Since its establishment in 2004, El-Mansoura Petroleum Co has been recognized by a series of oil and gas significant discoveries and known for its considerable achievements over the past five years, since it has commenced its operations, which is a short period of time. Eng. Ahmed El-Aidy, Mansoura Chairman recalls the early phases of El-Mansoura, calling himself the “Son of Delta”

In 2006, Melrose Petroleum Company acquired all the interest shares of Merlon Co. in one of the major agreements in the Egyptian industry, worth approximately $600 million. In the partnership of Melrose-Mansoura Co., the Egyptian government holds 80 percent of shares. As a matter of fact, Melrose bought the three subsidiaries of Mansoura, Qantara and El-Rawda companies.

What are the major landmarks of El-Mansoura since its establishment?
El-Mansoura has succeeded to achieve many oil findings in the Nile Delta, which is known to be a solely gas-producing area. This was one of the major attainments of El-Mansoura as oil was found for the first time in the field of El-Tamad in 2004 and the production started in February 2006.
In may 2006, oil was found in West Dekernes field and the production phase began a year and a half later, in December 2007. Moreover, there was a rehabitation and operational program for Qantara Field in October 2008. The number of drilled wells during that year counted for 150 exploratory and developmental wells and the total expenditure exceeded the $345 million in El-Mansoura concession.

What is the volume of El-Mansoura oil, gas and condensate production?
Uptill now, our average production of gas counts for 200 million cubic feet per day in addition to 10 million barrels of oil and condensate per day. These figures are achieved through the drilling at the fields of South Belkas (discovered in December 2002 and produced natural gas), South Batra (discovered in January 2003 in Southern area of El-Mansoura governorate) and Killala.
As for the oil production, the company produces oil from the fields of Tamad (discovered in 2004 and started production in 2006) and West Dekernes (discovered in May 2006 and started production phase in December 2007).

What are El-Mansoura recent discoveries?
Since 2006 and to the present time, the company hit three major gas discoveries, El-Zarka Field in 2006 in addition to the fields of North South Abo Zahra and South Killala. This latter field produces solely 100 million cubic feet of gas per day, which is half the company’s daily gas production. This field is located in the Southern side of Kafr El-Sheikh, while the El-Zahra field lies in Dakahleya and the North South abo Zahra lies in the governorate of Damietta.

How challenging were the operations held by El-Mansoura in the Delta?
First, the difficulty of land depositions in this area hinders the drilling and production operations in the Delta. However, we did succeed to alter this obstacle to be in our favor through the utilization of state-of-the-art technologies and drilling techniques. As the best drilling method utilized in this area is the horizontal drilling. The implementation of this technique has been well studied to be suitable for the nature of Delta and guarantee the flow of production. To a great extent, El-Mansoura is a pioneer in the horizontal drilling, specifically in this difficult area, which has contributed to double the oil production as it suits The nature of oil layers in Delta.
Personally, the Nile Delta has a significant value for my 37-year career path; in the 1970s, I was selected to join the team that worked in the gas fields in the Nile Delta and achieved gas discovery for the first time ever in 1975. Currently, I am also ending my career in the same area through El-Mansoura operations. Although I spent 18 years of my life working in ADNOC, Abu Dhabi, I still fell I belong to the Delta.  That is why I call myself “the Son of Delta”.

Is the Nile Delta considered as a promising area in Egypt?
Compared to the Mississippi Delta, the area of Nile Delta is triple the size of the Mississippi, yet we do not have enough funds required to develop this promising area. However, in the context of the current available facilities, we did achieve successful discoveries in Delta, which indicates how promising this area could be. More investments are indispensably needed to boost the area.

Has El-Mansoura been severely affected by the current global economic crisis?
We were directly affected by this economic crunch. The Egyptian petroleum sector was affected as a whole. However, specific measures were taken to face this heavy burden to minimize the outcomes of the negative effects. We had to cut down this year’s budget to the half, from $300 to $150 million. There were a series of high achievements and discoveries awaiting our company, however the declining oil prices and the slowdown of the international economy stood against the implementation of our plans for this year.
We re-set the list of priorities concerning the execution schedule for many projects. We had to postpone some, while decreasing the cost of some other projects. For instance, El-Mansoura used to conduct its operations through the utilization of four rigs, now we have only one rig.

When do you expect a recovery from this crisis?
In my opinion, a recovery can be felt by mid next year, depending on having the appropriate funding means along with a reviving development in the petroleum sector, on both international and local levels.

Is El-Mansoura’s success limited to the figures of its oil and gas production?
Definitely not! We have paid great attention to our human resources as we first started the company’s operations without a middle management. One of the company’s targets is to develop this level of employees by recruiting students form the local Egyptian universities and offering them professional trainings to gain the needed skills to be qualified for petroleum job positions.
Currently, there are 619 personnel working in the company’s headquarter and fields. This is the workforce behind the success story of El-Mansoura.

By Tamer Abdel Aziz
Yomna Bassiouni

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