To begin with, the oil and gas industry has uncovered about 15.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent (bboe) of reserves since the first discovery of oil in the Eastern Desert during the late 19th century. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the future potential for multiplying Egypt’s oil reserves by looking at the tectono-stratigraphic past of each significant basin, as well as drilling record and field size allocations. Additionally, the Egyptian government has continued to promote international oil firms to invest in Egypt since 1970, resulting in the ongoing and intense exploration in Egypt’s untapped unique geological makeup.
Nevertheless, before identifying Egypt’s untapped potential in unexplored geological sites, it is crucial to understand the past and current geological scene. Egypt’s petroleum geology, including previous exploration history, dynamic concepts, shifting paradigms, and technological developments have nearly quadrupled the nation’s reserves in the last couple of decades.
Growth of current petroleum reserves that plays into Mediterranean gas patterns will be a major source of reserve replacement. Accomplishments with 3D seismic technologies in deep pool studies all across established fields, as well as for fresh stratigraphic plays off-structure, will lead to significant reserve expansion. This development potential is demonstrated by experiences from the Western Desert, the Gulf of Suez, and the Mediterranean. The Komombo, among other basins in Upper Egypt, as well as the northern end of the Red Sea rift, are far more distant new exploration regions that are presently being re-evaluated by a variety of multinational oil firms.
To prove the profundity of Egypt’s potential, it was found that over 1,000 exploration wells have been drilled in the Gulf of Suez oil basin, which resulted in 240 oil finds in more than 80 oil fields, with reserves varying from 1,350 to less than 1 million barrels of oil (mboe) in reservoirs spanning from different periods. Notwithstanding its complicated history, Egypt’s geological structure is well adapted to oil and gas development.
Challenges for Discovering Untapped Potential
Recognizing the geological background and difficulties is necessary for discovering new oil and natural gas fields and putting them into operation. The worldwide rate of success for prospective drilling operations is about one in three, indicating that there remains a chance that an exploratory endeavor may falter. As suggested by a Geology Expert in the oil and gas field, who preferred anonymity, “Egypt is on the verge of realising untapped, or at least undiscovered, potential. The country didn’t realise what’s beneath the surface until geologists and oil firms conduct mandatory tests.”
Reducing these risks necessitates a plan that emphasizes proven oil basins – substantial exploration in emerging economies (50%) and intense exploration in mature geological sites (25%) – while also ensuring that new reservoir exploration obtains considerable interest (25%). When approaching territory, multinational organizations must cooperate with partners to promote risk-sharing.
Another challenge associated with untapping petroleum potential is that the figures for yet-to-be discovered resources are hard to measure with any precision. However, the absent field size distributions, the vast aerial expanse of rich source geology, various play and basin types, and very scarce exploration in several trends all point to a brighter tomorrow.
Exploration for oil and gas currently has to contend with resources that are more difficult to locate and describe than in the past. Engineers and geologists are continuously improving and redesigning exploration strategies in order to better predict the presence of possibilities and steer oil exploration towards the most prospective locations. In order to be able to estimate the amount of hydrocarbon resources and the geological hazards, all accessible accumulating and scholarly data, as well as geo-petroleum professional evaluations, are utilized to ensure that the prospects fulfill all of the essential requirements for hydrocarbon exploration.
During the Mesozoic, Egypt’s placement along the proto-Mediterranean Tethyan boundary provided plentiful hydrocarbon potential in rifts throughout the Western Desert, Nile Delta, and North Sinai. Non-marine fissures formed in Upper Egypt as a result of a possible Afro-Arabic plate separation that is still inefficiently controlled, releasing additional rock types in broad geographic regions that are still underexplored but have recently been shown to possess light hydrocarbons. The extensive incursions that occurred during the Cretaceous lacustrine period resulted in an additional layer of rich source rocks and seals covering vast swaths of land. Additional source and seal layers can be found in Paleocene and Eocene incursions.
Therefore, it can be noted that rifting in the Gulf of Suez and the Red Sea resulted in an international drilling operation that is now in its prime exploration phase in the Gulf of Suez while still offering a border discovery opportunity in the Red Sea. Related to the latest allocation of gas concessions in these areas, the Nile Delta and Mediterranean region are in the early stages of exploration. The large proportion of huge fields found since 1990 asserts the exploration potential of these areas. The vast amount of undrilled geology and large aerial area of this pattern imply that gigantic field breakthroughs will take a long time, with most of them being in gas prospects, but there is extra oil potential. The Geology Expert also explained that “Egypt’s geology implies that commercial amounts of oil and gas might be found there. The nation’s economy and the existence of millions of Egyptians depend on discovering and using such resources.”
To summarize, there is an overall emphasis on exploring deeper petroleum systems and insights from future modeled geological regional mapping, geochemical, and seismic data in Egypt. There is no question that Egypt’s producing regions offer tremendous and exciting oil and gas prospective, and we continue to hope for further gas finds in the Upper Egypt region, where we want to ramp up our exploratory efforts.