SinoTharwa Drilling Company, a joint venture between Egyptian and Chinese national energy companies, decided at the beginning of this year to compete in the market of seismic services. The services offered will be seismic acquisition, processing and interpretation. The company can use several profiling methods, 2D, 3D as well as 4D.
As a provider or seismic services, SinoTharwa relies mostly on the competence of the Sinopec Geophysical Corporation (SGC) since both companies are part of the Chinese state-owned Sinopec Group. SGC delivers integrated geophysical services for exploration purposes. It is active in seismic acquisition; data processing and interpretation; reservoir research; gravity, magnetic and electric prospecting; as well as software development.
SGC: over 60 Years of Experience
SGC has over 60 years of experience in geophysical exploration. In 1945 its predecessor set up the first geophysical crew, the first 3D seismic survey was conducted in 1965. Over decades, many new services have been introduced, with one of the latest additions being high-efficiency vibroseis technology in 2013.
SGC is active in more than 20 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia as well as South America, including Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, Algeria, Nigeria, Gabon, Myanmar, Ecuador and Bolivia. Its clients include Saudi Aramco, BP, Texaco, Petronas, Eni, Petrobas, Circle Oil, Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC), National Iranian Oil Company and many more.
The company has 11,000 employees. They form 72 land/TZ crews, four deep-sea crews, six VSP crews, one cross-well crew and one geothermal exploration crew. SGC has extensive experience in conducting seismic research in complex conditions such as deep sea, transition zone between land and sea, desert, jungle, mountains, looless tableland, swamp and cities.
The company possesses advanced seismic acquisition instruments such as 98 sets of Sercel 428XL and other recording systems; 338,000 receiving channels; 25,500 3C digital geophones; 10,000 1C digital geophones; 108 vibrators; four sets of offshore acquisition systems; six sets of VSP equipment; and two sets of cross-well seismic instruments.
SGC’s annual seismic acquisition capacity is 60,000 km for 2D and 20,000 km2 for 3D onshore, and 26,000 km 2D and 20,000 km2 3D offshore. In the past five years, it has acquired 120,000 km 2D and 42,000 km2 3D data in China; as well as 123,000 km 2D and 28,000 km2 3D data abroad.
The company has 327 sets of computing systems, with more than 8,831 nodes, 59,522 CPUs and 155,840 GPUs. It also possesses a complete set of proprietary software packages covering seismic data acquisition, processing, interpretation and comprehensive research. The annual processing capacity exceeds 100,000 km 2D and 30,000 km2 3D prestack time migration; 10,000 km2 3D prestack depth migration; 5,000 km2 RTM; and special processing of other geophysical data.
SGC has set up two primary and six secondary research centers. The company’s research equipment includes high-precision 3D ultrasound seismo-physic modeling system, automatically digital physical model manufacturing system, high-speed NC-converter, ultra-wave stimulating and laser receiving system.
SinoTharwa: Remarkable Expansion since 2005
SinoTharwa was established in 2005, with its $ 18 million capital equally shared between Egypt’s Tharwa Petroleum Company and China’s Sinopec Star Petroleum Company. In 2008, EGAS also entered the joint venture, obtaining 19% of the company, with 31% remaining for Tharwa and 50% for Sinopec. Over years, the capital of the SinoTharwa has gradually increased to $ 586 million.
SinoTharwa is essentially a service company, providing support to oil and gas exploration firms. The company owns and operates 18 rigs (13 land drilling rigs, four work-over rigs and one offshore rig) and has over thousand employees. It operates from a 60,000 m2 yard in Badr City, which is located 35 km from the company’s main building in Cairo where SinoTharwa has its main warehouse, drilling tools workshop, training center, pipe yard, rig-up yard and rotary equipment workshop. In 2012, SinoTharwa received the quality and technology gold category award at the Arch of Europe convention as recognition for the company’s contribution to the business world wish its professionalism demonstrated by good performance and commitment to QC 100 total quality management model.
In the same year, SinoTharwa started offering mud-logging as a part of integrated services. It has been registered in EGPC, EGAS, GUPCO and Khalda Petroleum Company as a mud logging contractor. The first mud-logging unit began work in May 2013 with PetroSilah Petroleum Company in el-Fayoum. The second mud-logging is already being tested, moved to the rigsite, and started the operation with el-Mansoura Petroleum Company in the Nile Delta since March 2014. Also the third unit is ready to be utilized, for Khalda in the Western Desert. SinoTharwa expects to expand its mud logging business further in Egypt as well as in the wider Middle East.
Sinopec Group: a $ 30 Billion Chinese Giant
Sinopec Group (China Petrochemical Corporation), the parent company of Sinopec Star Petroleum Company and Sinopec Geophysical Corporation, is a Chinese state-owned petroleum and petrochemical enterprise group with registered capital of RMB 182 billion (approx. $ 30 billion). The group’s key business activities include industrial investment and investment management; exploration, production, storage, transportation, marketing and comprehensive utilization of oil and gas; oil refining; wholesale of gasoline, kerosene and diesel; production, marketing, storage and transportation of petrochemicals and other chemical products; design, construction and installation of petroleum and petrochemical engineering projects; overhaul and maintenance of petroleum and petrochemical equipments; manufacturing of electrical and mechanical equipments; research, development, application and consulting services for technology, information and alternative energy products; import and export of commodities and technologies both for the group and as a proxy.
In 2011, Sinopec Group ranked fifth in the Fortune Global 500, Fortune magazine’s annual list of the top 500 companies worldwide based on revenues. In 2012, its revenue reached ca $ 454 billion, 11% up from 2011. The company’s profit amounted to $ 16 billion, 6.5% down from 2011. It produced 328 million barrels of crude oil (including 22 million barrels overseas) and 598 billion cubic feet of gas. As of end-2012, Sinopec Group had 2,843 million barrels of crude oil and 6,730 billion cubic feet of gas in proven reserves.