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

The Western Desert, a gas-rich area of about 450,000 sq km, has become the second biggest oil producing part of Egypt. Its output has risen to about 281,500 b/d of oil and condensates, up from 210,000 b/d in early 2000 and 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).

Agiba Petroleum Co. (Agypetco), a 50-50 Western Desert venture between EGPC and Agip's IEOC, produces about 50,000 b/d of crude oils from its Meleiha and West Razzaq blocks, compared to 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 31.6 deg. 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.

Khalda Petroleum Co. (KPC), a JV of EGPC (50%), operator Apache Corp. of the US (50%), produces 45,000 b/d of 35-46 deg. API oils (up from 30,000 b/d in early 1998) and 12,000 b/d of condensates as well as more than 200 MCF/day of natural gas (see gas section on following pages). Its fields have been expanded through a $100m development plan completed in early 2000 which including drilling of 36 new wells and completion of 30 others. 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).

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 36,000 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).

GUPCO (EGPC/BP), the main oil producer in the Gulf of Suez (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 deg. 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 12,000 b/d of 38 deg. 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 deg. 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 41 deg. 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 1,000 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, 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
Date:Jan 7, 2002
Previous Article:EGYPT - The Gas PSA.
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