Trying its best to escalate the national production rates, the Egyptian Petroleum Ministry’s attempts to achieve this goal cannot be emphasized in reality without influencing the drilling, production as well as development plans of the petroleum companies operating in the domestic market

Despite the large quantities of gas that have been discovered, it became clear that the country needs further quantities of gas as well as crude oil in the future, which is due to the growing annual consumption levels.

From this point, the country, represented in the Ministry of Petroleum, has started prospecting its territorial waters lying north of Alexandria and in the Nile Delta, launching an exploration campaign in the Mediterranean Sea. Similarly, it has begun to implement another campaign regarding intensifying the exploration of crude oil in the Western Desert, which is considered as the promising future of the petroleum sector in Egypt.

Nothing can better describe the Ministry’s intention to increase the rate of exploration and production than the companies’ exploration and production as well as the development plans. However, another reason which proves that the curve of production is not getting down is that the Supreme Council for Energy has demanded that the Ministry of Petroleum should provide enough natural gas to supply new power stations planned to be completed within the next year. The new stations are being built as Egypt faces a huge electricity supply shortfall.

The demand means that Damietta and Al-Shabab power stations will only be offered up to investors after the Ministry of Petroleum agrees to supply them with the necessary natural gas. Hence, the Ministry of Petroleum has granted a daily 110 million cubic feet of gas to the Al-Shabab station, and 112 million cubic feet to the Damietta station.
Regarding the plans of the petroleum companies, firstly, Offshore Shukair Oil Company (OSUCO) is aiming to raise its production rate to reach 1500 barrels per day of crude oil, after the increase in the drilling plan by $2 million from the last year.

“OSUCO’s drilling plan for the year 2010-2011 is going to cost $12 million, of which $6 millions are dedicated to the new development well,” stated Eng. Moustafa Abdul Aziz, Assistant General Manager of Petroleum Engineering at the company.

Abdul Aziz also declared that OSUCO assigned $250,000 budget to recover some of the wells and change some of the wells’ course.
Egypt Oil & Gas (EOG) learned as well that the company is preparing to use the Electrical plumb for the first time through its development plan in the North Shukair field in the company’s acquisition area in the Gulf of Suez, to be fully implemented by the end of 2nd quarter of the fiscal year of 2010-2011.

As a result of the company’s drilling plan failure last year, and its success rate did not exceed 42%, Abdul Aziz pointed that OSUCO assigned $250,000 budget to recover some of the wells and change some of the wells’ course.

Elsewhere, West Bakr Petroleum Co. is targeting 5000 barrels per day by the end of the fiscal year of 2010-2011. Besides, the company reached 4200 barrels per day in the previous fiscal year. Consequently, the company offered a bid to rent a new rig for the current drilling plan in its acquisition area of Eastern Desert.

Moreover, the drilling plan of West Bakr includes the drilling of two new exploratory and development wells. The total cost of the two wells is $6 million, compared to last year’s fiscal of $3 million of drilling a well in the H16 field.

Similarly, and in order to reach its goals, EPEDECO, the foreign partner of West Bakr, bought a new workover machine to isolate the water layers from the crude oil layers in the explored wells of the company.

It targets the utilization of a new technology known as Water Shop, which will alleviate the process of extracting the crude oil. This procedure seeks to cover the shortfall that happens in the tank as a result of water production.

Somewhere else, Abu Qir Petroleum Company is preparing for recovering some of its exploratory and development wells located in its acquisition area in the Mediterranean during the current fiscal year of 2010 – 2011.

Aiming to boost its current production rate through adding more wells to these fields, Abu Qir is targeting a 400 billion cubic feet of gas from the North Delta fields.
Meanwhile, the current production rate of Abu Qir, a joint venture between the EGPC and Italian Edison, is 175 billion cubic feet of gas. It is worth mentioning that Edison signed the highest bounce signature with the Ministry that reached $1 billion and $400 million last year.

Last month, the company started the implementation of its 3rd phase of the development plan of the Mediterranean fields. It will use a new gas compressor that will help in opening new layers to boost its natural gas production.

Nevertheless, at this time, Abu Qir is awaiting the approval of the EGPC for the fiscal budget of the development plan during the current fiscal year of 2010-2011. The company will work on the wells that need immediate recovery.

Highliting the plans of Rashid Petroleum Company (Rashpetco) as example, the company began to implement its drilling plan in the deep water in the Mediterranean.
“The company’s investments are estimated by $ 3 billion. Moreover, the operations will last for another four years,” Eng. Taher Abdul Rihim, Operation Manager in Rashpetco, explained.

“This plan includes drilling 24 exploratory wells in the period of time that ends by 2014, in the company’s acquisition area in the Mediterranean,” he clarified.
In addition, he added that this plan includes drilling 24 exploratory wells in the period of time that ends by 2014, in the company’s acquisition area in the Mediterranean.

The EGPC and BG’s joint-venture company will start the development operation in the West Delta concession, in three wells (D1, D4, and D5) in the Deep Water (WDDM), which were discovered during this year.
The development process of the three wells started in June and to end by this year, with investments reached up to $ 120 million.

“We will also drill eight new wells in the Deep Water in the West Delta,” Abdul Rihim said commenting on Rashid’s plan to raise the company’s production from the Mediterranean. In addition, the company is aiming to keep its production rate steady from its acquisition area in West Delta, which is currently 2000 million cubic feet of gas per day.

On the other hand, GEMSA Petroleum Company (GEMPETCO) is aiming to boost its production rate of crude oil, which is now 2200 barrels of oil per day.
Recently, the company studied the rock structure in the Gemsa field in its acquisition area in Gulf of Suez, aiming to open more layers in the producing wells near the end of the first quarter of the current fiscal year of 2010-2011.

The total investment of this operation is $300 thousand. Both company’s fields, Gemsa and El Zafrana, are classified as the top crude oil producing fields of the company. The Gemsa field produces 2400 barrels per day.

Gempetco’s drilling plan included drilling three new wells, two of which will be exploratory and the third is for development, in El Nokhl with investments estimated by $25 million after conducting the needed 3D seismic studies.

“The investments of the exploratory wells are expected to reach $13 million of the total financial drilling plan for the current year,” said Eng. Ezz Eldin Mohamed, Gempetco CEO.
“This year’s financial plan is estimated at $29.5 million, which has been effective since last June and ceased by the end of next fiscal year,” Mohamed said.

Furthermore, North Sinai Petroleum Company (NOSPCO) is preparing to open new layers in the producing fields in the company’s acquisition areas. The move is considered as a step to increase the amount of natural gas produced from the Tao field to reach 60 billion cubic feet per year near the end of 2011.

As soon as the excavations process ends, the company will initiate a bid round to rent a new rig during the coming year of 2011 after completing the needed 3D seismic studies, which will resolve the number of new expletory wells in the field of City Blue in the company’s acquisition area in the Mediterranean Sea.
The whole operations serve NOSPCO main goal of improving its rates of natural gas production and reserves from the Mediterranean.

EOG learned that the company started to apply a new technical study on Tao, located in its concession area in North Sinai, to keep the current production rate at a steady point after finalizing the procedures of installing the new Gas Compressor with a capacity of 200 million cubic feet per day. The current production rates reached 180 million cubic feet per day.

Regarding the same context, the South Dabaa Petroleum Company (DAPETCO) is nearly to finish its drilling plan for the year 2009-2010, as the company is drilling an exploratory well “Zoom SD3” in Al-Qattara Depression in its acquisition area in the Western Desert.

“We are nearly reaching the final goals in our drilling plan of 2009-2010 with the new well in Al Qattara Depression, as we try to keep our daily production of oil steady at 11,000pbd from the Western Desert,” Eng. Omar Yassir Mahmoud, Head of Operations and Member of the board at DAPETCO.

Likewise, PetroShahd Company submitted its production plan of crude oil for the fiscal year 2010-2011, in its acquisition area in the Western Desert. It also aims to boost its crude oil output of 6000 barrels. PetroShahd’s production depends on El Zahraa field, Shahd South-East field, and Diaa field. El Zahraa field produces 3200 barrel, Shahd produces 2500 barrel per day, in addition to Diaa field which produces 500 barrels per day.

The company output of crude oil in the Western Desert reached 5298 barrels per day of oil, compared to the last year of 3500 barrel per day.
To another company, Petrogulf Misr announced that it is using a special technological study to determine the exact composition of rock fragments in its acquisition area in Gebel El Zeit concession. This study would help the company resolves the quantities of the crude oil in the producing layers in order to boost the production during the 3rd quarter of the fiscal year of 2010-2011.

EOG learned that this study would cost $350 thousand, as the company aims to increase the current production that stands at 6000 barrels of oil per day. However, Petrogulf is awaiting the EGPC formal approval on the drilling plan for the year 2010-2011. The company is planning to drill an exploratory well in its acquisition area in Gebel El Zeit with investments of $9 million.
The company is in the process of conducting maintenance over the three development wells of C-1, 5, 8. The total cost of the development plan is $1.4 million.
Petrogulf conducted as well some development work in the same area last year with a cost of $2.6 million.

Following the authorization of the EGPC, Petrogulf will be looking into renting a new rig, after carrying out the necessary seismic studies.

By: Ahmed Morsy

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