The petroleum sector is starting to regain its strength after the difficult period that followed the 25 January and the 30 June revolutions. The sector managed, over the past four years, to achieve distinct results in all petroleum fields after the return of political stability and security, backed by efforts and procedures made by the state to bring back investments. This comes with the encouraging major petroleum companies to continue their work in Egypt and inject new investments.
During the past period, the petroleum sector managed to take successful steps towards reviving investment and searching for petroleum and gas in Egypt to develop petroleum resources and make new discoveries. This comes hand in hand with the ministry’s launching of five international bids to look for petroleum and gas in the Mediterranean, Delta region, Western and Eastern desert, the Gulf of Suez, and Upper Egypt.
Since November 2013 until late 2017, the Ministry of Petroleum sealed about 76 petroleum deals for petroleum and gas exploration with global companies of different nationalities with investments worth at least $15.3bn. Signing worth $1.04bn was provided to drill 319 wells.
These agreements contributed to achieving many petroleum discoveries, including a petroleum discovery in January 2015 in Western Mallaha in Mallaha development area in the Eastern desert by Italian oil giant Eni. Moreover, there was the petroleum discovery of Malek in February 2015 in the concession area east of Esh El Mallaha, considered the fourth oil discovery in the area of Southern Egypt.
The area of Abo Senan in the Eastern desert also witnessed an oil discovery by the General Petroleum Company (GPC), in addition to another in well ASH-1X ST-1 by the Borg El Arab Petroleum Company.
Another discovery was made in Abo Senan in well ASA-1 ST3 announced by Kuwait Energy.
A natural gas discovery was made in the concession area of North Damietta, named “Shallow Katameya 1” in the concession area of British Petroleum—the third discovery in the same area.
In the Eastern desert, Badr Eldin Company made a discovery in Alam El Shawish area in well BTE-2. Its reserves amount to nearly two trillion cubic feet of gas.
The area of the Gulf of Suez witnessed a new petroleum discovery of crude oil in East Gabal El Zeit in favour of Ganoub El Wadi Holding Company, with 240 million barrel reserves.
South Desouq area in the Delta has achieved a new gas discovery in the first exploratory well SD-1. C Dragon and its American partner EPR both work in the area.
In addition, there were three major discoveries, which are Zohr in Shorouk concession area in the Mediterranean by Eni, in addition to the Atoll discovery in the concession area of maritime Damietta as well as the Nidoco discovery “Nawras” in Western Abu Madi in the Delta.
The ministry has also taken serious steps to put the Red Sea area on the map of search and exploration investments for petroleum and gas, especially that it is a new area that has not witnessed petroleum activities before, except for the Gulf of Suez area.
Ganoub Al Wadi Holding Company has finished settling the tender to collect data and carry out seismic scans in the economic water zone in the Red Sea and Upper Egypt on five companies with a cost of more than $750m.
This will help turn the zone into one that is attractive for investments, especially that the ministry is looking to launch international tenders for search in this area after the collection of data.
The petroleum sector has taken serious steps to operate several petroleum projects in different fields and adding them to production. Such discoveries and investments had a positive impact in securing and providing the needs of citizens and the different sectors of the state that require a diverse group of petroleum and gas products, the most prominent being electricity.
The petroleum sector played a major role in the noticeable stability of the national electricity grid resulting in the surplus of electricity production.
In addition, stability returned to the petroleum products market, whether fuel or diesel, and this came despite the challenges the sector had to face.
The implementation of 21 projects to develop new gas fields were completed, in addition to adding new production quantities of nearly 3.1 billion cubic feet of gas daily, and 21,100 barrels of condensates with an investment cost of $7.4bn.
The projects contributed to increasing production of natural gas by 18% this year to reach 5.250 billion cubic feet of gas daily.
The projects included developing the ninth phase of the eastern Delta fields in deep waters, which aimed to produce 450 million cubic feet of gas daily, in addition to 2,500 barrels of condensates.
They also included a project to develop the natural gas processing plant in west Port Said with the aim of increasing the capacity of the plan to 625 million cubic feet of gas per day. Moreover, there is the project to develop the Denis-Karawan fields with the aim of producing 270 million cubic feet of gas on a daily basis.
The implementation of developing the fields of El Aseel and El Karam fields were completed. They are affiliated to Badr Eldin, with the aim of producing 130 million cubic feet of gas daily, and 1,800 barrels of condensates.
The projects also included developing the fields of Desouk area phase B with the aim of producing about 130 million cubic feet of gas per day and 140 barrels of condensates.
The Nawras area aims to add new production of natural gas, estimated at 1066 million cubic feet of gas daily.
They also included developing the third phase of Ras el Bar field in the Mediterranean with the aim of producing 110 million cubic feet of gas daily.
They also included carrying out the development of the western Delta fields affiliated to BP with the aim of developing the reserves discovered in the deep waters which included natural gas and condensates, estimated at five trillion cubic feet of gas from five fields, which are Libra, Nawras, Giza, Fayom, and Ravin. The investment cost of the project is $9bn. Moreover, the production from the first phase of Nawras and Libra started in March 2017 with a total of nine wells that produce about 700 million cubic feet of gas daily.
The petroleum sector managed to keep the rates of Egypt’s production of crude oil at 700,000 barrels per day as a result of implementing projects and intensive work programmes as well as the drilling and development of wells in the main areas producing crude oil in the eastern desert, the Gulf of Suez, the eastern desert, and Sinai.
There projects aim to keep the production rates of Egypt fixed as well as compensate for the natural decline in the productivity of wells and old fields.