The survey is being acquired by the Russian research vessel Akademik Lazarev, and is expected to take approximately two months to complete. The survey will also include the acquisition of shipborne gravity and magnetic data.
The interpretation of this new data will be instrumental in further delineating existing plays previously defined by Circle throughout the past year. These include an untested, inboard basin play of probable salt-related Infracambrian to Paleozoic-aged objectives, a sub-ophiolite play and a Tertiary-aged turbidite play.
Block 52 is located off the southwestern coast of the Sultanate of Oman and extends some 600 kilometers northeast from the Yemeni border. The Block also extends offshore approximately 150 kilometers. Circle has the exclusive right to explore for oil and gas within the block, which has an aerial extent of 90,760 square kilometers. Circle has the largest license holding of any company in Oman. In addition to Block 52, the company also has an ongoing exploration program in onshore Block 49.
TGS-Nopec has the right to market acquired data to third parties for any area of Block 52 that Circle ultimately relinquishes. However, Circle is entitled to a pre-defined share of any revenue from the sale of such data.
Commenting on progress of the survey David Hough CEO of Circle Oil said:
"The offshore Oman survey sees Circle entering the next stage of its exploration strategy in this highly prospective area. The results of our re-interpretation program have revealed at least three new target plays. The addition of the new data will firm up our understanding of this prospective Block and will put us in a position to generate leads for future drilling."
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