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November 2012
Greetings from StratoChem Services!
November brought us beautiful weather and clear skies in Egypt. True, we always have beautiful weather and clear skies here (well, maybe not so beautiful in mid-August), but we know the sunny Egyptian November we get is different from what a lot of the world went through last month. In fact, we got a taste of it ourselves when StratoChem attended the annual PETEX convention in London from the 20th-22nd. In spite of the clouds, and rain, and 4C temperatures, it was a wonderful event where we made some exciting new connections, saw some old friends, and kept up with new developments in the industry. December is looking just as exciting as we near completion on our new website (previewed in this issue). Think of it as a virtual visit to StratoChem.  If only we could share the weather with you.

For further information about our services please direct inquiries to:

StratoChem Exhibits at PETEX 2012 


StratoChem Services numbered proudly among the exhibitors at the Petroleum Exploration Society of Britain's annual PETEX Conference this past month, joining a list of some of the biggest names in the industry.  Exhibiting from November 20th-22nd, Business Development Manager David Mungo, Client Relations and Sales Manager Hunter Eden, and Senior Geochemist Bemen Nazaka showed off our capabilities and innovative geochemical solutions to oil and gas professionals from all over the globe, opening up some exciting possibilities for future collaboration.

PETEX 2012 Booth

The StratoChem Services booth, moments before PETEX's opening day begins. 

Dana Boosts Exploration and Production Activities in Egypt


( - November 9th, 2012)


Egyptian flag small 


Dana completed the East Zeit A17Z well on 8 September as a successful oil producer, with initial rates of 1,400 boepd and 3 mmscf/d through a 24/64" choke. This was the last well of a four well campaign that has significantly enhanced the long term production capability from the East Zeit Field, as well as identifying new opportunities to pursue in the medium term.
The Zeitco JV also completed the East Matr-4XST2 onshore well in North Zeit Bay on 10 October. This well encountered 34' of net oil sand in the Rahmi Member of the Kareem Formation. It has been tested at a maximum rate of 4,527 boepd and 4.797mmscf/d. This well will be brought onto production before the end of the year. 

The Egypt General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) has notified Dana that it is the successful bidder on Block 12 'El Qa'a Plain' from the 2011 bid round which closed on 29 March. This was a joint bid between Dana Petroleum (37.5% working interest (WI), as Operator), with partners Petroceltic International (37.5 % WI) and Beach Petroleum (25 % WI).

It is expected the new concession will be formally awarded in 2013 following the ratification process by the People's Assembly (Parliament). The block is composed of two largely unexplored areas covering 1823.5 km2 in the southern part of the Sinai Peninsula, east of the prolific Gulf of Suez.
Egypt Managing Director Nick Dancer said: "We are delighted with the continuation of our drilling success to build production and reserves in Egypt, and are pleased with the result of the bid round. We look forward to developing our relationship with Petroceltic and Beach Petroleum, which will allow us to diversify our exploration efforts into new areas.
"We are committed to Egypt in the long term and will continue to invest and seek further exploration and production opportunities. This is a key part of the Dana growth strategy over the next five years and beyond."
Gulfsands Takes on Additional Stakes in Tunisia and Italy

 ( - November 26th, 2012)


  Tunisian Flag  

Gulfsands Petroleum has reached an agreement to acquire additional participating interests positions in two exploration permits in Tunisia and one exploration permit in southern Italy. Under the agreement the company adds more stakes in the Chorbane and Kerkouane Permits in Tunisia and the Pantellaria or G,R15.PU in Italy, to its portfolio.


The additional stakes came from ADX Energy, XState Resources, and Verus Investments.   


The total consideration for these transactions will result in the payment of $1.1 million by way of purchase price and subject to final adjustment, reimbursement of approximately $415,000 in past costs. In addition, Gulfsands has agreed with ADX to fund up to $600,000 of the ADX share of a $2 million seismic program to be carried out on the Chorbane permit.

Following completion of these transactions which remain subject to various regulatory approvals, Gulfsands will hold a 70% participating interest and operate the Chorbane JV (onshore Tunisia) and will hold a 40% participating interest in the Kerkouane and Pantellaria joint ventures (offshore Tunisia and Italy). ADX will retain 30% and 60% participating interests in the onshore and offshore joint ventures respectively.   


Commenting on this announcement, Ric Malcolm, Gulfsands CEO, said: "We are pleased to have been able to increase our participating interests in these Tunisian permits and to assume operatorship of the Chorbane JV. We are planning for a significant increase in exploration activity during 2013 in order to advance preparations for the drilling of exploration wells on both the onshore and offshore permits during early 2014."


In addition, Gulfsands reported that it has established a strategic alliance with Rift Basin Resources. The aim behind the alliance is to facilitate the pursuit and acquisition of petroleum projects in Tunisia and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa. Gulfsands will take a 70% participating interest and act as the operator of any project acquired under the strategic alliance with Rift Basin taking a 30% interest. Gulfsands expects the strategic alliance to provide the opportunity for participation in a number of new business opportunities in Tunisia and nearby countries.

Cairo Agrees to Up Jordan's Gas Supplies

(  - November 7th, 2012)                                                                          

 Egyptian flag small 


Egypt has agreed to boost Jordan's gas supplies, Minister of Energy   and Mineral Resources Alaa Batayneh announced on Tuesday, ending a months-long dispute over the country's former primary energy source.
According to Batayneh, Egyptian Minister of Oil Osama Kamal agreed on Tuesday to raise gas quantities from a recent average of 40 million cubic feet (mcf) daily to 200mcf, minimum rate outlined in an amended agreement signed between the two sides in 2011, by the end of the month.
During a "decisive" meeting over the future of the Egyptian-Jordanian gas agreement in the Egyptian capital on Tuesday, Cairo also agreed to provide Amman with additional quantities as compensation for ongoing disruptions in supplies, Batayneh said in a statement to The Jordan Times.
Tuesday's outcome is seen as a breakthrough in a months-long dispute over Jordan's Egyptian gas supplies, which as recently as late 2010 accounted for 80 per cent of the country's electricity generation needs.

According to energy ministry sources, Jordan had gone into Tuesday's meeting prepared to "turn its back" on Egyptian gas, which Cairo suspended in early October due to a rise in domestic demand.
Due to a series of acts of sabotage and technical delays, the country's supplies had dropped to an average of 40mcf per day, well below the 250mcf outlined in a 14-year gas agreement inked in 2004 and less than 16 per cent of the country's electricity generation needs.
The drop in gas supplies has forced the country to rely on costlier heavy oil and diesel imports, which officials say has pushed fuel and energy subsidies to over JD2.2 billion and widened the national deficit to a near-record JD1.2 billion.
Although Tuesday's announcement is set to relieve Jordan's emerging energy crunch, officials say Jordan will continue to pursue alternative energy sources such as liquefied gas.
Jordan currently imports at least 96 per cent of its energy needs at a cost of nearly one-fourth of its gross domestic product.
Genel Expands Position in Morocco 

( - November 23rd, 2012) 


Cleaner Morocco Flag Image


Genel Energy has entered into an agreement with Morocco's state-run oil firm ONHYM that gives it access to the Mir Left Offshore Block. The signed Petroleum Agreement and Association Contract grants Genel a 75% equity interest and operatorship of the block. The remaining 25% interest will be held by ONHYM.


Access to the block is conditional upon receiving approval from the government of Morocco.


Under the terms of the agreement, Genel is obligated to acquire a minimum of 400 sq km of 3D seismic data and to drill one exploration well during the its three-year initial exploration period. The initial exploration period will be funded from the company's existing cash resources. There are two further optional exploration periods of three years and two years respectively.


The Mir Left Offshore Block comprises an area of 3,259 sq km in water depths ranging from 60 to 320 meters. It lies adjacent to, and to the northeast of the Sidi Moussa Offshore Block in which Genel Energy recently acquired a 60% equity interest. The hydrocarbon play concepts are related to Jurassic carbonate platforms and the earliest Cretaceous submarine fans.

Commenting on the transaction, Dr. John Hurst COO of Africa for Genel, said: "We are delighted to have signed this new block, further deepening our position in the fairway associated with the proven working petroleum system in offshore Morocco. We intend to commence the acquisition of 3D seismic in January 2013, with the aim of drilling our first well in 2014."

Kenya: Tullow Oil Announces Twiga South-1 Oil Discovery in Kenya Block 13T 

( - November 26th, 2012)




Tullow Oil has announced that the Twiga South-1 exploration well in Block 13T, onshore Kenya, has encountered 30 metres of net oil pay with further potential to be assessed on test and has also encountered a tight fractured rock section with hydrocarbon shows over a gross interval of 796 metres.


Twiga South-1 has been drilled to a total depth of 3,250 metres and has been successfully logged and sampled. Three sandstone reservoir zones, analogous to Ngamia-1, were encountered and moveable oil, with an API greater than 30 degrees, has been recovered to surface. Further potential exists up dip of the well and will be subsequently appraised.

In addition to the net pay, the well also penetrated a thick section of tight fractured rock below 2,272 metres which had extensive hydrocarbon shows over a gross interval of 796 metres. Moveable oil with an API greater than 30 degrees was also successfully sampled from this section. This tight fractured rock section is a new play-type for the region that will require further evaluation to understand its extent and any productive potential.

The Twiga South structure is the second prospect to be tested in the Lokichar Basin as part of a multi-well drilling campaign in Kenya and Ethiopia and is the first oil discovery in Block 13T. It is located 22km to the north of the Ngamia-1A discovery and further de-risks a number of other similar features on the western margin of the basin.

A series of flow tests will now be conducted on the well over the next 4-8 weeks. Following completion of the testing programme, the rig will move back to flow test the Ngamia-1 well.

Elsewhere in Tullow's East African Rift basin acreage, a result from the Paipai-1 well in Block 10A in Kenya is expected by the end of the year and the Sabisa-1 well in the South Omo Block in Ethiopia is expected to commence drilling by the end of December.

Tullow has a 50% operated interest in the Twiga South-1 well with Africa Oil holding the remaining 50% interest.

Angus McCoss, Exploration Director, commented,

'Following the basin-opening Ngamia-1 well result earlier this year, I am pleased to announce that our second well in our onshore Kenya rift basins campaign has also discovered oil. This immediate follow on discovery reaffirms the considerable prospectivity of the Lokichar Basin. Having significantly expanded our plans in Kenya and Ethiopia, there is much to look forward to as the exploration campaign and testing programme move ahead.'  

EGAS Pushes Back Bidding Deadline to February    

( - November 7th, 2012)


Egyptian flag small




Egypt's state-owned Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) has postponed by three months the closing date for international companies to present bids for 15 oil and gas concessions due to weak interest in the tender.


EGAS has pushed back the deadline for bidding to Feb. 13 from Nov. 14, an EGAS official told Reuters after a posting on the company's website showed the change of dates. EGAS announced the bidding in June for the exploration blocks in the Mediterranean and Nile Delta basins, all but two of which are offshore.


Oil Minister Osama Kamal said Monday on a late night talk show that the extension of the deadline was due to poor interest from international companies.


"The interest wasn't at the level that we wanted," Kamal said on the programme "The Last Word," broadcast by privately owned Egyptian channel ONTV.


An EGAS official told Reuters the delay was also to give an opportunity for another state-owned firm, the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), to announce its own tender results.


"The EGPC hasn't announced its results yet too and we want to give a chance for companies who have tendered in that bid and didn't get a block to tender in the EGAS bid," said the official, who did not want to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the press.


EGPC is due to announce the results of its latest bid round some time this week, around seven months after the closing date.


The closing bid for that tender had also been delayed to March 29 from Jan. 30 to allow more companies to take part.

Some 25 bids have been received from international oil firms for the 15 concessions on offer, an EGPC official had told Reuters.


"The EGAS postponement was also a request from interested firms as they want more time for evaluation of the areas on offer before they submit their financial and technical bids," the official said, declining to comment on the number of companies interested in the bid so far.


Minister Kamal also said that a previous concession that had been abandoned by Royal Dutch Shell in 2011 was on offer in this latest EGAS bidding.


The NEMED concession, which lies off the Nile delta, was relinquished after Shell spent 10 years trying to prove the presence of gas that could be exploited. Shell said at the time it was not commercially viable for it to continue with the project.


Kamal said the NEMED concession was broken up into several blocks in the new bid round.


"The price for selling gas that was offered to our partners at the time was not feasible for them," Kamal said on television.  


"We will take into consideration the difference in price in this new tender," he said.


The EGAS official said that the NEMED concession area was too vast and that is why a decision to break it up into smaller blocks in this latest tender was taken.


"Shell had a difficult time as this was an ultra deep water concession and the area was too vast to be able to pick and choose which part the company would be able to focus on," he said.


Issue: 11 - 2012

London Sky You just don't see this in Egypt.

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News from StratoChem!
We've mentioned our upcoming new website a few times now, but we admit we've been a little mysterious about it. As the launch date gets closer and closer, we want to give you a sense of what StratoChem's new online presence will look like.  Check out the photos below, and we'll let you know as soon as the website is ready!

Website Picture 1

Our new homepage. 

In This Issue
Greetings from StratoChem Services!
StratoChem Exhibits at PETEX 2012
Dana Boosts Exploration and Production in Egypt
Gulfsands Takes on Additional Stakes in Tunisia and Italy
Cairo Agrees to Up Jordan's Gas Supplies
Genel Expands Position in Morocco
Kenya Tullow Oil Announces Discovery
EGas Pushes Back Bidding Deadline to February
Malaysia: PETRONAS Makes Major Discoveries
Nigeria: Sirius Petroleum Provides Update on Operating Activities
Cameroon: Bowleven in Proposed Strategic Alliance for Etinde Permit Development


Upcoming Events
There are no abstract deadlines occurring in December 2012.  
The following conferences occur in December 2012:
  • West Africa Pre-Salt Forum: Windhoek, Namibia - starting December 4th, 2012
  • FLNG Technical Course: Paris, France - starting December 6th, 2012  
  • 4th Arabian Plate Geology Workshop: Abu Dhabi, UAE - starting December 9th, 2012 
  • Refinery Petrochemical Egypt: Cairo, Egypt - starting December 10th, 2012  
  • SPE Kuwait International Petroleum Conference and Exhibition: Kuwait City, Kuwait - starting December 12th, 2012
For more complete conference information, go to the bottom of our home page at:
Website Picture 2
A page from our upcoming website explaining one of our many services. 
Join Our Mailing List
Client Login
The Client Login page will enable our customers to instantly and securely access their data from StratoChem as soon as it is posted. 
Mosque at Dusk
Dusk in Old Cairo.  
Malaysia: PETRONAS Makes Major Discoveries Offshore Sarawak

( - November 27th, 2012)  


Malaysian Flag     






PETRONAS has announced major discoveries offshore Sarawak with the Kuang North gas discovery and the Tukau Timur Deep gas discovery


Kuang North Gas Discovery

The Kuang North field, located in Block SK316 was drilled by PETRONAS in October 2012 via two exploration wells, Kuang North-1 and Kuang North-2. The Kuang North-2 well, which was drilled to a total depth of 3,223 metres, penetrated 636 metres of gas column. Preliminary assessments indicated that gas-in-place for the Kuang North field is about 2.3 trillion standard cubic feet (tscf) net hydrocarbon. Other notable recent discoveries in Block SK316 are the Kasawari and NC8 gas fields. Unlike other previous carbonate gas discoveries, the gas at Kuang North was found in the older carbonate section, opening up a new exploration play-type with substantial hydrocarbon potential in the older carbonate reservoirs offshore Sarawak.


Tukau Timur Deep Gas Discovery

Tukau Timur Deep-1 is the first completed high pressure high temperature (HPHT) well in Sarawak and is also the deepest vertical well to be drilled by PETRONAS. The well was drilled to a depth of 4,830 metres and discovered 12 gas bearing reservoirs with total net gas sand of 183 metres. Preliminary assessments indicate the total gas-in-place for Tukau Timur Field to be about 2.1 tscf. Subsequent work will commence to estimate the range of recoverable resource volumes. Tukau Timur Deep-1 is located in Block SK307 which is operated by PETRONAS Carigali (50%) with Sarawak Shell Berhad (50%) as partners. The well was spudded in May 2012 and was completed in November 2012.  

Nigeria: Sirius Petroleum Provides Update on Nigerian Operating Activities     

(  - November 26, 2012)

nigerian flag

Sirius Petroleum, the investing company focussed on oil and gas exploration and development opportunities in Nigeria, updates its shareholders regarding its operating activities.


Update on Assets

Sirius is pleased to announce that, as a result of positive discussions regarding its funding strategy, the Company has decided to accelerate its Field Development Plans (FDPs) on the Ororo Field in OML 95 and, in addition, on one of the larger existing discoveries in an Oil Block located in the shallow waters of the Niger Delta Basin, over which Sirius has agreed terms and has exclusivity as announced on 21 June 2012. The FDPs will focus on the logistics and available infrastructure of delivering crude oil to potential purchasers, along with timescales and the estimated cost of development.


Following completion of the FDPs, which will establish the optimum development strategy, and subject to the successful conclusion of its funding initiatives, the Company intends to execute the farm-in agreement for the Oil Block, following which the Company will work with its partners, to put both the Ororo Field and the Oil Block into production, as soon as is practicable.


Update on Funding Discussions

The Board is actively progressing its funding strategy via on-going discussions with several potential partners, which are expected to be concluded following completion of the FDPs. The Board is considering various financing structures, including, amongst other things, pre-financing and off-take arrangements.


Strategy to Build a Comprehensive Portfolio of Oil Assets

The Company's strategy continues to be the targeting of discovered oil fields in Nigeria, in partnership with both indigenous petroleum companies and bi-laterally with international oil companies operating in Nigeria. Sirius is confident that such partnerships will continue to deliver access to value enhancing opportunities with a view to the Company building a comprehensive portfolio of oil and gas assets. The Board will also take steps to secure the most appropriate form of financing for any potential acquisitions.


Board Changes

The Directors announce that Ed Johnson has stepped down from the Board with immediate effect and all options granted to him, as detailed in the announcement of 11 October 2011, have now lapsed. Toby Hayward, currently a non-executive director, has been appointed acting Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect.


Graham Porter has stepped down from the Board to pursue other interests. The Board would like to thank Graham for his contribution to the Company and wishes him well in his future endeavours.


The Board will keep under review its composition, particularly with regard to the level of technical experience it requires as the Company develops its assets.


Commenting, Toby Hayward, said: 'We thank shareholders for their continuing patience whilst we pursue the optimum way in which to finance and develop our assets. Discussions with potential funders have also resulted in a more progressive approach to the development of the current assets over which Sirius has exclusive rights, and we are confident that our strategy will position the Company to leverage the value to shareholders from those oil and gas assets'.

Cameroon: Bowleven in Proposed Strategic Alliance with Petrofac for Development of the Etinde Permit 


( - November 6th, 2012)

Cameroon Flag  


Bowleven has signed a Strategic Alliance Agreement with Petrofac bringing investment capital and development expertise to the proposed development of the Etinde Permit, Cameroon.


  • Strategic Alliance Agreement signed between Bowleven and Petrofac, following extensive technical and commercial due diligence, to deliver first production from Etinde Permit, currently targeted for 2016
  • Petrofac will provide Bowleven with potential access to up to USD500 million towards the first stage of development of the Etinde Permit.
    • Initial capital investment available at FID, anticipated H2 2013
    • Up to USD60 million towards IM-5 well costs, available at FID from this investment
  • Alliance also provides Bowleven with access to world class Petrofac development engineering, design and project management personnel and training capabilities
  • Petrofac's investment incentivised and remunerated through a share of Etinde cash flows
  • Transaction subject to Bowleven shareholder approval. Circular convening general meeting expected to be issued by no later than 23 November 2012; Bowleven Board intend to recommend the Transaction to shareholders.
Kevin Hart, Chief Executive of Bowleven plc, commented:

'I am very happy that Bowleven, through our subsidiary Euroil, is entering into a proposed strategic alliance with Petrofac in respect of our planned Etinde phased development. This complementary union provides Bowleven with potential access to both investment capital and, just as importantly, Petrofac's extensive development experience. Petrofac's excellent track record of service provision, including training, will augment significantly Euroil's strong local presence and capability. Our alliance with Petrofac will help deliver first production from our Etinde project, and represents a major step towards our goal of converting resources to reserves in Cameroon.'

Andy Inglis, Chief Executive, Petrofac Integrated Energy Services, commented:

'We are delighted to be working with Bowleven to help them unlock the value of their Etinde Permit. Creating this strategic alliance at an early stage of the project offers Petrofac the opportunity to provide integrated services covering, onshore and offshore facilities development, drilling services and training and operations, alongside the deployment of capital. This is in line with our strategy of providing our exploration-led customers with integrated project delivery services.' 
For more information please contact us at or call us at 202-2516-1075. 
StratoChem Services
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