(Bloomberg) -- Oman’s government is transferring its stake in one of the Middle East’s largest oil blocks to a newly-established energy firm as the cash-strapped sultanate looks to use the asset to raise debt.

State-owned Energy Development Oman will hold the country’s 60% stake in Block 6, according to a royal decree published on Sunday. The stake is being moved from another government company, Petroleum Development Oman.

Oman, which is struggling to finance a soaring budget deficit, aims to leverage its energy assets and EDO may issue around $3 billion of bonds in the first half of 2021, Bloomberg had previously reported.

Block 6, off Oman’s coast, has a production capacity of 650,000 barrels a day. Royal Dutch Shell Plc holds 34%, while Total SE owns 4%.

The government appointed Haifa Al Khaifi as head of EDO last month. She joined from PDO and is also chairwoman of the Saudi Arabian unit of State Street Corp., the Boston-based custodian and money manager.

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