The Western Desert is witnessing an intensified program of E&P operations, since the beginning of 2009. Ahmed Anwar, Drilling Manager, the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), stated that three international drilling companies have boosted their drilling processes in Alam El-Shawish, the north of Western Desert and in the Cairo-Alexandria road.

“Among these companies is the Ukrainian Naftogaz which will drill five new wells in that area,” clarified Anwar.

He added that “The Spanish SIPSA Oil Company and the American El Paso company drill eight new wells in the south of Western Desert and Cairo-Alexandria road”.

The eight wells are five for SIPSA in the south of Western Desert and three wells for El Paso in the Cairo-Alexandria road. These companies are expected to maintain production development plans adopted by the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum after the freezing of operations held by a small number of international in Egypt, as a result of the financial crisis.

Furthermore, Anwar proclaimed that the total number of wells of the joint-venture companies reached 502 wells in the Western Desert, Gulf of Suez and the Eastern Desert, adding that the number of wells being drilled by foreign companies is up to 77 wells.

“Currently, EGPC discusses the budget of the companies for the fiscal year 2009/2010 to increase the number of wells in the new plan. In addition, the average daily production last year reached about 560,000 bpd of crude oil as well as 5.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.”

He also explained that the area of Alam El Shawish is divided upon three companies as the first concession is for the Greek Vegas Oil & Gas.

While the second concession is for the Ukrainian Naftogaz Company; the beginning of drilling was in early December last year, but it did not reach the target layers. However, he added, there were evidences that the discovery is similar to what has been done by Vegas company.
As for the third concession, it is owned by Dover, Canadian – Kuwaiti company, which has not drilled any well so far, waiting for necessary approvals of the official authorities.