“New investment will come from many diverse sources, which underline the wisdom of the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum to seek out and strengthen relations with other neighboring countries in the region,” Ian Barden, Vegas Country Manager, said describing the strategy of the Ministry of Petroleum which aims to strengthen relations with foreign and neighboring countries to lure more investments

Vegas Oil & Gas S.A. is one of the largest E&P companies operating in Egypt. It was established in 2003 and is proud to hold the record of bringing oil to production in less than one and a half year after its creation.

It is a company committed to achieving both financial excellence and technological innovation through the pursuit of strategically defined operational goals and with a view to sustainable development.

The Greek company participates in three concessions in Egypt and has successfully introduced a new exploration concept applied in the Eastern Desert.

Being one of the Egyptian market players, what are the major achievements of Vegas?
Vegas Oil & Gas has established itself as a successful player in both the exploration and production aspects of the industry. The company has made both oil and gas discoveries and converted these into commercially successful production projects. We currently have two Joint Venture companies operating our production licenses as well as a partnership with Shell in the Alam El Shawish gas development.

We have production and exploration operations in the North West Gemsa in the Eastern Desert and Alamein XXX concessions with on-going exploration operations in East Ghazalat in the Western Desert.

Following a period of consolidation as a company we are now looking to expand our portfolio into new ventures within Egypt.

Give us the details of each concession which Vegas operates in?
Firstly, North West Gemsa area of 600 Km2 was assigned to Vegas as operator (100%) in 2003 after a bid round. Vegas Oil & Gas is the operator with 50% participating interest. Oil production begun in February 2009 and only a year later reached a level of 9,200 BOPD from 6 wells. A Joint Venture Company with EGPC is currently under formation to take over the production activities in North West Gemsa. 

As for Alam El Shawish West area of 1,025 Km2, it was awarded to Vegas  as operator (100%) at a bid round in 2005. Vegas currently has a 35% participating interest. Moreover, East Ghazalat area of 858 Km2 was awarded to Vegas  as operator (100%) at a bid round in 2007. Vegas is the operator with 50% participating interest. The company has already drilled a series of exploration wells and made two discoveries.

What is the production rate of Vegas in Egypt?
We are currently producing an average of 14,000 boepd.

Do you consider any expansions in Egypt or the MENA region in the near future?
Yes, the company is both flexible and very dynamic. Therefore, we are always considering opportunities to improve our business presence in Egypt.

Do you intend to apply for any new bid-rounds in the current year?
These opportunities are currently under review but not yet concluded.

What is the story behind changing the name of Petro Alam Company to be Petro Amir?
Petro Alam was the joint venture operating company of the Alam El Shawish concession, when Vegas was the operator. A clear commercial synergy existed between Shell and Vegas, which significantly advanced first production combined with lower capital investment because of the existing gas processing facilities. When this operatorship transferred to Shell, the Vegas team was transferred to our newly formed joint venture company, Petro Alam, to operate the North West Gemsa development.

What are the challenges facing Vegas in its operations in Egypt?
Our major challenges revolve around the efficacy of achieving the safety, environmental and business excellence for which we strive and which form the operating tenets of our company.

What do you expect for the Egyptian petroleum market in the near future?
From discussions I have had with companies, both within Egypt and overseas, it is clear that the petroleum market here will thrive in the near future. Several new companies expressed an interest in coming to the Egyptian market and, in particular, aligning with Vegas.

How do you evaluate the strategy of the Ministry of Petroleum which aims to strengthen relations with foreign countries to lure more investments?
The future of a thriving industry relies upon continual investment programs in order to deliver commercial projects. New investment will come from many diverse sources, which underline the wisdom of the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum to seek out and strengthen relations with other neighboring countries in the region. By doing so, new alliances may be formed with the potential to release funding and investment for future projects.

What is Vegas plan for 2011?
In 2011, we plan to evaluate the commercial merits of our 2010 exploration successes and combine this with a program of further expansion into new assets.

In the occasion of the 3rth National Petroleum Day, what do you like to say?
On behalf of Vegas Oil & Gas I would like to endorse our commitment to the petroleum industry in Egypt. We look forward to being a major participator in an exciting future here and hope to continue with our successful past performances into the new business opportunities.

By Ahmed Morsy

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