Egyptian Southern Valley lures more oil firms

In less than a decade, Egypt’s Southern valley has been revived with more international oil companies showing interest in the area, which uncover one of the lucrative richness of the Egyptian petroleum sector

With the creation of the Ganoub al-Wadi Petroleum Holding Company (Ganope) in 2003, chances emerged for oil companies to have an easy access to the region and deal with a specific agency responsible for this promising area.
Officials at the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum and Ganoub Company see the concession areas available in southern Egypt as being surrounded with huge oil reserves in eastern Libya and the border area with Sudan. They project that southern part of nation will be in the future a major fuel reserve area because of its enormous natural gas and crude riches.
According to Ezzat Saqr, the Deputy Chairman of Ganope for Exploration Affairs, the area gives small and medium–scale oil companies a chance to establish themselves strongly at the natural gas and crude market in Egypt. He argues that there are vast promising stretches of land in the area offered by his company for exploration oil operations.
“International oil companies are really interested in the tenders launched by Ganope” he said.”Some thirteen companies showed up for the third tender. This is a sign of growing interest on the part of the international oil companies in the tenders called by the Egyptian company.”
Saqr highlighted that since 2003, the company has focused its attention on the Southern Valley where it has set up an integrated data basis covering all activities of exploration and production and the area’s present future needs of all oil products until the year 2020. Ganope has also compiled an inventory of the fuel and services stations with the aim of upgrading them. In addition, it has conducted feasibility studies on building such facilities as warehouses and crude pipelines.
It’s worth mentioning that, during the last three years, Upper Egypt has witnessed an intensive research and exploration operations after the success of Ganoub Al-Wadi Petroleum Holding Company in signing 10 petroleum agreements with Arab and foreign companies covering 220 thousand km2, with total investments of $282 million for drilling 46 exploratory wells compared to only 12 wells drilled in the region during the last century.
Ganope is one of four holding companies owned by the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum holding companies which together undertake the responsibility for all oil-related activities in Egypt. But Ganope’s area of jurisdiction is focused on the southern part of the nation.
“In fact the area holds lucrative option for small and medium-scal oil companies,” said Eng. Hassan Akl, former chairman of Ganope, adding that “for long, the area was neglected by international oil companies due to the high costs and difficult exploration operations”
Upper Egypt witnessed the first oil discovery in Kom Ombo area, about 80 km northwest Aswan city, 25 km northwest the city of Kom Ombo, for the first time in its history.
Hany El Sharkawi, Dana Gas Egypt Country director, reviewed the assessment program of the new discovery, which was named “Al Baraka” and its development plan along with determining the needed investments to drill appraisal and productive well.

Akl underlined that a joint committee was formed between Ganoub Al-Wadi and Centurion, Dana’s upstream division for the development of the field aiming at selecting the best locations to drill the development wells of the discovered layer.

By Ashraf Said


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