Oil Majors Eyeing Offshore Yemen Blocks



DUBAI, Jan 8, 2008 (Dow Jones Newswires)

ExxonMobil Corp. (XOM) and Total S.A. (TOT) are among 25 companies that have qualified to participate in Yemen's first offshore bid round covering blocks spanning the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden areas, the country's oil ministry said Tuesday.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY) and Gaz de France (1020848.FR) are also among the companies prequalified to bid for the 11 offshore blocks later in the year, the oil ministry said in an emailed statement.

Other companies in the race for the blocks include Repsol YPF S.A. (REP), StatoilHydro ASA (STO) and Hungarian oil and gas company MOL NYRT (MOL.BU), the ministry said.

The offshore concessions are set to be awarded on July 30, according to the ministry.

Yemen, one of the Middle East's poorest countries in terms of per capita income and located in the southwest of the Arabian Peninsula on the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea, has seen oil production fall in recent years as existing fields mature and few new ones have been brought on stream.

In the past six years, the country has been battling a decline in crude oil production, which has seen output fall 16% from a record high of 438,501 barrels a day in 2001 to 365,722 million barrels a day last year.

In the first half of 2007, production dropped further to 328,019 barrels a day, according to oil ministry data.

Yemen hopes that with international oil firms' expertise it will be able to recover some of the country's more difficult reserves, especially those in deep offshore waters.

DUBAI, Jan 8, 2008 (Dow Jones Newswires)


RELATED COMPANIES
Company: Exxon Mobil Corporation more info
Operates 16 Offshore Rigs
 - Exxon, Petrobras Form Alliance To Develop Oil, Gas Projects (Dec 14)
 - ExxonMobil to Lead Construction, Ops of Mozambique LNG Facilities (Dec 13)
 - ExxonMobil Jumping in to Mexico Fuel Market With First US Cargo (Dec 06)
Company: Total S.A. more info
 - Total Starts Up Antwerp Refinery And Petrochem Complex After Upgrade (Nov 30)
 - Hoegh LNG: Pakistan LNG Import Project Consortium Folds (Nov 16)
 - France's Total Buys Engie's LNG Business For $1.5B (Nov 08)
Company: MOL Hungarian Oil & Gas more info
 - MOL Group Acquires New Licenses in Hungary (Feb 07)
 - MOL Makes Oil, Gas Discoveries in Pakistan (Jul 13)
 - MOL Finds Condensate, Gas at Makori East-05 Well in Pakistan's TAL Block (Jul 12)
Company: Repsol more info
 - Exxon Mobil Bets on Brazil, Buys 10 Oil Blocks in Auction (Sep 28)
 - Repsol Says Drilling Suspended On Vietnam Oil Block Disputed By China (Aug 02)
 - China Urges Halt To Oil Drilling In Disputed South China Sea (Jul 25)
Company: Occidental Petroleum more info
Operates 1 Offshore Rigs
 - Buying Texas Oil at New Mexico Prices: Majors Go West for Shale (Nov 14)
 - Occidental 3Q Profit Beats Forecasts On Rising Oil Prices (Nov 01)
 - HOW COOL IS THAT! Young West Texas Plant Manager (Oct 24)
Company: Gaz de France more info
 - Grenland Group Delivers Gjoa Subsea Structures (Sep 01)
 - Plexus to Supply Wellhead Systems for Mediterranean E&P Activities (Jul 20)
 - ELNG Completes First Ever Health & Safety Partnership Program with GE O&G (Jul 15)
Company: StatoilHydro more info
Operates 34 Offshore Rigs
 - Samsung Heavy Industries Lands Statoil FSU Construction Contract (Sep 14)
 - First Movers in Eco-Drilling: Going 'Dope'-less (Apr 25)
 - StatoilHydro Delays Hammerfest LNG Start Up (Nov 23)