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EGYPT - The Oil Fields & Operators In The Western Desert.

The Eastern Desert producers include Egyptian Petroleum Development Co. (Epedeco), a JV of EGPC and Teikoku Oil of Japan. Epedeco's output from the onshore West Bakr field averages about 5,500 b/d.

General Petroleum Co. (GPC), an operating arm of EGPC, was created in 1956 by the state to take over from then sole concessionaire, Anglo-Egyptian (Shell/BP), whose onshore assets were nationalised in 1964.

GPC's fields are onshore on the west coast of the GOS and some are deep within the Eastern Desert. Nearly all were discovered by Anglo-Egyptian. They include Ras Gharib (the oldest field in Egypt, found in 1938), Sudr (1946), Asal (1947), Matarma (1948), Karim (1958), Bakr (1978) and Ras Al Bihar (1983). They produce 33,000 b/d of 25 deg. oil, up from 27,000 b/d in late 1995.

GPC has contracted Scimitar of Canada to develop Issaran, a field of 500m bls of 10.5-18 deg. API oils found in 1981 some 4 km west of the GOS and 140 km south of Suez. Issaran lies in the GOS Rift Basin in three fractured carbonate layers of the Miocene, the deepest being 760 metres. Many wells have been drilled and the field could eventually produce 20,000 b/d.

Wadi El Sahl Petroleum Co., a JV of EGPC and US firms Seagull Energy Corp. and Apache Corp., produces oil in the onshore South Hurghada block, where output has reached 20,000 b/d. Its first find, Wadi El Sahl, was put on stream in June 1997 at the rate of 1,500 b/d. In its Beni Suef block, south of Cairo, Seagull later found the Beni Suef field and in early 1998 brought it on stream at 7,000 b/d of 42 deg. oil from a single well. Another Beni Suef find in April 1998 flowed at 9,200 b/d of light oil. But Seagull's output has since fallen considerably.

The Western Desert, a gas-rich area of about 450,000 sq km, is the second biggest oil producing part of Egypt. Its output averages about 175,500 b/d of oil and condensates, down from 210,000 b/d in early 2000 compared to 117,500 b/d in late 1995. Western Desert production of natural gas has risen considerably in recent years (see gas production part of this survey on the following pages). The biggest oil producer in this region is Apache Corp. of the US, whose output has risen rapidly to reach 100,000 b/d in 2003 and is expected to rise further.

Most of the oil produced in the Western Desert is light of 40[degrees] API with low sulphur, whereas in the Gulf of Suez (GOS) and other parts of Egypt the oil is heavy and sour (see OMT).

Khalda Petroleum Co. (KPC), a JV 50-50 of EGPC and operator Apache, produces more than 50,000 b/d of 35-46[degrees] API oils (up from 30,000 b/d in early 1998) and 14,000 b/d of condensates as well as about 300 MCF/d of natural gas. Its fields have been expanded in blocks including Khalda and East Bahariya. Its fields include Khalda (found in at a depth of 2,570 ft), Salam (1984, with extensions found in 1994/95), Hayat, Safir and Tut (1986), West Tut (1988), Yasser, Aoun and Tareq (1987/88), Kahraman (1991), Shuruq and Shuruq East. Apache, which bought the 20% of Phoenix of the US and raised its KPC equity in Feb. 2001 when it bought almost all of Repsol/YPF's Egypt assets including its 25% in Khalda, has several other fields found by Repsol in recent years. They are all tied to the Salam production system which is linked to the Meleiha-El Hamra export pipeline. Apache also operates the Umbaraka and South Umbaraka fields, among various other assets in the Western Desert (see Wepco overleaf).

Apache is one of Egypt's biggest foreign investors with 13 concessions. It has made a number of discoveries in recent years. In 2002 alone it made 11 finds including a major gas discovery in the Ras El Hekma block, and four consecutive deep-water finds in the offshore West Metiderranian block in which it holds 55% and its partners are RWE-DEA of Germany (28.33%) and BP (16.67%). Among its latest finds is Qasr-1X in Khalda, which in mid-2003 tested 51.8 MCF/d of gas and 2,688 b/d of condensate. It made five other discoveries in other blocks in 2003, a year when it drilled nearly 80 exploration and development wells in the Western Desert.

Qarun Petroleum Co. is a JV of EGPC (50%), operator Apache (37.5% bought in 1996 from Phoenix) and Seagull Energy (12.5% bought from Global Natural Resources). The JV, set up in Aug. 1995, has developed the Qarun field in Upper Egypt to a capacity of over 60,000 b/d of light oil. But its output has since fallen to 34,000 b/d. Qarun field, found in 1994, and its extensions lie in Central Egypt on the edge of the Western Desert near a point where the Sumed crude oil pipeline passes towards the Mediterranean terminal of Sidi Kerir. Seagull, operator in the East Beni Suef block just south of Qarun, has found a major field there (see OMT).

Agiba Petroleum Co. (Agypetco), a 50-50 JV of EGPC and Agip's IEOC, produces about 40,000 b/d of crude oils from its Meleiha and West Razzaq blocks, compared to 50,000 b/d in early 2002, 49,200 b/d from mid-1998 to mid-1999, and 30,000 b/d in late 1995. (See IEOC's Petrobel operations in OMT). Output comes from its Meleiha fields (found in 1972 with 31.6o API oil), Ighar (1987), Falak (1988), West Razzaq (1994) and others. In Feb. 1997, IEOC began producing 3,800 b/d from its first oil well in the Western Desert's Qattara depression, where the field's reserves were then est. at 4m bls. The surface system of the field, Ras Qattara, is 80 metres below sea level. Several other companies are also exploring in the Qattara area. A number of other finds made by IEOC are linked to a central production system. This is tied to a 167 km pipeline to El Hamra oil terminal on the Mediterranean which went on stream in mid-1986 at 90,000 b/d and was later expanded to 140,000 b/d.

GUPCO (EGPC/BP), the main oil producer in the GOS (see OMT), has four fields in the Western Desert: Abu Al Gharadiq (1982), Razzaq (1972), WD-33-15 (1972) and WD-99 (1975). They produce 20,000 b/d of 35-55[degrees] oils, down from more than 22,000 b/d in late 1995. In 1986 Amoco (acquired by BP in 1999) completed development of its small North and North-East Abu Al Gharadiq structures, including a gas production stream, which later helped maintain total oil output at 20,000 b/d. The crude is sent in a two-phase stream to the Abu Al Gharadiq oil processing plant.

Badreddin Petroleum Co. (Bapetco), EGPC/Shell, produces 10,000 b/d of 38[degrees] oil (14,000 b/d in early 2000 & 22,000 b/d in 1995), from Badreddin (1982), BED-2 (1988) and other fields. Shell also produces 15,000 b/d of condensates from these fields. Shell is the biggest gas producer in the Western Desert (see following pages).

Western Desert Petroleum (WEPCO), EGPC/Apache (50 acquired in early 2001 from Repsol which had bought this equity from Phillips of the US in 1998), was the first in the region to find oil at Alamein in 1966 and gas at Abu Qir. WEPCO produces 44[degrees] oil from Alamein, Yidma (1972), Umbaraka (1976) and the latter's extensions. But its output has declined to 2,000 b/d, from 5,000 in early 1998 and 6,000 b/d in 1995. In 1989, it found an offshore field in West Abu Qir, off Alexandria, and 1,500 b/d of 41o oil and 300 b/d of condensate and 12.5 MCF/d of gas from an Abu Madi Fm.

Oasis Petroleum (OAPCO), a JV of EGPC and the private Egyptian firm Forum Petroleum, produces less than 700 b/d from the West Qarun and West Gabel El Zeit fields, compared to 1,600 b/d in 1998.

Burg El Arab Petroleum, a JV of EGPC and the private Egyptian firm Kriti Oil & Gas of Greece, produces very little oil from the small Burg El Arab and Horus fields. In 1996, Gharib Oil Fields Co. acquired 80% of Kriti.
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Publication:APS Review Gas Market Trends
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 12, 2004
Words:1442
Previous Article:OMAN - New E&P Offerings.
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