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August 2012
Greetings from StratoChem Services!
September was a month of exciting new ventures here at StratoChem.  We participated in the American Association of Petroleum Geologists International Convention & Exhibition in Singapore for the first time. Work also continues on our brand-new website, which we hope to have up and ready in the very near future. In the meantime, look for us this month at the AAPG/EAGE/SPE Shale Gas Workshop in Muscat, Oman.

But it hasn't been all work and no play here! StratoChem employee Sarah Safwat married Fathi Mohamed El Shenawy on August 22nd, and we came along for the celebration. We wish Sarah and Fathi a marriage as joyous and fun-filled as their wedding.

For further information about our services please direct inquiries to:

StratoChem Exhibits at AAPG Singapore   


StratoChem Services exhibited at the annual American Association of Petroleum Geologists International Conference and Exhibition in Singapore this year, marking our first entry into the Southeast Asian oil and gas market. From September 16th-19th, Business Development Manager David Mungo, New Markets Manager  Adam Brauner, and Research and Interpretation Adviser Dr. Henry Halpern presented our array of innovative geochemical solutions in the exhibition hall, where StratoChem's knowledge and years of experience attracted a great deal of interest. In the future, we hope to be involved even more deeply in this exciting and rapidly-developing market.


Right to left: David Mungo, Dr. Henry Halpern, and Adam Brauner. 

Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni Meets Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Qandil


( - September 25th, 2012)


Egyptian flag small 


Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Qandil and Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni met yesterday in Cairo to discuss Eni's activities in the country.


During the meeting, which was cordial and constructive, Eni's CEO shared the developments and results of the company's ongoing activities in the country with the Prime Minister, affirming Eni's positive vision of the perspectives and the exploration potential that the country presents.


Eni's CEO also met with the Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Osama Kamal.


 Eni has been present in Egypt since 1954 and is the largest producer with an equity production equal to 240,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2011.

Iranian Crude Sales Fall

 ( - September 25th, 2012)


  Iranian Flag  

Iran's crude sales dived to just 800,000 barrels per day in July, due to Western sanctions, but are likely to have bounced back last month, according to a senior Iranian legislator.


Iranian officials usually play down the effect of US and European restrictions on their oil industry, with Iran's oil minister saying on Saturday production would hold steady this year despite an EU ban on Iranian oil imports and shipping insurance since July, Reuters reported.


But deputy-speaker of Iran's parliament, Mohammad Reza Bahonar, said on Sunday that the country's oil sales had dropped sharply as a result of sanctions designed to pressure Iran to give up its disputed nuclear programme.

"In the month of Tir (21 June-21 July) oil sales were about 800,000 barrels (per day)," Bahonar, who is also general secretary of Iran's Islamic Society of Engineers, was quoted as saying by the student news agency ISNA.


He said that oil sales averaged about 1 million bpd from the end of March to late August, compared to exports of 2.3 million - 2.4 million bpd last year.


Daily Iranian oil exports of just 800,000 bpd for July are lower than International Energy Agency estimates of 1 million bpd, Reuters reported.


Bahonar said the Iranian economy was suffering as sanctions on its banking and oil sectors reduce sales and make it difficult to repatriate earnings from any oil that it does manage to sell.


"We face two problems; first is that our oil sales do not proceed normally and second that the money that we do earn we cannot use easily," ISNA quoted him as saying.


Bahonar said exports may have bounced back to about 1.5 million bpd in the Persian calendar month of 22 August to 22 September, after Iran solved some of its shipping problems.


But getting the money back to Iran for those sales continues to be a major headache for the government.


"The pressure of moving money around and the banking system remains," Bahonar was quoted as saying.


US and EU sanctions are designed to slash oil revenues to starve Tehran of funds that might be channelled to expensive nuclear weapons programmes.


Iran denies that it is seeking nuclear weapons, saying its atomic program is solely for peaceful purposes.

Qatar Backs $3.6Bn Egyptian Refinery

(  - September 25th, 2012)                                                                          

 Egyptian flag small 


Qatar Petroleum International (QPI) will join Egypt's Orient Company and the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) in their venture to set up a new $3.6bn refinery in Greater Cairo.


The refinery that will be set up under Egypt Refining Company (ERC) is expected to start up in 2016 and bring direct benefits to the country's economy besides creating many jobs.


Once operational, the state-of-the-art refinery will produce more than 4.2mn tonnes of refined products and oil derivatives annually, including more than 2.3mn tonnes of high quality and environment -friendly diesel per year. This is expected to cut Egyptian diesel imports by up to 50%.  


Speaking at a meeting, also attended by Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Osama Kamal, in Doha, HE the Minister of Energy and Industry, Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada, said the  project would further enhance QPI's strategy to develop portfolios such as exploration, refining and petrochemicals.


Al-Sada said the QPI investment in the refinery project would realise one of the objectives of the recent visit to Egypt by HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani during which he had met the country's president Dr Mohamed Mursi.


Qatar has stated that it will support Egypt's economy through new investments in all possible areas. 


Kamal thanked Qatar for backing the project which will enhance Egypt's refining and petrochemical sectors.


He said that Egypt was looking forward to strengthen economic ties with Qatar, especially in the promising investment opportunities in liquefied natural gas (LNG) import from Qatar.


"We look forward to establishing many facilities that are capable of receiving Qatari LNG and that can provide fuel to industries, utilities and petrochemical units. Egypt is hopeful of a positive outcome on talks pertaining to LNG imports from Qatar," Kamal said.


He said the Egyptian market was promising and provided adequate opportunities for investment.


On the Greater Cairo refinery project that is being implemented with QPI support, Egypt Refining Company said: "It will cut present-day diesel imports by half thereby reducing Egypt's annual fuel subsidy besides improving the air quality in the Greater Cairo Area and help reduce Egypt's annual subsidy bill."


Qatar Petroleum International (QPI), a wholly-owned QP subsidiary,  is seeking investment opportunities outside Qatar in energy-related fields.

Petrofac Awarded US $200 Million Project in Kuwait


( - September 27th, 2012) 


Kuwaiti Flag


Petrofac, the international oil & gas service provider, has been awarded a US$200 million lump-sum engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract by Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) for a new power distribution network in North Kuwait. The project was awarded following a competitive tender and will be completed in 24 months.


Under the terms of the contract, Petrofac will construct three new substation buildings as well as putting down approximately 900 kilometres of buried cable to connect the site's substations to the distribution network. When complete, the new facilities will provide a more robust power supply to support the development of the onshore oil fields in North Kuwait.

Marwan Chedid, Chief Executive of Petrofac's Engineering, Construction, Operations & Maintenance (ECOM) division, commented: 'Petrofac has a well-established local presence in Kuwait. This latest award is our eighth EPC project for KOC. It builds on a long history of working together successfully and we look forward to again proving our delivery capability to KOC through this contract.'

Iraq Cabinet Approves Three Oil and Gas Deals  - September 25, 2012)




As part of Iraq's drive to attract investment to develop its energy sector, the cabinet has approved three oil and gas contracts awarded to foreign firms in a May auction, the government spokesman said.


Iraq, a member of OPEC, is expected to be the world's biggest source of new oil supplies over the next few years. It has signed contracts with international oil companies and plans to open up more bidding rounds for additional oil and gas blocks.


Cabinet approved an initial gas exploration contract with Pakistan Petroleum for gas Block 8 and another deal with a group led by Lukoil to develop Iraq's oil Block 10, spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said. It also approved an initial deal with Russia's Bashneft to develop Iraq's oil Block 12, but decided to delay approval of a contract signed with a consortium led by Kuwait Energy for oil Block 9.


'Cabinet decided to delay approval of a contract for Block 9 until the oil ministry completes some of its procedures,' Dabbagh said, without giving more details. Contracts approved by cabinet are ready for final signing by Iraq's oil ministry.


A handful of international companies won bids in May at Iraq's fourth energy auction, which had a poor showing because of tough contract terms drawn up by Baghdad.


The country is slowly rebuilding more than nine years after a U.S.-led invasion that toppled former President Saddam Hussein. Officials say it needs foreign investment in virtually every sector to improve its infrastructure.

Egypt Denies In Talks to Buy Iranian Oil  

( - September 13, 2012)

Egyptian flag small

Egypt denied on Tuesday comments attributed to Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi that it was in talks to buy Iranian crude oil.


The Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) reported the comments on Monday.


"All that has been published on negotiations being held for Egypt to buy Iranian oil is completely devoid of truth," Egyptian Oil Minister Osama Kamal told Reuters.


"I can confirm that the Egyptian Petroleum Ministry has not entered into this type of negotiation before, and all that has been said on the matter is totally untrue," he added.


Iran has been looking for new buyers for its oil as western sanctions over its disputed nuclear program squeeze sales to long-time customers.


Iranian officials have said on several occasions over the last few months they are in talks to sell oil to new customers, but rarely name them and there is little evidence of significant volumes of oil being shipped to new customers.


Diplomatic relations between Tehran and Cairo broke down after Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution over Egypt's support for the overthrown Shah and its peace agreement with Iran's arch-enemy Israel.


Since the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, there have been signs of warming relations, including Egyptian President Muhamed Mursi last month making the first visit to Tehran by an Egyptian leader in more than 30 years.


Kamal told state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper earlier this month that Cairo had "no objection" to importing Iranian crude and processing it in Egyptian refineries.


The European Union imposed a total ban on purchases of Iranian crude from July, making it difficult for Tehran to sell all its oil, the lifeblood of its economy.

Emperor Signs MoU for Sudan Block 


(  - September 27, 2012)

Sudanese Flag 
Emperor Oil entered into an MoU with State Petroleum Overseas to acquire 85% of its 50% working interest in a late stage oil development project in Sudan. The development project is located on Sudan's Block 7, where state-run Sudapet holds the remaining 50%.


Block 7 contains three discovered oil fields and a host of exploration work has been done on the acreage. Previous work includes 6,071 km of 2D seismic and 430 sq km of 3D seismic. Emperor plans to bring Block 7 to production by Q1 2013.


In addition to the existing discoveries, the extensive 3D and 2D seismic coverage has identified a number of additional development and exploration targets. The company plans to initially ship the oil by truck while completing a 60-km pipeline tie-in to an existing central processing facility located on the concession which is connected to the export pipeline to Port Sudan.

Emperor will pay State an initial cash payment of $400,000 and also issue it common shares in Emperor equal to 19.99% of the then outstanding Emperor shares. State will also receive a cash payment of $1 million upon execution of an EPSA with the government and another $750,000 upon the spudding of the first well on Block 7. There is also a payment of $750,000 to be made on the first day of the month following the declaration of commercial production and an additional payment of $750,000 when production exceeds 2,000 boepd.


The company is required to provide, to the satisfaction of the government of Sudan and State, its ability to pay its share of initial project costs on or before October 8. Project costs being up to $15 million which includes a $9.5 million bank guarantee to be furnished seven days prior to the signing of the EPSA. The remaining $5.5 million will be used to pay EPSA signing bonuses and any other required fees and other expenses including the work program until the end of the year.

Lutfur Khan, chairman of State says: "We look forward to working with Emperor to fully develop the significant oil resource located in Sudan's Block 7'. Andrew McCarthy, President & CEO of Emperor Oil states that 'This agreement is a significant step towards Emperor Oil's goal of becoming an international oil producer." 

Iraq to Pay Foreign Oil Companies In Kurdistan 

(  - September 18th, 2012)



The Iraqi central government has agreed to pay foreign companies working in Iraq's Kurdistan region 1 trillion Iraqi dinars ($850 million) for costs incurred to produce and export crude oil from the region as part of an agreement clinched with the Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, in northern Iraq Thursday, the KRG's ministry of natural resources said in a statement Friday.
Under the agreement, the KRG will continue oil exports from the region at 140,000 barrels a day for the rest of September, to be increased to 200,000 barrels a day for October, November and December, the ministry said.
The Iraqi federal government in Baghdad and the country's autonomous region in Kurdistan agreed Thursday to resolve issues relating to oil payments to foreign contracting companies producing crude oil in the region and that the Kurds will continue their oil exports, the country's deputy prime minister for economic affairs said.

The agreement resolves only part of a broader impasse between Baghdad and Kurdistan about the control of oil resources and territory.
The KRG suspended crude oil exports of nearly 100,000 barrels a day in April, protesting that Baghdad was delaying payment of $1.5 billion it gathered in revenue from those exports. It restarted them, however, Aug. 7, in what it said was a "goodwill gesture," but said flows would halt if no payments were forthcoming by Aug. 31. It later extended its deadline to Sept. 15.
The KRG last year received payments totaling $514 million to cover producing firms' past costs, but stopped supplying oil for exports in April this year, citing a $1.5 billion backlog owed by Baghdad.
The central government said earlier this year that it was preparing to pay another $560 million this year to foreign oil companies in Kurdistan, but it was waiting for the KRG to send documents to support the costs.

Issue: 9 - 2012

Wedding Sarah StratoChem employees celebrate our very own Sarah Safwat's wedding.

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Gas August 2012

News from StratoChem!

October looks like it will be every bit as busy and exciting for us as September was. Long-time StratoChem associate Dr. Douglas Waples will be in Cairo the week of October 23rd to give a talk entitled "Novel Exploration Applications to Kerogen Kinetics: Organofacies, Sequence Stratigraphy, and Maturity." The internationally-renowned Dr. Waples has just received the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists' 2012 Outstanding Scientist Award and is the author of 3 books and 85 papers on geochemistry.

Camel Market 1

A herdsman at Cairo's Camel Market in Imbaba. 

In This Issue
Greetings from StratoChem Services!
StratoChem Exhibits at AAPG Singapore
Eni CEO Meets Egyptian Prime Minister
Iranian Crude Sales Fall
Qatar Backs $3.6Bn Egyptian Refinery
Petrofac Awarded US $200 Million Project in Kuwait
Iraq Cabinet Approves Three Oil and Gas Deals
Egypt Denies in Talks to Buy Iranian Oil
Emperor Signs MoU for Sudan Block
Iraq to Pay Foreign Oil Companies in Kurdistan
Ophir Energy Announces Resumption of Tanzanian Drilling


Upcoming Events
There are no abstract deadlines occurring in October 2012.  
The following conferences occur in October 2012:
  • Gas to Liquids 2012: London, UK - starting October 4th, 2012  
  • 2nd Mauritanian Mining & Oil & Gas Conference & Exhibition (MAURITANIDES 2012): Nouakchott, Mauritania - starting October 8th, 2012 
  • Gastech Conference and Exhibition: London, UK - starting October 8th, 2012
  • Asia-Tech 2012: Bangkok, Thailand - starting October 10th, 2012  
  • Powering Africa--Gas Options: Maputo, Mozambique - starting October 15th, 2012
  • Technology of Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition (TOG 2012): Tripoli, Libya - starting October 16th, 2012
  • Global Smartfields Summit: Abu Dhabi, UAE - starting October 17th, 2012   
  • 4th Annual World Refining Technology Summit 2012: Brussels, Belgium - starting October 22nd, 2012
  • Gas Asia Summit, Conference and Networking: Singapore - starting October 24th, 2012  
  • 1st East Africa Upstream Summit 2012: Nairobi, Kenya - starting October 25th, 2012
  • Shale Gas Environmental Summit: London, UK - starting October 29, 2012  
For more complete conference information, go to the bottom of our home page at:
The ancient Egyptians worshipped Khnum, god of rebirth, in the shape of a ram. 
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Traditional Town
Traditional, stacked housing in rural Egypt. 
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Dealing with camels requires mastering their bad tempers. 
Ophir Energy Announces Resumption of Tanzanian Drilling Campaign


( - September 28th, 2012)  


Tanzanian Flag     





Ophir Energy has announced the resumption of the Tanzanian drilling campaign to be executed with BG Group, its partner in this Joint Venture. The multi-well programme commences with appraisal and satellite exploration around the Jodari Field in Block 1 offshore Tanzania.


The first three wells in this campaign will be Jodari South-1, Jodari North-1 and a re-entry into Jodari-1. The current drilling programme will focus on further defining the resource potential of the Jodari discovery. This will further serve to confirm its role as an anchor asset for the Tanzanian LNG development. On 26th March 2012 the Jodari-1 discovery well proved 4.5 TCF of gas in place in the Lower Tertiary intraslope channel play. To date the Ophir-BG Joint Venture has discovered 13.5 - 21 TCF of gas-in-place across Blocks 1, 3 and 4 offshore Tanzania.

The Deep Sea Metro 1 has now returned to Block 1 and will drill the top-hole section of Jodari North-1 before moving to drill Jodari South-1 and a side track from Jodari South into the main Jodari field. The rig will then return to complete Jodari North-1. A Drill Stem Test (DST) will be performed in Q1 2013.

Jodari North-1 is located 40km NE of the port of Mtwara and is approx. 6km NNW of the Jodari-1 well location. Jodari South-1 is located approx. 35km NE of Mtwara and is approx. 3.5km SW of the Jodari-1 well location. Combined, these three wells will confirm reservoir parameters across the Oligocene aged main reservoir of the Jodari complex. In addition, fluid samples will be collected and the dynamic reservoir properties will be tested through a DST in Jodari-1. This information will aid LNG development planning. Ophir holds 40% of Blocks 1, 3 and 4; the BG Group operates with 60%.

Nick Cooper, CEO of Ophir, said:

'The next phase of drilling is required to confirm the role of the Jodari field as an anchor asset to support Tanzania's first multi-train LNG development. To date the Ophir-BG Joint Venture has discovered 13.5 - 21 TCF of gas-in-place across Blocks 1, 3 and 4 and we are looking forward to receiving further insight into the full scope of resources on these blocks. After these next three wells we will return to drilling high impact exploration prospects, both on the significant prospect inventory on the established intraslope play and, potentially, also on the recently identified Basin Floor Fan play.'
For more information please contact us at or call us at 202-2516-1075. 
StratoChem Services
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