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Mol signs exploration agreement for Oman Gas, condensate field

Mol Rt., Hungary's largest energy company, said it signed an exploration and production sharing agreement for a natural-gas and condensate field in Oman, to expand in the Middle East. Budapest-based Mol signed the agreement for Block 43 in northeast Oman, which has gas and condensate reservoirs at depths between 2,000 and 4,000 meters, the company said in a statement published on the Budapest Stock Exchange today. Mol has a budget of between $8 million and $10 million for a two-year exploration program and may spend an additional $14 million to $16 million should it drill an optional exploratory well, the Hungarian company said. Mol is shifting its focus to crude oil and gas production after spending more than $1 billion in five years buying filling stations and refineries in eastern Europe. The company earned 81 billion forint ($363.4 million) from the sale of its gas storage and wholesale units to E.ON AG in March, which Mol said would be spent. “This new concession underlines our commitment to the Middle East, which is one of our core strategic growth regions,'' Zoltán Áldott, the head of Mol's exploration and production division, said in the statement. “We regard Oman as a bridgehead for further expansion in this region.'' Infrastructure at Block 43 is well developed, Mol said, and it's located near a main pipeline and two refineries. A pipeline crossing the block may help transport gas to a processing plant. Mol shares were unchanged at 21,200 forint at 9:15 a.m. in Budapest. They gained 6.27% so far this year.