BP and Eni are looking to collaborate on unlocking unconventional gas reserves in Oman. The pair signed a preliminary contract this week to pursue a “major new exploration opportunity” in the sultanate. Under the terms of the heads of agreement (HoA) the two firms “will work towards the award of” an exploration and production sharing agreement (EPSA) to develop what they refer to as “Block 77.”

This block, which does not appear on any existing oil...