Minister of Petroleum Tarek El-Molla received the Dong Fang Kanten ship in Safaga, which is carrying out the work of the geophysical data collection project on Egyptian economic waters in the Red Sea, implemented by the alliance of WesternGeco-Schlumberger and TGS with investments of $750m.
According to El-Molla, the seismic research conducted by the alliance will provide the opportunity to obtain more clear data for deep geological structures, sedimentary basins, and potential oil reservoirs in these areas to start oil activity in this pristine Egyptian region, which has not been previously active except for the Gulf of Suez. South Valley Egyptian Petroleum Holding Company (Ganope) has put forward international bids for the exploration of oil wealth and exploitation in the Egyptian economic waters in the Red Sea, which was not possible without demarcation of the maritime border in the Red Sea with Saudi Arabia.
He added that as soon as the new data is processed, a global bid will be put forward including new sectors in the Red Sea before the end of this year, after giving international exploration companies an opportunity to review and evaluate the new data.
According to Mohamed El-Shimy, chairperson of the company, they have provided all the necessary work and efforts to start the implementation of the project, which was planned to begin in 18 months since the contract was signed in 19 July 2017, but the company succeeded in obtaining all approvals and the required permits from the concerned authorities and prepared environmental studies before the start of operations.
In July of last year, the company signed two contracts with US Schlumberger and the British TGS to implement two geophysical data collection projects in Egyptian economic waters in the Red Sea and southern Egypt with investments of more than $750m after the demarcation of the maritime border in the Red Sea with Saudi Arabia.
“The project will contribute to offering bids for oil reserves and exploitation in the Egyptian economic waters in the Red Sea,” El-Molla said. “This would not have been possible without demarcating the maritime border with Saudi Arabia.”
The House of Representatives approved in June the agreement on demarcation of the maritime border between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which was then ratified by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi during the same month.
El-Molla added that the completion of the seismic survey of Egyptian maritime borders with Saudi Arabia will be during the current year, as the project will be divided into stages, without waiting for its completion as a whole.
A navigation source said that the search for oil is the first research in the Red Sea region after the demarcation of the border with Saudi Arabia, expecting it to bear good results, where the concession area is located within the rights of Ganoub El Wadi Petroleum Holding Company.
The source noted that the research vessel Dong Fang Kanten was accompanied by a supply ship with fuel, food, and drink for the staff of the main ship and all other living requirements.