October 2011
Greetings from StratoChem Services!


SCS is excited to invite participation in a groundbreaking geochemical study of the Cenomanian-Turonian source rock of Northern Egypt. The study aims to integrate data from more than 60 wells in Northern Egypt and open opportunities for synthesis with further studies in the Mediterranean .

For additional information, please refer to the flyer
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BP Makes Gas Discovery in Egypt's Nile Delta

 ( - October 25, 2011) 


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     BP Egypt announced the Salmon gas discovery in the North El Burg Offshore Concession, Nile Delta. Salmon is the third gas discovery BP has made in the concession following Satis-1 and Satis-3 Oligocene deep gas discoveries.


     Salmon, drilled by IEOC, the affiliate of ENI in Egypt, on behalf of concession operator BP, is located 50 kilometers to the north of Damietta. The wireline logs and pressure readings confirmed the presence of gas in two shallow Pleistocene intervals. The well was drilled by Scarabeo IV rig in water depths of 87m and reached a total depth of 1600m. Further appraisal work to evaluate the resources is underway.


      Hesham Mekawi, President and General Manager of BP Egypt stated "The success of Salmon highlights the great potential of the shallow reservoirs within the Nile Delta, and helps unlock additional resources in surrounding acreage. It demonstrates the ongoing cooperation with the Ministry of Petroleum to deliver new gas discoveries and incremental supply to meet the future growth of the gas business in Egypt."


      The parties to the North El Burg Offshore Concession agreement are: BP (operator 50%) and IEOC (50%).

PA Resources Hits Snag in Tunisia Drilling
( - October 27, 2011)                                                                          

 Tunisian Flag



     PA Resources reported that it encountered complications during flow testing of the new production well on the satellite field Didon North in Tunisia. Despite good oil saturation in the reservoir, only small amounts of hydrocarbons have been recovered from the Didon North well in recent flow tests. PA Resources said that according to preliminary analysis, the well has encountered minor faults, not visible in the seismic data, preventing oil from flowing in the well. Several attempts to flow the well have been made using different techniques, and additional measures without further analysis are not justified at this stage.


     The board of director's of PA Resources subsequently decided to suspend the well and release the drilling rig. A full analysis will be conducted to evaluate all options for future exploitation of the oil in the reservoir that was discovered by an exploration well at the field in 2008. The investment will be impaired in Q4 2011. 


     "We are very surprised by this unexpected outcome given our experience from similar reservoirs at the Didon field. We will need time to assess what has gone wrong in testing and possibly the completion of the well. At the same time, we will look into other possibilities to increase our production. Near term we look forward to first oil at the Aseng field in Equatorial Guinea in Q4," said Bo Askvik, president and CEO of PA Resources.

Egypt: Dana Gas eyes production increase


( - October 4,  2011) 


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   Dana Gas drilled the South Abou El-Naga 2 development well, in the West Manzala Concession, onshore the Nile Delta.


    The cost of drilling this oil-producing well averaged $2.5 million. The well was drilled to a total depth of 8000 feet.


    The Middle East's first and largest regional private sector Natural gas Company aims at increasing its production rates to 67 thousand barrels a day by mid 2012.


     On May 3rd, 2011, Dana Gas announced its latest discovery at the South Abu El Naga-2 well, drilled as an appraisal of the previously announced South Abu El Naga Field in the West El Manzala Concession, which encountered 16.6 meters of net pay in the Abu Madi formation.


     In addition, the well encountered 4.8 meters of net pay in a good quality sandstone reservoir of the El Wastani formation, representing a new pool discovery. On test, the well produced 14.1 million standard cubic feet per day (MMscfpd) of gas with 718 barrels of condensate from the Abu Madi Formation, and 5.9 MMscfpd of dry gas from the El Wastani Formation.


     "As our first discovery for 2011, the South Abu El Naga-2 well highlights our ongoing success in Egypt. Besides being a successful appraisal of the South Abu El Naga Field, it is the twenty-second new pool discovery as a result of the outstanding dedication of our exploration and drilling team in implementing the aggressive campaign launched in 2007. We will actively continue this exploration program throughout 2011," said Ahmed Al Arbeed, Dana Gas CEO in a statement.


Iraq: ShaMaran Petroleum tests oil from the Pulkhana-8 re-entry well


(  - October 25, 2011)


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     The Pulkhana-8 re-entry well (PLK-8RE) tested an average rate of 2,650 barrels of 31.6 degree API oil per day from the Upper Cretaceous Shiranish formation (high rates of up to 3,530 barrels of oil per day were recorded during the test). The well continued to clean up during the test and produced an average of 24.6% muddy water which is believed to be drilling fluids and lost circulation material associated with the initial drilling of the well in 2006. To facilitate cleanup on the well operations are currently underway to drill approx. 50 meters of additional reservoir section. It is expected that the Pulkhana-8 well will be completed as the first production well for connection into the Pulkhana Early Production Facility planned for start-up during 2012.


    The results of PLK-8RE and Pulkhana-9 (PLK-9) have indicated that there could be up to five separate oil bearing reservoirs in the Pulkhana structure. Oil has been tested from the two proven reservoirs (Euphrates & Shiranish formations). Three additional regional reservoirs (Jaddala, Upper Dhiban and the Balambo) are pending further evaluation as the appraisal program continues.


     Operations are also ongoing to sidetrack the PLK-9 well and barefoot test the Shiranish and Balambo intervals. Results from the testing are expected in the next 6-8 weeks. Plans are being finalised for the next appraisal well in the field, Pulkhana-10, which will be a well dedicated to the appraisal and development of the Euphrates and Jaddala reservoirs.


     ShaMaran President and CEO, Pradeep Kabra, commented, 'We are pleased with the preliminary flow rates from the Pulkhana 8 re-entry well and intend continuing the aggressive appraisal program to unlock the value of the field.'


     The Company has a 60 percent working interest and is Operator of the Pulkhana Block.



BP Tags Maersk Discoverer for Egypt Drilling


(  - October 26,  2011)


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     Maersk Drilling has signed a contract with BP for the ultra deepwater semisubmersible Maersk Discoverer for work initially to begin offshore Egypt. The firm contract duration is four years and the also includes an option for one year. The contract is expected to commence in Q2 2012.


     The maximum contract value for the firm four-year period is approximately $780 million including mobilization fees.  


     "We are very pleased to enter into this contract with BP, one of the world's largest oil and gas companies. This is a good opportunity to demonstrate our skills within deepwater drilling and we hope it can pave the way for strengthening our position as a reliable contractor for BP within the deepwater segment," said Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling and member of the executive board of the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group. 

Iran to Develop Six New Persian Gulf Offshore Natural Gas Fields

( - October 17, 2011)

Iranian Flag 


     The National Iranian Offshore Oil Company has announced plans to begin the development of six new offshore natural gas fields in the Persian Gulf, whose reserves are estimated at 25.7 trillion cubic feet.


     Iran's natural gas reserves are estimated to be the world's second largest, exceeded only by those in the Russian Federation.


     The natural gas fields, which include the Lavan, Resalat, Reshadat, Salman, Kangan, Hamoun and Gorzin sites, are expected to produce about 10 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day when fully online, Press TV reported.   


     The new sites are adjacent to the Persian Gulf's giant South Pars gas field, which is jointly shared by Iran and Qatar. South Pars is estimated to contain about 14 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, roughly eight percent of the current total world reserves. Iran has divided South Pars into 24 phases of development. According to Iran's Pars Oil and Gas Company managing director Mousa Souri, all phases of the giant South Pars gas field will go on stream by 2015.


     The National Iranian Offshore Oil Company estimates that the output of the new six fields will be equivalent to the South Pars natural gas field development phases 9 and 10.


Libya's oil exports to jump to 350,000 bopd in November


( - October 31, 2011)

  Libyan flag NEW        

     Libya's crude oil exports will jump to almost 350,000 barrels per day in November, more than double the volume sold the previous month, sources at the National Oil Company (NOC) told Reuters in an interview on Sunday.


     The NOC plans to sell a total of up to 14 cargoes of oil from several fields, primarily in the east and at offshore sites which escaped the worst of the damage inflicted by the war and located in areas that were liberated soon after the uprising. A further two cargoes were expected to be offered by Benghazi-based subsidiary Agoco, bringing the total to 16, the sources said.


     The eastern firm took charge of sales during the fighting to provide rebels with a crucial source of income after sanctions froze most of Libya's $170 billion worth of assets. Libya's crude oil exports virtually ground to a halt during the war, with just two cargoes leaving the country's ports until September, when the first flows began trickling back into the market.


     Before the February uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi and ultimately led to his capture and death just over a week ago, Libyan crude oil exports stood at 1.3 million bpd.


     Agoco was due to hand over responsibility for sales in mid-November, the sources said. At least eight cargoes of crude and condensate have been sold since Agoco's fields began pumping oil again almost two months ago, and several grades have been offered.


     Libya still has no plans to offer crude from Repsol's El-Sharara field however, as the first flows will be used to supply the country's largest online refinery at Zawiya. It can process around 120,000 bpd but has yet to return to full capacity.


     There was no timeframe in place for marketing oil from the site, which is located deep in the south west and among Libya's largest fields, the sources said. Libya's largest refinery, which accounts for around two-thirds of the country's refining capacity, was expected online towards the end of November, the sources said.


     Ras Lanuf can process 220,000 bpd and the NOC chairman has previously said the plant would return to service by the end of the year, a forecast the NOC sources said was over-cautious.


     The NOC's shipments will total around 600,000 barrels each, while Agoco was expected to sell its oil in larger cargoes of 1 million barrels, the sources said. More streams of crude would become available for export, in a further sign the industry is slowly returning to normality.


     The NOC planned to market crude from Total's Al Jurf, Eni's Abu Atiffel, Amna, Sirtica and Zueitina in November. Agoco would market cargoes of Sarir crude before handing control back to the NOC.


     The rapid return of Libya's oil is still almost entirely owed to the efforts and sacrifices of local workers who have returned to fields that are still viewed as unsafe either due to the risk of attack by insurgents or maintenance issues. But it could be many months before they are joined by the foreigners that make up a key part of the country's skilled workforce, which could hamper efforts to speed up flows at sites already in operation and restart other fields.


     The largest contractors working on Libya's oil fields say most foreign companies still have no timeframe in place for returning evacuated staff, and few have volunteered to return.


     New obstacles are emerging as firms negotiate who will provide security for workers vulnerable to attacks in the desert and in cities overflowing with weapons. Foreign oil companies are keen to use their own security, but the interim government has said a special branch of the military will be trained up to protect the country's oil fields.

     And for the time being, with or without security, they are unwilling to commit to sending employees back to a country that is already seen to be plunging into a cycle of tribal violence and retribution, potentially undermining the new leaders and sending Libya back into chaos.


Iraq: ExxonMobil, BP, Eni Investing $100B to Develop 3 Iraqi Fields-Official


( - October 19, 2011)


Iraq Flag 


   ExxonMobil, BP and Italy's Eni will spend around $100 billion to upgrade three oilfields in southern Iraq, the top energy advisor to the Iraqi Prime Minister said Wednesday.


     Thamer Ghadhban said some $50 billion would be spent to upgrade the supergiant West Qurna Phase 1 oilfield which is being developed by Exxon Mobil. The remaining $50 billion will be spent by BP and Eni to upgrade the Rumaila and Zubair oil fields respectively, he added.


     "We have $100 billion for the three fields," Ghadhban told reporters on the sidelines of an Iraqi energy conference in Istanbul organized by the London-based CWC Group. "The bulk (of the finance) is for West Qurna 1 because the Rumaila and Zubair fields were well advanced in terms of development, such as number of wells, oilfield facilities, other infrastructure, while West Qurna phase 1 needs more," he said.


    The three fields are pumping now around 2 million barrels a day, which is the bulk of Iraq's total oil output, currently standing at 2.9 million barrels a day.


     According to the deals signed with these companies two years ago, production from these three fields should reach at least 6.8 million barrels a day in 2017.


     The 20-year contracts stipulate that international companies should spend money developing these fields, then would start receiving costs and remuneration fees per extra produced barrels when they reached 10% of baseline output increase.


      A BP spokesman said it was too early to forecast the exact size of the group's investment in Rumaila.

"We're working with our partners and the Iraqi government on a detailed field development plan. Obviously, our plan is to invest enough to reach the production targets agreed in our contract," said the spokesman.


DNO awarded Tunisian licence 


( October 24, 2011)

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    DNO reports that on October 20th, an agreement was signed at the Ministry of Industry and Technology for the grant of a hydrocarbon exploration licence permit called 'FKIRINE' between the Norwegian company DNO Tunisia, a 100% owned subsidiary of DNO International and the Tunisian Oil Activities Company (ETAP). The Protocol was signed by Mr. Abdelaziz Rassaa, Minister of Industry and Technology, Mr. Mohamed Akrout, CEO of ETAP, and Erik Syrdalen, Managing Director of DNO Tunisia AS.


    Located in central Tunisia, the permit covers an area of 2,064 km2.


   DNO Tunisia and the Tunisian Oil Activities Company also entered into a partnership agreement which sets out the terms and conditions of their associational partnership. DNO Tunisia will fund the exploration phase and ETAP has the option to participate within the 50% limit in any possible discovery on this permit. Some 2.5 million U.S. dollars will be invested in the work program that will be valid for two years.


     After the two years, DNO Tunisia can change the permit to a research permit. This would mean that it will drill exploration wells / appraisal wells for a period of four years.

Kulczyk Oil Halts Operations in Syria 


( - October 17, 2011)  


Syrian Flag    


     Kulczyk Oil announced that Loon Latakia Limited ("Loon Latakia"), an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of KOV, has suspended current operations in Syria. As a result of KOV suspending its exploration activities in Syria, the drilling of the Itheria-1 well, the first exploration well being drilled by the Company and its joint venture partners on Syria Block 9, has been suspended at a depth of 2,072 meters.


     The original planned target depth of the Itheria-1 well was 3,256 meters. The well was designed to evaluate multiple zones within a large structure with four-way dip closure defined by 3D seismic in an area approximately 200 kilometers due east of the City of Latakia. The Affendi Sandstone of Ordovician age, the first objective encountered, was penetrated at a depth of approximately 1,470 meters and did not have sufficient porosity or permeability to be a potential reservoir. Two other potential reservoirs, the Ordovician Khanasser Sandstone and the Middle Cambrian Burj Carbonate are expected to occur below the suspended depth. The geological and petrophysical information obtained thus far at Itheria will now be assessed to review the prospectivity of the deeper objectives in Itheria and in the nearby Bashaer prospect. The need to assess, together with an increasingly more difficult operating environment, has resulted in a suspension of exploration activity.


     As a result of the current operating conditions in the country, KOV requested an extension of the first exploration period under the Block 9 Production Sharing Contract ("Block 9 PSC") which was refused. The Block 9 PSC remains in effect and discussions with the Syrian government authorities concerning Block 9 are continuing. In the meantime, KOV will continue to monitor operating conditions in Syria to assess when, and if, a recommencement of its Syrian operations is possible.


     Loon Latakia holds a participating interest of 50% in the Block 9 PSC which provides the right to explore for and, upon fulfilment of certain conditions, to produce oil and gas from Block 9, a 10,032 square kilometer (2.48 million acre) area in northwest Syria.

Issue: 10 - 2011

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 New at StratoChem!

     We have already begun taking orders for use of our new portable X-Ray Frequency sample analyzer, the XRF Gun for high sensitivity, non-destructive, fast analyses in the field.  We are excited to be up and running with it this month.  We are also looking forward to using our other new piece of equipment, the "Rock-Wash," an automated instrument for cleaning muddy and contaminated cuttings from drilling wells with unparalleled efficiency. It washes the cuttings, rinses them, dries them and takes a high resolution, binocular photograph of the clean, dry, labelled cuttings. The clean cuttings are then packed and stored. Throughout the automated process, the individual samples are electronically tagged to prevent mis-identification. The customer receives an electronic photograph of each cutting at its position (depth) down the well. The Rock-Wash at Stratochem is one of only three instruments in the world (the other two are in the USA and Europe) and can process about 500 samples per day.
In This Issue
BP Makes Gas Discovery in Egypt's Nile Delta
PA Resources Hits Snag in Tunisia Drilling
Egypt: Dana Gas eyes production increase
Iraq: ShaMaran Petroleum tests oil from the Pulkhana-8 re-entry well
BP Tags Maersk Discoverer for Egypt Drilling
Iran to Develop Six New Persian Gulf Offshore Natural Gas Fields
Libya's oil exports to jump to 350,000 bopd in November
ExxonMobil, BP, Eni Investing $100B to Develop 3 Iraqi Fields-Official
Tunisia: DNO awarded Tunisian licence
Kulczyk Oil Halts Operations in Syria

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Upcoming Events
There are no abstract deadlines occurring in November 2011.  
The following conferences occur in November 2011:
  • SEG/EAGE DISC 2011: Rijswijk, Netherlands - Seismic Acquisition from Yesterday to Tomorrow - starting 2 November 2011
  • SEG/EAGE DISC 2011: Milan, Italy - starting 7 November 2011
  • World Shale Gas Conference & Exhibition in Texas, USA - starting 7 November 2011 
  • Sustainable Earth Sciences - Technologies for Sustainable Use of the Deep Sub-Surfance: Valencia, Spain - starting 8 November 2011
  • SEG/EAGE DISC 2011: Tripoli, Libya - 9 November 2011
  • EAGE/AAPG/SEG/SPE, IPTC 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand - starting 15 November 2011
  • SEGJ, the 10th SEGJ International Symposium in Kyoto, Japan- starting 20 November 2011
  • Education Days Moscow 2011 in Moscow, Russia - starting 21 November 2011
  • 3rd Arabia Plate Geology Workshop 2011 Kuwait City, Kuwait - starting 28 November 2011
  • Shale Gas World Europe in Warsaw, Poland - starting 28 November 2011

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