The National Petroleum Company (NPC), the upstream oil and gas Platform Company of Citadel Capital, the leading private equity firm in the Middle East and Africa, announced that it has increased its production by 1,700 barrels of oil per day (BOPD) in the Sukheir Bay Field located approximately 125 km north of Hurghada on the western coast of the Red Sea. This development is expected to increase NPC’s total daily oil production from its Shukheir Marine properties to 2800 BOPD.

NPC’s concession operator, Offshore Shukheir Petroleum Co. Ltd (OSOCO), a joint venture company of NPC’s Petzed Investment and Project Management Ltd and the Egyptian General Petroleum Company (EGPC), successfully completed the drilling of the Shukheir Bay-6 well (SHB-6) to the Kareem reservoir in November 2010.

Production tests of two intervals totaling 15m of perforations in the virgin reservoir pressured Kareem sandstone has resulted in flow rates of 1,700 BOPD at a 0.5-inch choke size of 41 API crude with GOR of 750 SCF/BO. The open hole logs indicated new potential within the Kareem formation with a total of 18 meters of net sand with an average porosity of 18% and water saturation of 26%.

“Testing on the well, which was completed at the end of November, revealed an initial production rate of 1,700 BOPD of high-quality, sulfur-free 41 API crude,” said Mohamed Farid, Chief Executive Officer at NPC. “We are very encouraged by these positive results and will continue conducting tests to further delineate the size of the reservoir and reserve volumes.”

Additional reservoir modeling has also been initiated to address the possible extension of the Kareem and the confirmation of additional upside in the primary Lower Rudeis reservoir.

“If we continue to achieve positive results this may justify additional drilling to either or both horizons,” added Farid.

NPC expects the SHB-6 well to continue to produce at an average rate of approximately 1,500 BOPD over the coming year. Production from SHB-6 will continue to be monitored over the coming period to confirm productivity and a potential increase in field reserves.