Christmas in Egypt
Special New Year Issue 
December 2012/January 2013
In This Issue
Featured Article
Egypt: Dana Gas Makes New Discoveries
Tunisia: ADX Signs Farm-In
Egypt Gas Supply to Jordan Normalizes
Indonesia: Pertamina EP Finds New Reserves
Circle Oil Secures $12.5m for Egypt Operations
SCS Building
Upcoming Events  
  • January 13th: World GTL Conference - Doha, Qatar.
  • January 21st: Oil & Gas Infrastructure Security - Accra, Ghana.
  • January 23rd: Oil & Gas HR3 Summit - Vienna, Austria.
  • January 28th: Middle East and North Africa Energy 2013 - London, UK.
  • January 28th: Heavy Oil 2013 Praxis Interactive Technology Workshop - Muscat, Oman. 
Oil Chart December 2012
Gas Charts December 2012
  Description de L'Egypte
When Napoleon and his troops came to Egypt in 1798, he brought a number of scientists, artists and historians with him. These scholars compiled their findings into the multi-volume Description de l'Egypte, which touched off an enduring fascination with the country in Europe. Featured below are a few illustrations from the Description.
Description Frontispiece
Frontispiece to the Description.
Murad Bey
Murad Bey, one of the Mamluk rulers who resisted Napoleon's invasion.
An Egyptian cobra.
Boulaq Mosque
The Boulaq Mosque in Cairo. 
Bats observed roosting in a Pharaonic tomb by a French naturalist. 
Pharaonic Music
French reproduction of an image of musicians from Thebes. 
A French scholar ponders the ruins of Karnak. 

A print of Luxor. 
Clay Pots
Various styles of Egyptian pottery. 
Theban Eagle
An eagle observed in Thebes. 
A Theban sacrophagus, inside and out. 
Rock Samples
Granite and syenite samples collected by a French geologist.  

We hope your holidays were spectacular and your New Year was a joyous and safe one!  In the spirit of new beginnings, we want to show you firsthand the new StratoChem look we've been working on--and especially our website. We look forward to a year in which StratoChem can even more broadly serve the needs of the oil and gas industry both here in Egypt and around the world. We look forward to a year of exciting opportunities in new markets and old.  Most of all, we wish you a year of peace, prosperity, happiness and success, no matter where your ventures may take you.
Your Friends at StratoChem Services
StratoChem Website Launches!
Let's be honest: our old website got the job done, but it lacked a bit of flair.  This past fall, we took a good look at it and decided a change was needed. As befits a company of StratoChem's growing stature, professionalism, and scientific integrity, we wanted something a bit classier, better looking, and more informative.  After some brainstorming, soul-searching, and hard work, we are preparing to launch our brand new site on January 15th!  Not only will you find descriptions of each of our services, a schedule of upcoming events, and a full profile of the company, but our clients will be able to login to a secure system and see the reports we generate for them! We think you'll agree it's a huge improvement.
Egypt: Dana Gas Makes Significant New Discoveries
Egyptian flag smallDecember 31st, 2012
(Source: )

Dana Gas PJSC, the Middle East's first and largest regional private sector natural gas company, has announced that it has made two new onshore gas discoveries in the Nile Delta Basin of Egypt. Initial estimates indicate that together the two discoveries, known as Alyam-1 and Balsam-1, should increase the company's commercial reserves by between 17 (proved) and 95 (proved & probable) million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBOE).
Appraisal drilling will be conducted on both discoveries which are located on the West El Manzala Concession, operated by Dana Gas. The company has already filed a declaration of commerciality and development plans for the two discoveries, which will be tied in to the nearby pipelines also owned by Dana Gas.
Mr. Rashid Al Jarwan, Executive Director and Acting CEO of Dana Gas said "Our latest two discoveries confirm the Nile Delta as a prolific hydrocarbon-bearing basin. Dana Gas remains fully-committed to the long term development of Egypt's gas industry and its essential role in fuelling the nation's economic growth."
Dr. Patrick Allman-Ward, Dana Gas Egypt General Manager commented, "These two new wells mark an excellent results to 2012 drilling in the Nile Delta. We still have to conduct appraisal drilling to confirm the full extent of the new fields, but as they are near existing infrastructure, we plan to accelerate their development and maintain the long-term growth of our production in Egypt."

The Balsam-1 well encountered 51 meters of net pay in a good-quality sandstone reservoir of the Qawasim formation at high pressure, indicating high deliverability from the field. Production testing yielded 10 million standard cubic feet per day of gas on a 20/64-inch choke and more than 1,000 barrels per day of liquid condensate. The two new fields have the highest liquid yield of any gas field discovered in the area so far.
The estimated reserves for Balsam-1 are between 76 to 436 billion cubic feet (BCF) of gas with between 2.5 and 9.4 million barrels of condensate (MMBO). The estimated reserves for the Alyam-1 discovery are between 8 and 66 BCF and between 0.2 and 1.3 MMBO. The higher range of the estimates is within the vertical closure defined by fluid contacts, and assumes continuity of the reservoir, which will depend on the results of planned additional appraisal drilling.
The Balsam-1 and Alyam-1 discoveries in West El Manzala are adjacent to the El Basant Field and its associated pipeline network, operated by Dana Gas. They follow two other discoveries in 2012 by Dana Gas:
  • West Sama-1 in the West El Qantara Concession, a dry gas discovery in the Kafr El Sheikh formation for which a development plan has been filed
  • West Al Baraka-1 well on the Komombo Concession which found a new structure nearby the Al Baraka field, outside the development lease.

In October 2012 The Company announced the commencement of Dana Gas' joint-venture, the Egyptian Bahrain Gas Derivatives Company (EBGDCo) NGL extraction plant at Ras Shukheir in Egypt. EBGDCo's average gas intake rate has reached 75 MMscfd and four cargo shipments of propane have been exported. When fully operational, the plant will extract 120,000 tonnes per annum of propane & butane from a gas stream of 150 MMscfd.
Dana Gas is currently the 6th highest gas producer in Egypt, a country whose gas reserves has doubled in the past 5 years to over 70 trillion cubic feet, and is among the world's top ten exporters of LNG. The Company is firmly committed to pursuing long term partnership with the national Egyptian companies and other energy companies from the region and internationally.

Tunisia: ADX Signs Farm-In Agreement with Rift Basin for Chorbane Permit
Tunisian Flag
January 3rd, 2013

ADX Energy has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Alpine Oil & Gas, has entered into a definitive farm-in agreement with Rift Basin InternationalPursuant to the terms of the farm-in Agreement Rift Basin International can earn an undivided 15% working interest in the Chorbane exploration permit. The Permit is located onshore Tunisia in the Pelagian Shelf (Sahel Plains) of the Pelagian Basin near the port City of Sfax and contains oil & gas infrastructure. It occupies an area of 1,940 km 2 and is governed by a production sharing contract (PSC) with ETAP.

In accordance with the terms of the Farmin Agreement, Rift Basin International will earn an undivided 15% working interest in the Permit upon paying the following past cost contributions to Alpine:

(a) US$ 200,000 on or within 10 days after the receipt by Alpine of approval from ETAP for the Acquisition;
(b) A further US$ 700,000 upon the earlier of January 31, 2013 and applicable government approval for the Acquisition; and
(c) a further US$ 300,000 within 10 days of a request by Alpine to Rift Basin International in accordance with the work program and budget issued under the Joint Operating Agreement for the Permit that relates to such seismic acquisition.

Egypt Gas Supply to Jordan Back to Normal Levels
Egyptian flag small
December 24th, 2012

The Egyptian natural gas supply to the Kingdom returned to the agreed-upon flow of 240 million cubic feet (mcf), Jordan and Egypt said on Thursday.
His Majesty King Abdullah on Thursday met with Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, who conveyed a letter from Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, which included an official invitation for the King to visit Egypt, a Royal Court statement said.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Qandil, Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour said that relations between the Kingdom and Egypt will never be hindered by any developments and will always be at their best.
"Our discussions were very constructive and we have mutual understanding over all issues," he told reporters.
"The Egyptian side showed full understanding of our needs regarding the natural gas and promised to keep the gas flow in accordance with our joint agreement. For the past few days the gas flow rate was never less than 200 million cubic feet and today as we speak the rate is around 250 million cubic feet," he said.
After a series of cuts, the Egyptian natural gas supply ended up with as low as 40mcf.
The premier was speaking after the 23rd meeting of the Joint Jordanian-Egyptian Higher Committee, during which discussions focused on the gas supply and Egyptian labourers in the Kingdom.

The committee decided to hold regular meetings for the joint technical teams to strengthen economic cooperation, they announced.
Ensour said the meeting was the first since 2009, adding that the two sides agreed to continue their encounters to address any issue that may surface in the future.
"Despite the challenges our own economy is facing and our local needs of natural gas, we will do our best to provide Jordan with its needs of natural gas and in accordance with our agreement," Qandil said.
During his meeting with Qandil, His Majesty reiterated the importance of Egyptian-Jordanian relations, and said he was keen on bettering political and economic cooperation.
He directed officials to coordinate with their Egyptian counterparts to increase bilateral cooperation, so that it reflects positively on both countries and peoples.
Discussions also focused on regional developments, including the Syrian crisis.
King Abdullah said Jordan supports the solutions that could put an end to bloodshed and violence.
The King also talked about the circumstances surrounding the peace efforts and ways to benefit from the UN's recognition of Palestine as a non-member observer state.
He said that the recognition should be utilised to establish an independent, Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
HRH Crown Prince Hussein and Ensour were present at the meeting.
Qandil commended the King's positive attitude towards Egypt and the Egyptians. He thanked the Monarch for his stance in support of Arab causes, especially the rights of the Palestinian people.
The Egyptian premier praised the constitutional and political reforms led by His Majesty in the Kingdom, the Royal Court statement said.
He also said that Egypt values Jordan's attempts to better the relations between the two countries, and strengthen cooperation between them in the face of challenges.
Royal Court Chief Riyadh Abu Karaki, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Awad Khleifat, His Majesty's Office Director Imad Fakhoury, Minister of Labour Nidal Katamine and Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources and Minister of Transport Alaa Batayneh also attended the meeting in addition to Egyptian Minister of Labour and Migration Khaled Azhari, Minister of Oil Osama Kamal and Egypt's Ambassador to Jordan Khaled Tharwat.
During Thursday's press conference, Qandil, who arrived for the meetings earlier in the day, described his visit to the Kingdom and his talks with the government as fruitful, adding that Egypt understands the needs of the Jordanian economy and is willing to assist the Kingdom in any way possible.
"Our ties are very strong and we will have additional meetings at the ministerial level in order to reach a full understanding and cooperation at all levels with the result of our discussions crowned by an expected visit by His Majesty King Abdullah to Egypt soon to meet with his brother President Morsi," he said.
With regards to Egyptian labourers, Ensour stressed that Jordan has been a destination for demographic developments that left an impact on its local labour market.
"We have nearly 250,000 Syrian refugees in addition to more than 300,000 Iraqis residing in the Kingdom since the 2003 war in Iraq," he said.
"All this adds to the more than 900,000 Egyptian citizens who are welcome to stay. This obligates the government to take measures to regulate the labour sector effectively," Ensour said.
He stressed that the campaign targeting illegal migrant workers was never aimed at the Egyptian workers who have contributed for decades in the renaissance and the progress of the country.
In an interview with Jordan Television, Qandil said the Jordanian and Egyptian ministers of labour have agreed on 11 points to rectify the situation of Egyptian workers in the Kingdom.
"In fact, what might have seemed like a campaign targeting Egyptian workers specifically in Jordan was only a misunderstanding," he said, adding that the ministers of labour's agreement will bear its fruits soon.
"We share our living with Jordan as much as Jordan does with us. But, because we understand what Jordan is going through, we have stopped all our supply agreements except with Jordan," he added.
Meanwhile, Ensour said his talks with his Egyptian counterpart also touched on the Palestinian cause, which he described as the core issue for achieving peace in the Middle East, adding that the two sides have a common vision on the importance of unifying the Palestinian voice and reaching reconciliation between Palestinian rivals.
Indonesia: Pertamina EP Finds New Reserves at Sangatta
January 3rd, 2013

Pertamina EP, the upstream subsidiary of state-owned energy firm Pertamina, says it has discovered new crude oil reserves at its Sangatta field in East Kalimantan. The reserves might boost the dwindling output of the basin's aging wells.


Pertamina EP spokesman Agus Amperianto said on Sunday that production tests for the Tapah-1 exploration well in the eastern part of the Sangatta field had delivered 1,017 barrels of oil per day (bpd) and 1 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of gas. The tests follow Pertamina EP's so-called oil-pool enlargement of exploration in its working areas, where the firm mapped potential reserves by expanding the width and depth of existing reservoirs. Pertamina EP has spent between US$10 million and $15 million to boost reserves while exploring, according to Agus. 'We hope this accomplishment can become a milestone for an output increase for the Sangatta field in the future,' he told The Jakarta Post over the telephone.


Sangatta, which currently produces around 1,500 bpd of oil, was developed under Dutch colonial occupation and taken over by Pertamina in 1974. Its output has been declining by 18 percent a year. The field reached peak production of 9,000 barrels of crude oil per day in the 1970s and 1980s, which has dipped to 2,000 to 2,500 bpd in recent years.


Pertamina EP, according to Agus, expected that the Tapah-1 well would enter production in the second half of 2013, which would increase the output of Sangatta by about 50 percent to around 2,500 to 2,700 bpd of crude oil. Tapah-1's peak production is expected to be around 1,200 bpd of crude oil for 10 to 15 years before declining. Agus, declined to reveal the size of the new reserves at Tapah-1, claiming that the firm would reveal the information after the well entered production and Pertamina EP could complete more studies.


Pertamina EP discovered in 2012 that its Salmon Biru-1 exploration well, located 2 kms west of Sangatta, had potential reserves of 50 barrels a day of crude oil and 0.08 mmscfd of natural gas. The surveys were expected to generate more wells projected that might enter production within two years. Pertamina EP plans to drill 28 exploration wells in 2013 as well as conducting 2-D on 817 kms of its working areas and 3-D seismic surveys of 1,488 sq kms.


The firm said that it expected its overall average daily output for 2012 to reach 127,000 barrels of crude oil per day - slightly below the government's target of 134,000 barrels per day - and 1,050 mmscfd of gas, also lower than the targeted 1,070 mmscfd. For 2013, Pertamina EP aims to produce 137,000 barrels per day of oil and 1,160 mmscfd of gas of its overall average daily output. The firm has allocated Rp 10.3 trillion (US$1.06 billion) for the investment in 2013, or higher than the previous allocation of Rp 7.2 trillion in investment for 2012.   

Circle Oil Secures $12.5m to Fund Operations in Egypt
Egyptian flag small
December 26th, 2012

Circle Oil Plc (AIM: COP), the Middle East and Africa focused oil and gas exploration, development and production company, is pleased to announce that it has agreed a US$12.5 million (the "Principal Sum") secured working capital facility (the "Facility") with Ahli United Bank Egypt ("AUBE"). The Facility will be used to fund ongoing expenditures in respect of Circle's 40% interest in the North West Gemsa Concession ("NWG") in Egypt enabling Circle to use its available cash balances for alternative projects.


The Facility has a term of two years and is secured primarily on certain of Circle's receivables from the Egyptian General Petroleum Company ("EGPC") to which it sells its production from NWG. The Facility attracts interest at a rate of LIBOR plus 4.25 per cent. Under the terms of the Facility, Circle has the right to drawdown up to the Principal Sum to fund on-going expenditures in NWG, and at its option, may pre-pay any outstanding amount with accrued interest, subject to minimum repayment amounts of US$1 million.


Circle currently has cash balances of US$20.50 million.



Commenting on the Facility, Prof Chris Green, CEO, said: 
"This Facility provides additional working capital for our Egyptian assets and is recognition of the quality of our producing assets in that country. The Facility augments already robust current cash balances and will release additional capital for investment across the Group's area of operations as we develop senior debt options to accelerate Company growth."