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Image courtesy of BP.

BP awarded two long term drilling contracts for its Khazzan project in block 61 located in the Sultanate of Oman Wednesday.

UK-based KCA Deutag won more than $400 million in contracts for the construction and operation of five new land rigs for Khazzan. The rigs are being assembled in Nizwa to help maximize employment opportunities in Oman.

Oman’s Abraj Energy Service was awarded about $330 million in contracts to supply three drilling rigs for the full field development of the Khazzan project.

Additionally, BP awarded several contracts worth about $90 million to local Omani companies for civil works, including well pads and in-field roads construction.

BP also recently awarded contracts worth a combined $16 million to several Omani companies to supply carbon steel pipes and to manufacture, supply and install a water pipeline. The water pipeline will be manufactured in Sohar.

The Khazzan project is the first phase in the development of one of the largest unconventional tight gas plays in the Middle East.

The block covers an area of about 1,081 square miles in central Oman.

First gas is expected in 2017.

The initial production rate at the field could be as much as one billion cubic feet per day.

BP is the operator of block 61 and holds a 60 percent share. State owned Oman Oil Company for Exploration and Production holds a 40 percent share.

The Sultanate of Oman is located on the Persian Gulf in between Yemen and the United Arab Emirates.