Egypt’s total production of crude oil, condensates and natural gas has increased to 1.8 million equivalent barrels per day in 2008/2009 compared to 690 barrels per day in 1981/1982, Minister of Petroleum Eng. Sameh Fahmy said.

During President Hosny Mubarak’s visit to the sites of Badr El-Din Petroleum Co. in the Western Desert last month; Fahmy said that the natural gas production increased from 5.2 billion cubic meters a year to 60 billion cubic meters annually, 24-times higher. Egypt is the second African natural gas producer after Algeria.

With regard to the Arab Gas Pipeline extending from Egypt to the Arab countries, the Minister pointed out that this pipeline provides Jordan and Syria with natural gas and it will be extended from Syria to Turkey so that the Egyptian gas will reach Europe. When President Mubarak asked about the situation of Iraq from this pipeline, Fhmy highlighted that an agreement was signed with Iraq, which is expected to join this pipeline through Syria.

Turkey gets high transit fees to allow the Russian pipeline cross through its lands to Europe, Fahmy said, pointing out that Egypt is in talks with the Turkish side to reduce these fees for the Egyptian natural gas.

Asked about the new drilling rigs plant, the Minister pointed out that the plant was established in Al-Ain Al-Sukhna, the governorate of Suez. The plant has produced the first Egyptian-made oil rig “Mubarak-1”. The 2000-hp rig, with a drilling depth of up to 20000 feet, has discovered two oil fields in the Eastern Desert. The plant is producing other four new rigs.

As for the expected increase in crude oil in Katara where 29 companies work, he said that the production target in this area was 30,000 barrels per day, but the production reached 22,000 barrels only due to the soil salinity. After the discovery of Baraka-1 and Baraka-2 in Kom Ombo, Upper Egypt, more companies started to prospect for oil in the region.

Fahmy has pledged that the natural gas pipeline would extend to Aswan by the end of next December, adding that the pipeline had already been extended to Assiout.

The oil and natural gas produced in the Badr El-Din concession are directed to Al-Hamra area on the Mediterranean to be exported or delivered to Sidi Krir area and Ameriya natural gas pipeline.