Circle Oil pulls out of Oman

Exploration and production cites drilling difficulties

Block 49, which has been abandoned by Circle Oil.
Block 49, which has been abandoned by Circle Oil.

Exploration and production company Circle Oil has announced it will be abandoning its operations in Oman.

In a statement outlining the company’s financial performance, chairman, Stephen Jenkins said: “In Oman, the onshore exploration well, Shisr-1, drilled in Q1 2015 in the south-west area of Block 49, was plugged and abandoned due to drilling difficulties.

“In light of this and coupled with insufficient interest in the farm-in on Block 52 and Circle's unwillingness to sole-risk shallow water wells, the Group will be exiting Oman, relinquishing both blocks and is no longer bidding for new acreage in the country.

“As a result, the Group's investment in Oman has been written-off. I would especially like to thank our Country Manager (Hassan Al Lawati) and his staff for all their efforts throughout our tenure in Oman.”

The company was also forced to write off blocks in Tunisia, costing the company in the region of $57.4mn.

Looking forward, Jenkins said: “While we have seen a modest recovery in oil prices, the turmoil of the last year has impacted heavily on the oil and gas industry.

“Circle needs to ensure that it is lean enough to profitably explore, develop and produce hydrocarbons in a market where $60 / bbl prices may prove to be a more common occurrence.”


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