Expanding the Egyptian activities abroad has been on the top of the Ministry of Petroleum agenda, which its fruitful results were reflected in the number of contracts signed lately for local service companies to conduct activities abroad. But, should not the Ministry expand its exploration activities as well?

The reasons behind this expansion strategy lies not only on the economic profits and expertise exchange, but also it strengthens the value of local companies and provide more job opportunities. According to experts, Egyptian companies get exposed to latest technologies and gain more experience due to the ties they establish with major foreign companies while implementing projects abroad. Among the recently signed contracts, the Ministry sealed a deal to develop the Zubair Field in Iraq in association with the Italian Eni. More agreements are on the way, especially after the successful operations held by Enppi and Petrojet abroad.

“One of the main factors of development for any company is attained through securing deals and projects abroad. Expanding the company’s operations base in other companies is an added value for the whole entity. The successful examples of Enppi and Petrojet have drawn a good image of the Egyptian capabilities, mainly in the Arab countries where both companies held several projects,” said Hamdy Abu El-Naga, petroleum expert.

Abu El-Naga added that the Egyptian petroleum sector needs to exchange expertise and modernize its current technologies through extending its fleet in other countries and sending Egyptian engineers and geologist abroad through the cooperation with multi-national companies, who would bring in to the country the latest techniques and needed knowledge. “Such type of cooperation’s would create a new generation of young skilled Egyptian employees who would develop the local exploration and production activities in the national industry.”

Currently, Egyptian companies are conducting several projects abroad, such as developing and renovating refining labs, electric stations, and pipelines in addition to the research, exploration and production projects.

Commenting on the recent deal sealed to establish an Egyptian-Yemeni Company, he expects that this association will help exchanging expertise and latest technologies; moreover it would boost the national economic revenue, provide more job opportunities and offer better work environment for engineers and geologists working in the company. It is worth mentioning that the Egyptian side in this association is represented by Enppi and Petroject, while the General Yemeni General Association of Oil & Gas represents the other side.
“The model of Enppi and Petrojet should be imitated by other national companies. The two companies have expanded their activities in more than 14 countries, with investments exceeding $5 million during the past five years.”

Similarly, Eng. Abdel Moneim Gaber, petroleum experts, believes that strengthening business ties and sealing agreements to expand activities abroad are of great values to the sector. Giving the example of Egyptian-Malaysian relationships, Gaber highlighted that the Egyptian calibers have an important opportunity to learn rom the Malaysian counterparts as they are well known for their outstanding experience in the LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas). “The Malaysian Petronas is one of the largest companies worldwide distinguished by its expertise in liquefying natural gas. Presently, it invests in two main domains in Egypt, gas exploration and liquefaction projects,” he added. “We should seize all benefits from this relationship, specially that Malaysia will turn into a net oil importer next year.”

Since 2005, Malaysia has been adopted special educational scholarships granted its Petronas University for Egyptian students and five classes specialized in petroleum engineering were graduated so far.

Gaber expects more agreements to be signed between the two countries to cooperate in more exploration and production activities in addition to the present LNG projects and Petronas scholarships.

“The strategy of expansion is also supported by the petroleum marine service companies, such as PMS, and Maridive, which implemented more than 15 projects outside the Egyptian geographical boundaries.”   Yet, he warned, this strategy should not distract the main Ministry responsibility of maintaining high rates of oil and gas exploration and production activities in the country. “We should sustain a firm policy to keep the oil and gas production standards growing in the country and increase our reserves, taking into consideration the considerable lack of crude oil we are facing now.”
In fact, many Arab countries are requesting the cooperation of Egyptian professionals, geologists and engineers to develop their countries’ petroleum sectors, said Al-Shenawy

Badr, Vice General Manager of Drilling and Wells Repair at PetroGulf Company. “Contractors play a pivotal role in expanding the Egyptian activities abroad as they provide a wide range of services to the Arab countries, concerning design, construction, engineering consultancy in addition to the maintenance operations for electric cables and pipelines installations.”

“Many Egyptian contractors, such as Enppi, Petrojet, Sahary and many more brought massive economic revenues to the country attained by their works abroad, such as construction and installation of marine platforms. Last year, Petrojet solely delivered natural gas infrastructure projects in many countries, among which Yemen, Iraq, Qatar, Lebanon and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” stated Aziz Effat, petroleum expert, who highlighted Petrojet example to prove the fruitful results of the Ministry expansion strategy.

“Presently, Petrojet has been awarded six new projects to execute drilling and renovation operations in the Gulf area in association with major petroleum companies.”
Effat affirmed that there is an increasing demand for marine services in the areas of Arabian Gulf, India, Mexico and West Africa, which are allocating large investments for exploration and production operations in the deep waters and seeking the contribution of Egyptian petroleum marine services

By Shady Ahmed