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June 2012
Greetings from StratoChem Services!


Summer is well under way, and there have been some great developments here at StratoChem. Early in the month, StratoChem marketing manager David Mungo and scientist Yasmin Kadry attended the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Moreover, we're looking forward to participating in the Lebanon International Petroleum Exhibition in July. And with our new thermal extraction system installed, a world of exciting possibilities are opening here at StratoChem.

For further information about our services please direct inquiries to: info@stratochemlabs.com

Omani Chemists Train at



StratoChem has some guests this month. In May we told you about our brand new satellite lab in Muscat, Oman, in partnership with Shuram Oil & Gas. Now we're happy to announce that two Omani chemists have come to StratoChem for specialized geochemical training. Jinan and El-Shimaa will spend three weeks with us before returning to Muscat. We at StratoChem welcome our newest partners!  For more information on our Omani lab, please visit Shuram's website at http://shuramgroup.com/index_oilgas.html 


From right to left: StratoChem geoscientist Radwa Nagdy, Shuram chemists Jinan and El-Shimaa, and sales manager Hunter Eden. 

Egypt: Bapetco Drills Two New Development Wells


(www.egyptoil-gas.com - May 20, 2012)


Egyptian flag small 


Badr El Din Petroleum Company (Bapetco) has completed drilling two new developmental wells in its Western Desert concession area as part of its development plan for the 2011/2012 fiscal year.


Egypt Oil and Gas has learned that the oil-producing BED-1-27 was drilled via the EDC-42 rig, reaching the depth of 12,789 feet. Drilling investments in the well have reached $3.091 million. The new oil-producing well has been added to the company's overall production numbers.


In the Sitra development lease located in Abu Gharadiq Basin, Bapetco drilled SITRA 8-19. It was drilled using the EDC-72 rig to a depth of 11,644 feet. Costs of the operation amounted to $2.541million and the well has yet to be added to the company's overall production figures.

The company's production rates during the month of Aprl 2012 stood at 745,817 barrels of crude oil, 352,803 barrels of condensate and 2,120,893 barrels of oil equivalent of natural gas.

During the previous fiscal year, Bapetco successfully drilled 34 wells, and the company is looking to drill 44 exploratory and developmental wells in the current fiscal year 2011/2012 in order to boost total production of crude oil and natural gas.


Bapetco is a joint venture company between the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Royal Dutch Shell.
Iraq Asks Obama to Halt Exxon's Kurdish Oil Deal

 ( www.egyptoil-gas.com - June 22nd, 2012)



Iraq has asked U.S. President Barack Obama to stop Exxon Mobil exploring for oil in its autonomous Kurdistan region, saying the U.S. company's actions could have dire consequences for the country's stability.


An aide to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told Reuters of a letter the premier had sent, seeking Obama's intervention, as Kurdistan said on Tuesday it would sign more deals with majors to raise its output five-fold.


Turkey also signaled it was prepared to import oil directly from Kurdistan, potentially defying Baghdad, which has a long-running dispute with Kurdistan over oil export controls.


Exxon angered Baghdad last year by signing an exploration deal with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in the north, which the central government deemed illegal.


"Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki explained to President Obama in the letter sent this month the dire consequences of the Exxon deal and its negative impact on Iraq's stability," Maliki's media adviser Ali al-Moussawi said.


Since the last U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq in December, disputed areas between Kurdistan and Baghdad have been seen as a potential flashpoint for conflict as tensions between the two regions rise, without the buffer of a U.S. military presence.


Iraq's oil minister said in April that Exxon had written to Baghdad informing it that it had suspended work in the Kurdish region.


"Despite Exxon's letters about the freezing of their work in the region, we still receive information that suspicious work is going on relating to their exploration activities," Moussawi said.


"The point of the message was clear. The U.S. administration must intervene," he added.




Kurdistan announced in November the signing of a deal for six exploration blocs with Exxon, the first major oil company to deal directly with the Kurds in northern Iraq.


Iraqi Kurdistan, which has its own government and armed forces, has already clashed with the central government over autonomy and oil rights, and halted its crude exports in April after accusing Baghdad of not making due payments.  On Tuesday, Kurdistan's natural resources minister said it expects more oil majors to follow Exxon in the next few months and that oil shipments would resume.


"The market is very buoyant in Kurdistan. We have a lot of majors circling around looking at new PSCs (production-sharing contracts) and certainly mergers and acquisitions," Ashti Hawrami told an energy conference in London. "So in the next few months, we expect to see another two or three major companies coming and working in Kurdistan."


Exxon is one of the oil majors participating in massive projects in central Iraq, which is due to become the biggest source of additional oil for world markets in the next decade. But as exploration terms with the central government look less and less attractive, companies begin to look at Kurdistan.


Exxon is keeping a low profile in Kurdistan but industry sources said the company had already issued a tender for drilling rigs while French rivals Total (TOTF.PA) and Norway's Statoil (STL.OL) are also looking at exploration blocks there. Exxon was not available on Tuesday to comment on Maliki's letter. Total and Statoil have previously declined to discuss their plans in Kurdistan.


The KRG halted oil exports in April due to a payment dispute with Baghdad. Before then, contractors in Kurdistan were producing and exporting about 200,000 barrels per day (bpd). "The oil will flow ... regardless of an agreement, and I infinitely prefer an agreement," said Hawrami. By 2014 to 2015, output should grow to 1 million bpd, he said. "When you have 1 million barrels a day stranded, it will find its way to the market despite the political haggling."


"We expect more discoveries this year to bring us to our new target of 2 million barrels per day by 2019."




Kurdistan has started plans to begin exporting its crude oil along a new pipeline to the Turkish border by August 2013. Turkey signaled on Tuesday that was prepared to import oil directly from Kurdistan despite Baghdad's stance that it has the sole right to exports.


"Turkey cannot stay indifferent to developments in the energy sector of Iraq, including those in the KRG," Berris Ekinci, Deputy Director General for Energy, Water and Environment at Turkey's ministry of foreign affairs, told the London conference. "The most important thing will be the market drivers," she said in reference to Turkey's potential purchases of Kurdish oil. Small scale deliveries are expected to commence in coming weeks, when Kurdistan starts up a crude-for-products swap with Turkey, she told Reuters.


Industry sources say the KRG is gearing up to move crude by tanker truck to Turkey - possibly as part of the arrangement. Kurdistan is short of key products, including diesel and kerosene. It receives only 15,000 bpd of fuel from southern Iraq. "The volume (from Turkey) will increase incrementally," said Ekinci. "But neither the start date nor the volume has been set yet."


Turkey, which shares a border with Kurdistan, has increasingly courted Iraqi Kurds as its relations with the Shi'ite-led central government in Baghdad have soured. Turkey is a major investment and trading partner for Iraq, especially for Kurdistan.

Iran Plans to Issue $4.2 Billion Bonds for Gas Projects 

 ( www.energy-pedia.com/ - June 25, 2012)

Iranian Flag 

Iran's Pars Oil and Gas Co (POGC) plans to issue rial- and U.S. dollar-denominated bonds worth 52 trillion rials ($4.2 billion) by March 2013 to raise funds for natural gas projects, oil ministry website Shana reported on Monday. The development of Iran's South Pars gas field needs huge investment, the minister of petroleum, Rostam Qasemi, said in an appeal to the Iranian parliament for help, Shana reported.


Iran's state finances have come under unprecedented pressure from tightening Western financial sanctions and sharply falling oil prices, which have slashed revenues that are vital to fund the country's sprawling state companies. POGC's financial manager Toraj Jahan Ara told Shana that there would be $1 billion of dollar-denominated bonds, with the rest rial-denominated. The bonds will be issued in three phases, Shana said; Bank Mellat would begin offering 5 trillion rials of rial-denominated bonds this week.


Previous Iranian bond issues have been limited to domestic investors and foreign investors are unlikely to be interested, even if high rates of return are offered, because of high inflation and risks attached to investing in the isolated Islamic Republic, a fixed income investor specialised in high risk assets said.


Iran sits on some of the world's largest gas reserves, nearly half of which lie in the world's largest gas field that is not associated with oil, which it shares with Qatar. But Iranian efforts to develop its vast reserves for export have been frustrated by Western sanctions designed to starve Tehran of funds from oil or gas sales that could be used to fund its military. U.S. and European bank sanctions effectively prevent foreign investors from funding Iranian oil and gas projects, while a ban on companies supplying technology to Iran's energy industry makes it even more difficult for the country to develop them.

The managing director of National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC), Ahmad Qalebani, has said a 'remarkable part' of NIOC's current annual budget of about $22 billion will be allocated to POGC, a subsidiary of NIOC. Last year, $20 billion of credit was allocated to South Pars gas field projects, of which $14 billion was used, Shana said.  

Sidi Dhaher Disappoints in Tunisia


(www.petroleumafrica.com - June 26, 2012) 


Tunisian Flag


Partners on the Chorbane License onshore Tunisia are most likely feeling a bit frustrated and disappointed with the results of the Sidi Dhaher-1 well. After spending the better majority of 2011 and half of 2012 planning, acquiring a drilling rig, overcoming delays due to the political crisis in the country and finally drilling the well, they have come up empty. 


Following the drilling out of the safety plug within the previously suspended well, two separate intervals within the Bireno Formation have been perforated and flow tested. A five-meter section within the deeper Bireno Dolomite interval was perforated between 1,174-1,179 meters Measured Depth (MD) together with a 16-meter section in the shallower Bireno Limestone interval between 1,155-1,171 meters MD. Despite good flow rates from the two reservoir zones and substantial amounts of fluids being produced from the upper reservoir zone, the fluids did not contain any hydrocarbons.

ADX Energy said that around 90 barrels of fluid were recovered which were identified as most likely consisting of a mixture of drilling mud filtrate and possibly formation water. The efficient recovery of these fluids during the test suggests that they were sourced from the deeper Dolomite interval. Although a large volume of fluids have been lost to the formation while drilling and in preparation for the test, and the total volume had not yet been recovered during the flow test, JV participants agreed to plug off the deeper Bireno Dolomite section and test only the shallower Bireno Limestone section in isolation.

After performing a cement squeeze to close the perforations over the deeper Bireno Dolomite interval, and the setting of a bridge plug within the well-bore and between the Bireno Dolomite and the Bireno Limestone intervals, a flow test of the Bireno Limestone interval commenced. Prior to acid stimulation of the reservoir, no liquid flow from the Bireno Limestone was observed. This is quite typical behavior for this reservoir, and an acid stimulation was undertaken, the company said. After the acid stimulation, the well was flow tested, with the benefit of nitrogen lift. Around 680 barrels of fluid were recovered over a flow test period of 35 hours. The initial interpretation from the well site is that the recovered fluid is a mixture of spent acid, drilling mud filtrate, and formation water.

The well will now be plugged and abandoned, and the drilling information and test data will be interpreted before determining any further operations to be undertaken on the Sidi Dhaher structure.

Participant interests in the Sidi Dhaher-1 well tests are ADX Energy 40% operator, Gulfsands Petroleum 40%, XState Resources 10%, and Verus Investments 10%.

BP Egypt Announces Seth First Gas   

( www.egyptoil-gas.com - June 28, 2012)

Egyptian flag small

On the 23rd of June, first gas from the $334 million Seth development commenced approximately 18 months from project sanction, which is 15 weeks ahead of schedule.     


Seth field is located 60km offshore in the Ras El Bar concession in the East Nile Delta Mediterranean, close to existing producing Ha'py and Denise fields.  Seth is being developed with a 6 well slot, normally unmanned platform with gas being exported via the Denise (Pliocene) pipeline to El Gamil gas terminal near Port Said.  The first two wells accessing the western part of the Seth reservoir are expected to reach 170 mmscfd and develop about 240 bcf of gas.


"Seth is yet another example of BP's 50 years of commitment to Egypt and longstanding partnership with the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum, EGPC, and EGAS.  We look forward to continuing to play a key role in the development of Egypt's energy sector in order to help meet Egypt's growing energy demands for years to come," said Hesham Mekawi, Regional President, BP Egypt.


"The success of the Seth project has led us to accelerate its Phase 2 development to access gas in the eastern part of the field through an additional 2 platform wells, which are planned to be on production by the end of 2012, increasing Seth offtake to in excess of 250 mmscfd," added Mekawi.

Issue: 6 - 2012

StratoChem employees Ahmed El-Sayed and Muhammad Habo went to Uganda last month to assist Gore with some surveying fieldwork. 

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News from StratoChem!

StratoChem is pleased to announce the recent installment of a new thermal extraction system!  Installed this past month, the thermal extraction system promises, among other benefits, to increase the speed and efficiency with which we test, analyze and interpret source rock extracts for our customers. 


The Lebanon International Petroleum Exhibition is coming up fast, and StratoChem will be there. Geologist Dr. Hossam Ali will be delivering an original paper detailing some incredible findings, and marketing manager David Mungo will preside over the official StratoChem booth in the conference's Exhibition Hall, presenting on StratoChem's exciting new services. For more information can about the conference, go to http://www.lebanon-exploration.com/LIPE_2012.htm

Camel Soldier

A soldier in the Egyptian-Sudanese army, c. 1940. 

In This Issue
Greetings from StratoChem Services!
Omani Chemists Train at StratoChem
Egypt: Bapetco Drills Two New Development Wells
Iraq Asks Obama to Halt Exxon's Kurdish Oil Deal
Iran Plans to Issue $4.2 Billion Bonds for Gas Projects
Sidi Dhaher Disappoints in Tunisia
BP Egypt Announces Seth First Gas
Egypt Gets $3.7 Billion Financing for Refinery Project
Iraq: Shell Starts Shutdown of its Majnoon Oilfield


Upcoming Events
There are no abstract deadlines occurring in July 2012.  
The following conferences occur in July 2012:
  • 4th Annual Oil and Shipping Africa: Accra, Ghana - starting July 2nd, 2012  
  • Deep Water Production Tech: London, England - starting July 3rd, 2012  
  • NG Oil and Gas Russia and CIS: St. Petersburg, Russia - starting July 3rd, 2012 
  • Oil and Gas Riau 2012 (RIX): Pekanbaru, Riau, Indonesia - starting July 5th, 2012
  • 17th Asia Oil Week: Singapore - starting July 9th, 2012  
  • 2nd Annual Health, Safety and Environment in Oil and Gas Praxis Interactive Technology Workshop: Istanbul, Turkey - starting July 9th, 2012
  • IFRS for Oil and Gas Industry Workshop: Dubai, UAE - starting July 9th, 2012 
  • Africa Mining Congress 2012: Johannesburg, South Africa - starting July 16th, 2012 
  • Emerging Shale and Tight Plays Canada 2012: Calgary, Canada - starting July 18th, 2012
  • Horizontal Drilling, Tight Oil Plays, Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin 2012: Calgary, Canada - starting July 18th, 2012
  • Australian Gas Technology Exhibition & Conference: Perth, Australia - Starting July 25th, 2012 
For more complete conference information, go to the bottom of our home page at:

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A Pharaonic obelisk photographed by European visitors to Egypt in the 1870s.. 

Our brand-new thermal extractor, set up and ready to go as of June. 
Egypt Gets $3.7 Billion Financing for Refinery Project


http://www.egyptoil-gas.com - June 18th, 2012)                                                                          

 Egyptian flag small 


Investors in an Egyptian petroleum refinery project, led by Citadel Capital and Qatar Petroleum, have secured $3.7 billion in financing for the facility, the project operator said on Thursday.
The financing, put together by private equity firm Citadel, includes a $1.1 billion equity investment and is backed by a $2.6 billion debt package, Egypt Refining Company (ERC) said in a statement. Project partners include the Egyptian government.
The ERC project is to produce more than 4.1 million tonnes of refined products and oil derivatives annually, including more than 2.3 million tonnes of Euro V diesel per year. This is expected to cut Egyptian diesel imports by up to 50 percent.

The ERC said the refinery, on the outskirts of Cairo, will contribute $300 million in direct benefits to the state and create jobs. It is set to start operating in 2016.
"(The project) will reduce present-day diesel import needs by 50 percent, improve air quality in the Greater Cairo Area (and) help reduce Egypt's annual subsidy bill," ERC said.
A series of attacks on the natural gas pipeline that runs from Egypt to Israel has cut off supplies to the region and have forced Egypt to seek more fuel from abroad to meet rising demand from power generation and fuel needs for heavy vehicles.
Egypt's military rulers have sought to hike diesel imports as fuel shortages in central Cairo this year have caused long queues at petrol stations and traffic jams in some main thoroughfares, angering the public.
In its latest tender, Egyptian General Petroleum Corp (EGPC) was seeking to buy more than 1 million tonnes of gasoil, or diesel, from July to September, worth around $1 billion -- almost as much as it sought in the preceding six months.  

Under the financing package for the refinery, EGPC has invested $270 million for a 23.8 percent interest in the project while Qatar Petroleum International committed over $362 million for a 27.9 percent stake, the statement said.
Citadel has directly and indirectly invested over $155 million and holds an equity stake of 11.7 percent.
Other participants include Gulf Arab investor, the World Bank's financing arm, the Netherlands' development bank FMO, Germany' s p rivate-sector lender DEG and InfraMed Infrastructure, a private and independent investment fund.
EFG Hermes Investment Bank acted as placement manager for the equity component. The financing is backed by a $2.6 billion debt package arranged by ERC's financial advisor, French bank Societe Generale and made up of senior and subordinated debt issued to Asian and African development agencies and banks

Iraq: Shell Starts Shutdown of its Majnoon Oilfield  

(www.energy-pedia.com - June 27, 2012)


Iraq Flag


Iraq's Majnoon oilfield, one of the OPEC member's major fields, has started its shutdown for maintenance and it was not known how long the repairs will last, field operator Royal Dutch Shell said on Tuesday. Production at Majnoon was around 54,000 barrels per day in February, but was at 23,000 bpd on Monday afternoon at the time of the shutdown, an official from Iraq's state-run South Oil Company said.


'Majnoon shutdowns are part of the normal operation of the field to maintain facilities,' the Shell spokesman said in a statement. 'There are further upgrades scheduled in the second half of the year.' He did not specify further details on the planned upgrades.


Oil shipments from Iraq's southern port were at 1.75 million bpd on Tuesday down from 2.3 million bpd on Monday, though the reason for the dip was not clear, a shipping source at Basra port said.

The 12.6 billion barrel Majnoon field is one of the main fields alongside Rumaila, West Qurna Phase One and Zubair, that Iraq is developing with foreign companies in the south as it recovers from years of war and sanctions. 
For more information please contact us at info@stratochemlabs.com or call us at 202-2516-1075. 
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