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EGYPT - Rosetta - Rasheed Petroleum (Rashpetco).

Formed in 1997 to develop and market gas from the offshore Rosetta block, Rashpetco is a JV of ENGHC (50%), British Gas (operator with 20%), Shell Egypt (10.2%), Shell Austria (9.8%) and Edison Int'l (10%). Edison is a US unit of Italy's Montedison chemical group. Rosetta block, north of the Delta town of Rasheed, lies between Abu Qir to the west and Baltim to the east and has a giant gas field found in April 1997 with important extensions found subsequently and proven reserves estimated at 2 TCF. The first find was in 200 ft of water 48 km north-east of Alexandria in three net gas zones of over 460 ft of sandstone at about 6,000 ft and tested 60 MCF/d. The second, Rosetta 5, in Nov. 1997 tested over 90 MCF/d which was the highest rate in any gas find made in Egypt. Also in Nov. 1997 Rosetta 6 tested 40 MCF/d. These and subsequent finds in Rosetta went on stream on Jan. 31, 2001. BG says the Rosetta gas is of very high quality with less than 0.5% impurities.

In Oct. 1997 Rashpetco signed with EGPC a 20-year take-or-pay contract whereby EGPC (now ENGHC) was committed to buy 250 MCF/d of Rosetta. The field now produces 275 MCF/d. The $330m field development consists of six wells tied to a platform with a 66 km gas/condensate pipeline to an onshore terminal near Idku, about 50 km east of Alexandria. After processing at an onshore plant, the gas is delivered to the national grid. The condensate is exported by pipeline to a gathering centre at Abu Qir, 15 km east of Alexandria.

Burullus Gas Co, formed in 1999, is a JV of ENGHC, BG (operator) and Edison developing several finds on the West Delta Deep Marine (WDDM) block, 60 km off the Nile Delta, made by BG since late 1997. Sapphire 3, the 12th BG discovery on the block, in Oct. 2001 confirmed the largest gas column found in Egypt. The well, 20 km north of Rosetta, was drilled to 2,900 metres in 450 metres of water. The first target was the previously undrilled Saffron Channel C, in the Scarab/Saffron complex. The well proved pressure communication between Channel C and Saffron, indicating a gas column in excess of 575 metres. A second target was the Sapphire sands. The well penetrated all sands present in Sapphire 1 and Sapphire 2, located 15 km west of Sapphire 3. Pressure data and geochemical analysis indicated that all three wells were in communication. The 13th find, Saurus-1 in a water depth of 630 metres, was announced in Nov. 2001 and continued BG's 100% drilling record on the block. It tested 30.89 MCF/d.

WDDM's giant, the 4 TCF Scarab/Saffron, will begin producing 530 MCF/d for the local market from early 2003. Development of this complex, costing $650m, is done by Rashpetco as a contractor on behalf of Burullus Gas Co. (BGC). The BGC system will be a first for Egypt in that it will involve subsea technology in depths reaching 700 metres. It will consist of an initial eight production wells controlled from the shore. The gas will be processed at the Rosetta onshore plant, which will be expanded for BGC.

BG and its partners have set up Egyptian LNG to export liquefied gas from the 4 TCF Simian field (in 1,100-metre waters), Sapphire and other structures on the WDDM block, with the LNG plant to be built at Idku and to be on stream in 2004 (see Part 3). BG calls WDDM as the "jewel in the crown" of its Egypt exploration portfolio, with the British major having found over 11 TCF of gas in this country. In April 1998, BG and its partners signed a 25-year franchise accord with EGPC (now ENGHC) to market gas in Upper Egypt through the new Nile Valley Gas Co., a JV of BG (37.5%), Edison (37.5%), the private Egyptian firm Orascom (20%) and Middle East Gas Association (5%).

BP has the adjacent West Mediterranean Deep Marine (WMDM) block. For this, BP in mid-1999 began a $310m exploration programme. BP has an adjacent East Delta Deep Marine which it is exploring. BP also has projects to export gas by pipeline and in LNG form. For its part, Shell has the nearby North East Mediterranean Deep-Water block.

The offshore North Sinai block, held by BG (operator) and BP, is another gas-rich area at the eastern end of the Delta zone. BG is developing the block's Thekah field, found in mid-1997 which tested over 25 MCF/d of "very high quality gas" with less than 0.5% impurities, in 14 metres of water about 90 km from Port Said. This was in more than 188 ft of net gas zone in Middle Pliocene Kafr Al Shaikh sandstones at a depth of less than 5,000 ft. BG later made other gas discoveries there as well as off Israel and off Gaza, with prospects targeted being of the same Fms as those of the Nile Delta and Mediterranean. BG, producing oil in the GOS, has a block in the north of the Red Sea acquired in 1996 in partnership with Lasmo and Edison.

The Western Desert is a gas-prone area, with proven reserves accounting for 18.1% of Egypt's total. The main gas operators in the Western Desert are Shell (Bapetco), Apache (Khalda Petroleum Co) and BP (GUPCO).
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Publication:APS Review Gas Market Trends
Date:Jan 12, 2004
Previous Article:EGYPT - Abu Qir/Naf Fields - WEPCO.
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