Aug 23 (Reuters)
by Saleh Al-Shaibany, editing by Daniel Fineren
India's Reliance Industries has abandoned plans to develop an offshore oil exploration block in Oman six years after signing a production sharing agreement with the government, an oil and gas ministry official said.
"Reliance has informed us that it was withdrawing from block 18 because the company said its discovery there does not justify the effort they put in the last six years," the ministry source told Reuters.
Oman and Reliance signed a deep water exploration and production sharing agreement for the concession in the Sohar Basin in June 2005.
Reliance now plans to concentrate on its other concession in Oman, Block 41, in the eastern part of the sultanate, the official added.
Oman has signed over a dozen such agreements with international companies over the last few years in a bid to boost its oil production.
The non-OPEC member produced about 860,000 barrels a day in 2010 and hopes to reach a target of 1 million bpd by 2015.