline.

The Anglo-Dutch giant is also planning to commence a seismic survey but after clearing mines left from the 1980-88 Iraq-Iran war.

"We want to get results of a seismic survey in the next two years," he said.