Muscat: The tendering process to explore for oil and gas resources in Ras Al Khaimah has received positive interest on a global scale.
This is on the back of proven hydrocarbon reserves in place, diverse exploration plays, easily accessible existing infrastructure, attractive production sharing terms and commercialisation plans, plus a team of international experts already working on the ground in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK).
Launched on April 1, 2018, to attract regional and international companies aiming to expand their portfolios in the UAE, the 2018 RAK licencing round is proving to be popular, with many firms taking advantage of the data rooms being facilitated by RAK’s national oil company, RAK Gas.
The newly established RAK Petroleum Authority is managing the licencing round in accordance with the directives of Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.
“The licencing round has successfully generated an encouraging and positive response from many international companies eager to explore Ras Al Khaimah’s oil and gas potential,” said Nishant Dighe, Chief Executive of the RAK Petroleum Authority, who is also CEO of RAK Gas.
The licencing process covers seven contract areas that span almost the entire emirate of Ras Al Khaimah—these include four shallow water offshore blocks and three onshore blocks. The process remains open to interested parties until later this year; meaning companies are still able to register their interest in entering this attractive and stable territory.
Surrounded by very large producing oil and gas fields, Ras Al Khaimah has multiple working petroleum systems. Exploration opportunities are present from the Jurassic to the Tertiary, and in both structural and stratigraphic traps settings. However, it still remains an underexplored province.
The 2,200sq km of new 3D seismic acquired in 2018 will be a game changer in creating regional understanding and unlocking Ras Al Khaimah's exploration potential.
This cutting-edge broadband 3D seismic will also greatly reduce exploration time. Data rooms have been set up in RAK and London and are available to view by reservation, with plenty of companies already reviewing the expansive array of data.
Firms can also leverage existing petroleum infrastructure including pipelines and processing facilities, as well as ease of access to international and local markets.
Petroleum rights will be governed by a new exploration and production sharing agreement.
Dighe added: “In addition to the wealth of seismic data available from the surveys already undertaken, the unique geology of RAK, a result of the Hajar Mountains uplift, and existing oil and gas fields in close proximity, means the seven blocks available for exploration have great potential for untapped hydrocarbons."
“Add to this a modern, investor-friendly business environment in one of the region’s most stable countries and an attractive Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement, Ras Al Khaimah represents an interesting and inviting opportunity for oil and gas companies,” he added.