July 2011

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Oil Demand Set To Increase In 2012, IEA Says   

( - July 13, 2011) 



   Global oil demand will increase further next year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted.  The IEA, which represents the main oil consuming nations, said the increase in crude usage would continue to be driven by emerging economies.

     It estimates that demand will grow by an average of 1.47 million barrels a day in 2012, up from the current 2011 average daily growth of 1.2 million.


     Last month, IEA members released oil stocks to try to reduce prices. The move came after oil producers' cartel Opec voted against increasing supplies, although the world's largest producer, Saudi Arabia, did unilaterally raise its export levels.

     US light crude oil was down 14 cents at $97.29 a barrel in Wednesday trading, while Brent was eight cents lower at $117.67.

     Oil prices have fallen over the past week as concerns have risen that the debt crisis in the eurozone may spread to Italy and Spain, thereby reducing crude consumption in Europe. However, crude prices have risen over the past year, led by strong demand from China and other fast-developing economies. US light crude hit a record high of $147 a barrel in July 2008 before the global financial crisis hit global growth.  



Global Rise in Oil and Gas Hiring Seen For Rest of 2011
( June 12, 2011)                                                                        

      A post-recession surge in global energy demand will boost oil and gas investment and activity levels in the second half of 2011, likely spurring an increase in hiring, according to a new report today.

     However, companies will remain cautious with investments and hiring, as they were throughout 2010, amid continued uncertainty in the global economy, commodity prices and political upheaval in the Middle East, the study by, a jobs board for the oil and gas industry, and Air Energi, an energy sector staffing firm. In addition, companies are placing a higher premium on well-trained workers as projects become more technical.


     "Hires across Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific, Australasia, Caspian, Europe and the Middle East are expected to increase with specific demand for LNG (liquefied natural gas) and engineering expertise most prevalent," the study's authors said in a prepared statement today.

     In the U.S., the job market is also becoming more "candidate-driven" following the lifting of the deep-water drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico, rising activity in oil and gas shale formations and continued interest in LNG projects, the report said.

     The study's authors said 13,000 oil and gas professionals from 45 countries were invited to participate in surveys for the report, including more than 5,500 direct recruiters or senior decision makers.  


Apache Expands Egypt's Faghur Basin Play With Continued Drilling Successes

( - July 16,  2011) 


Egyptian flag small


     Apache Corporation today reported five new oil discoveries in its Faghur Basin play in the far southwest of Egypt's Western Desert oil and gas province.


     Apache also said that the AG-96 development well in the Abu Gharadig Concession tested 3,347 barrels of oil and 1 million cubic feet (MMcf) of natural gas per day from the Lower Bahariya formation. The well - drilled on acreage acquired from BP in late 2010 - is expected to lead to several additional wells before year end.


The Faghur Basin discoveries included:

  • West Kalabsha-I-4 logged 79 feet of net pay in the Jurassic Safa sands. In a test, the well flowed 7,150 barrels of oil per day and 11.4 million cubic feet (MMcf) of gas per day.
  • Faghur North-1X logged 25 feet of net pay in the Safa and Paleozoic Desouqy sands. Combined tests had a rate of 1,444 barrels of oil and 3.9 MMcf of gas per day.
  • Faghur South-1X logged 38 feet of net pay in Safa and Cretaceous AEB-6 sands. The Safa tested 2,768 barrels of oil and 4 MMcf of gas per day.
  • Huni-1X logged 27 feet of net pay in the AEB-3 sands. The well tested 970 barrels per day from the AEB-3E sand.
  • Neith North-1X logged 20 feet of net pay in the AEB-3 sands and 57 feet of net pay in the Safa sands. A Safa well test is planned this month.

     "The Faghur Basin continues to be a successful focus area for Apache, with AEB, Safa, and now Paleozoic reservoirs that have proven to be prolific oil and gas producers. These recent discoveries support the multi-pay potential of this oil-prone area of the Western Desert," said Tom Voytovich, vice president of Apache's Egypt Region. "The Huni and Neith North discoveries continue Apache's recent exploration success in the eastern area of the Faghur Basin.

     "These discoveries and production from the Tayim development lease approved during the revolution period illustrate the fact that Egypt's energy sector is continuing to move forward," Voytovich said. "Our recent drilling successes provide clear evidence of the exploration potential on Apache acreage in Egypt and the benefits of working in stacked-pay areas."

     Apache recently drilled the first discovery on its westernmost exploration concession. The Siwa-D-1X drilled in the Siwa Concession pushed Jurassic and Cretaceous plays farther south and westward and will lead to follow-up exploration prospects. Apache expects to commence production from the well upon approval of a development plan later in 2011.

     The Tayim West-1X discovery in the West Kalabsha Concession represents the first Paleozoic success found in a reservoir separate from the younger proven Jurassic and Cretaceous sands and opens up the area to further deep tests in upcoming wells. The discovery is currently on production.

     Thus far in 2011, Apache has drilled eight new discoveries in 10 attempts in the Faghur Basin, and drilling is under way on three additional wells -Mandulis-1X, Neilos-1X and Faghur North-2X. Eight additional exploration wells are planned for the area this year.

     Apache continues to evaluate 3-D seismic surveys to identify additional exploration opportunities, including a recently completed 400-square-mile (1,040 square kilometers) survey across the Apache-operated Sallum Concession on the west side of the basin, and a 656-square-mile (1,698 square kilometers) survey covering the eastern part of the basin underlying the Khalda Offset, South Umbarka and Shushan concessions.

   Apache's current gross operated production in Egypt totals approximately 215,000 barrels of oil and 900 MMcf of gas per day, including 40,000 barrels of oil per day from the Faghur Basin.  




Qatar: ExxonMobil Sees Gas Projects Key to Qatar Growth 


( - July 12, 2011)


  Qatar emblem  


   Qatar's major domestic gas development projects will help lay the foundations for the country's economic expansion. Qatar's major domestic gas development projects will help lay the foundations for the country's economic expansion, according to Alex Dodds, president and general manager of ExxonMobil Qatar.

     Dodds said in an interview with Oxford Business Group that the projects would generate the power needed for extensive infrastructural works.  He added that the ventures would allow Qatar to move ahead with plans to diversify its economy in line with its long-term development plan, the Qatar National Vision 2030.   


     With the completion of the Al Khaleej Gas Venture (AKG), the focus is on the Barzan project, which marks the next phase of Qatar's gas development. The venture is a joint initiative between ExxonMobil Qatar and Qatar Petroleum (QP) with the first gas flow planned for 2014. It will be operated by RasGas. 


     "The Barzan project is a critical component of Qatar's strategy because it will provide the remaining energy needed to propel the country towards sustainable development," Dodds said. "Without an energy source to help develop and power the economy and provide the electricity needed to build the infrastructure, none of that can happen."

     Aside from its investment in domestic gas projects, ExxonMobil said it has also participated in 12 of Qatar's 14 LNG trains since launching its operations in Qatar in the early 1990s. "Our focus now is towards reliable LNG operations. We view this strategy as important because of Qatar's role as a key supplier of energy to the world."

     He said Qatar's long-term plans to drive forward its expansion in the worldwide LNG market were in line with global trends which indicated that natural gas would overtake coal as the primary power source. "LNG is viewed as a critical component of the global energy mix and natural gas is the hydrocarbon fuel of choice from an emissions perspective," he said.

     "While we expect to see overall growth in energy demand up almost 35 percent between 2005 and 2030, demand for natural gas looks likely to grow by 60 percent."

     He said he was confident that the strategic positioning of ExxonMobil's three LNG receiving terminal projects in Wales, Northern Italy and the US will bolster Qatar's plans to up its delivery of LNG worldwide. "The LNG receiving terminals are strategic assets for the delivery of Qatari LNG into key markets. This energy value chain is helping to establish Qatar as global supplier of clean-burning energy."  


ENI Enhances Its Commitment to Egypt 


( - July 14, 2011)


Egyptian flag small



     The Egyptian Prime Minister HE Essam Sharaf and Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni met in Cairo confirming the commitment of Eni to Egypt, following the recent agreements. The new activities will take place in the Western Desert, in the Mediterranean and in the Sinai, and will cover both exploration and development, through the drilling of additional wells and the acceleration of production from new discoveries.


     With these additional activities, Eni's investment in Egypt in the years 2011 and 2012 will amount to approximately US$3 billion. Eni will also sponsor a training plan for national staff working in the Petrobel and Agiba joint ventures with EGPC. Furthermore, in accordance with the Ministry of Petroleum, Eni will support the Sinai community with social activities. Eni is the first international operator in Egypt with total operated production of round 500 thousand boe/day.



Yemen, Total Discuss Raising Oil, Gas Production  


( - July 5, 2011)  

Yemen flag


  Yemen and Total discussed here on Sunday the new developments and procedures aiming to raise the oil and gas production in Yemen. This came in a meeting brought together Vice President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi and Total's most senior executive in the Middle East Arnaud Breuillac.


     During the meeting, Hadi underlined the necessity to process the oil-accompanied gas burning in the block 10 to liquid gas to be utilized in electricity uses.He urged to search for new markets for the Yemeni gas, stressing the importance of the entire cooperation between Oil ministry and Total company.  The Vice President described the Yemeni partnership with Total company as strategic, economic and significant.




Oman: BP Mulls $15 Billion Investment in Omani "tight gas" Fields 

( - June 21, 2011) 


Oman Flag        


     BP PLC is considering an investment of $15 billion over a 10-year period for the full-field development of its Block 61 tight gas fields in Oman, according to a senior executive of the firm.  "This will be a very large project...and will require approximately $15 billion in capital investment from BP to make that happen," said Jonathan Edwards, vice-president of BP Oman. 


     "About $10 billion of that will go into the drilling of wells and the rest will go for surface facilities," Evans said. "We are proposing for the full field development of a gas processing plant with a capacity to process 1.2 bcfd, which will need 330 wells, and about 600 km of gathering system to connect all those wells." 


      "We have not yet reached an agreement with the government," Evan said, adding that, "We have to submit a field development plan to the government, which we plan to do early next year."


     Evans noted that on the basis of field development plan, BP will negotiate commercial terms with the government. "The government has to agree for the scale of development that we are talking about," he said. If everything goes well, the first production of gas on commercial basis from the field is expected in late 2016 or early 2017. "We need 60 wells to start commercial production and thereafter, we will drill 20 wells every year for 10 years," Evans said.


     Evans' remarks followed an announcement by BP of the successful completion of an extended well testing project, with the anticipated commercial gas production from its Khazzan and Makarem fields expected at about 1.2 bcfd. "We are encouraged by the results of the extended well tests," said Evans, who explained that the tests, "will help us as we now work towards declaration of commercialization by 2012-end."


     "We have already drilled eight wells and a ninth one is being drilled at the moment," said Evans, who added that the stimulation and testing of the first three wells have been completed.


     Evans said that teams in London and Muscat are working with the government of Oman to agree on the development concept for the Khazzan project, which will form the first phase of development on Block



     "This includes designs for wells and surface facilities," said Evans, who added that BP had begun producing 60 MMcfd of gas from the test wells. He said seven wells have been successfully tested, with BP Oman planning to add two more wells by yearend.



     Under the terms of the exploration and production-sharing agreement signed in January 2007, BP is required to submit a full field development plan to the government. "We plan to do this early next year, and on the basis of that, we will then negotiate commercial terms," Evans said. The agreement covers a 2,800 sq km area in central Oman, including the Khazzan and Makarem gas fields, which were discovered in 1993 but had remained undeveloped due to what BP called "the complexity of their tight gas reservoirs."


     At the time, BP said it signed "a major production-sharing agreement that will give the company access to two Middle East fields and associated accumulations that could yield resources of some 20-30 tcf of natural gas."


     In November 2009, BP completed drilling five of eight appraisal wells as part of its development program for the reserves on Block 61. "BP will drill eight appraisal wells in total by 2011," according to Jonathan Evans, BP Oman general manager. "So far we've done five wells, which have provided a lot of useful information on the nature and the scale of the reservoirs (OGJ Newsletter, June 7, 2010)." BP has a 100% stake in Block 61, but Oman's government may take 20% equity in the project at the time of commerciality.




Algerian Hybrid Solar Gas Plant Launches 


( - July 18, 2011)


     Algerian Flag

   Abengoa launched the first hybrid solar-gas plant in Hassi R 'Mel, Algeria. The plant will generate electricity on a large scale using both natural gas and solar energy. The hybrid plant has a 150 MW capacity and consists of a natural gas combined cycle plant with a solar field of 224 parabolic trough collectors with the capacity to produce up to 25 MW of energy.

     The Hassi R 'Mel solar thermal plant is the first hybrid solar-gas plant in Algeria and the second that Abengoa has undertaken. The other facility, opened on May 13, is located in Ain-Beni-Mathar in Morocco. The Moroccan plant has a 470 MW capacity.


Kuwait's Al-Zour Refinery Gets Approval 


( July 4, 2011)

Kuwaiti Flag

    Kuwait's Oil Minister Mohammad al-Busairy said the Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC), the country's highest decision-making body for oil policy, has approved construction of the 615,000 b/d Al-Zour refinery.

     Al-Busairy said SPC also approved proposals to upgrade two of Kuwait's three existing refineries-the 466,000 b/d Mina Al-Ahmadi and the 270,000 b/d Mina Abdulla..


Egypt: More Drilling in the Eastern Desert 


( - July 7, 2011)  


Egyptian flag small    


     The Eastern Desert witnessed the drilling of two development wells by The General Petroleum Company (GPC) and PetroDara; one well for each.

     First, the GPC drilled the development well Amer-62 development well to a total depth of 6,398 feet, through the ST-4 rig.  The well has been placed on production line, according to sources.  The second development well was drilled by PetroDara to a total depth of 3789 feet, with total investments of $800 thousand.

     This drilling activity serves the company's plan for the fiscal year of 2010/2011. PetroDara utilized the ECDC-6 rig to drill this crude oil producing well.


Issue: 07 - 2011

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Gas Chart July 2011
Oil Chart July 2011
In This Issue
Oil Demand Set To Increase in 2012, IEA Says
Global Rise in Oil and Gas Hiring Seen For Rest of 2011
Apache Expands Egypt's Faghur Basin Play With Continued Drilling Successes
Qatar: ExxonMobil Seeks Gas Projects Key to Qatar Growth
Egypt: ENI Enhances Its Commitment to Egypt
Yemen, Total Discuss Raising Oil, Gas Production
Oman: BP Mulls $15 Billion Investment in Omani "tight gas" Fields
Algerian Hybrid Solar Gas Plant Launches
Kuwait's Al-Zour Refinery Gets Approval
Egypt: More Drilling in the Eastern Desert
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    The following abstract deadline occurs in August 2011:  
  • GEO 2012: 10th Middle Eastern Geosciences Conference and Exhibition in Manama, Bahrain - starting 4 March 2012 - abstract due 1 August 2011
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