GUPCO: Looking Forward

The Gulf of Suez Petroleum Company (GUPCO) is going through a significant phase in its history of almost 49 years, as the company implements a number of projects that would put GUPCO in the position it is worthy of. The most important of these projects were presented to Engineer Al-Sharif Ismail, the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, during his recent visit to Gulf of Suez in mid-November.

Reconstruction of the Helal Platform
In April 1994, a ship collided with the Helal platform, which led to the crash of the platform’s upper part. The work on the platform was suspended until a plan for repair was implemented, but the metal structure beneath the Gulf’s surface did not meet the company’s standards of safety. In order to meet the standards of environmental protection and for the safety of employees, the field was shut down in 2007. The company decided to build a new production platform 300 meters away from the old one. The Initial procedures were started in 2011, followed by implementing the engineering studies that started before the end of the year. Materials were purchased in early 2012, and manufacturing in PETROJET workshops at the Maadya port began in April 2012. Building the platform took a whole year. The installation of the platform began in May 2013 during inclement weather conditions in the Gulf of Suez. Rebuilding the platform ended at the beginning of December.

The project consists of the Helal platform that weighs about 2,900 tons, as well as production and feeding lines with diameters of 18 inches for oil, and 8 inches for gas injection. The platform has a jacket installed on the sea floor, which weighs 840 tons of iron at a depth of 80 meters under the surface of the water. The disk was installed in the platform, which weighs about 480 tons.

In addition, groups of assistive devices and optical cells are to produce electricity needed for operation.
1.4 million working hours were recorded at the platform without injuries. The field is scheduled to be back in production as of April 2014 at a production rate of between 1,500 barrels and 5,000 barrels per day. It is worth mentioning that the cost of the project is USD 112.3 million for the construction, not including wells.
Sharif Ismail conducted an inspection of the platform in December to prepare for its operation.

Rehabilitation of Ramadan-6
Rehabilitating and renewing the infrastructure for the main production station Ramadan-6 and related sub-platforms are currently taking place. The shutdown has resulted in a production deferral of about 5,000 BOPD during the shut-in period. It is planned to complete the whole work plans during the second quarter of 2014. 

Infrastructure Repair of Morgan-1 Platform
Offshore production station Morgan-1 and the related platforms have been shut down since August 2012 to implement the inspection and production plan for facilities (lines, valves, and production vessels), which can be considered a rehabilitation of this station. The platform is expected to return to the production map by the end of 2013, adding about 1,500 BOPD.

Two Production Platforms of Shoab Ali Field Back on Production
The production platforms D and A of Shoab Ali field have been shut down for five years. The work-over operations for the infrastructure elements of production facilities were carried out in addition to implementing the work-over programs for the wells on both platforms, which led to an increase in production by about 1,000 BOPD.

It is scheduled during the coming period to restart operating several wells that were shut down, either planned or unplanned (wells in the fields of Ramadan, July, October, Morgan, Badri, and Shoab Ali), which adds about 25,000 BOPD.

Work-over Operations of the Wells
The company has implemented successful programs for the work-over and maintenance of the wells, the most prominent of which is repairing nine wells using a drilling rig. The total of its initial production is estimated to be about 9,000 BOPD in the fields of July and South Gharib-300. In addition, successful programs have been implemented for the work-over and maintenance of 17 wells using wire units and the total of its initial production is estimated to be about 5,000 BOPD in the fields of Edfu, Q x- 373, Shoab Al, Badri, and Morgan.

Added Reserves
The company succeeded in adding 4.5 million barrels of oil to its reserves of crude oil, in addition to the development of about 3.3 million barrels of undeveloped crude oil reserves. This achievement was a result of the implementation of engineering studies, development drilling programs, and reviewing the performance of the producing fields.

Exploratory Studies to Maximize Reserves of Producing Fields    
In terms of exploratory studies for the development of existing fields, the company is making great efforts to raise production and increase reserves through reevaluating its most important fields.  Initial studies indicated that there is a total of 705 million barrels of oil underground the work areas of the company, which can be added to the reserves of the fields. The October field comes in the first phase, with an available potential of 177 million barrels of oil based on the initial study. To extract what can be extracted from this quantity, it is required to reexamine the density of wells and drill new development and exploratory wells. These are currently being studied and arranged in terms of profit, low risk factor, and the use of some modern techniques such as low salinity water injection and dealing with high-viscosity crude.

This study will be an introduction to similar studies for all fields, and the company will focus on the necessary actions needed to extract oil (298 million barrels underground) as a first stage.



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