In This Issue
StratoChem to Provide Analysis for Three Forks Study
Egypt: New Gas Discovery in North Damietta
Dana Says Egypt Can Pay Back Dollar Debt in Local Currency
ETAP CEO Discusses Opportunities in Tunisia
Khartoum on Fire Over Slashed Fuel Subsidies
Uganda: CNOOC to Spent $2 Billion on Kingfisher Oilfield
New SCS Building Shot
Upcoming Events  
  • October 1st: Oil & Gas Marrakech Conference & Exhibition - Marrakech, Morocco 
  • October 1st: Global Gas Opportunities Summit - Istanbul, Turkey
  • October 7th: AAPG/SEG Exploration of Subsalt Structures in Rift Basins - Dead Sea, Jordan. 
  • October 15th: 3P Arctic 2013: The Polar Petroleum Potential - Stavanger, Norway 
  • October 28th: AAPG/EAGE Tight Reservoirs in the Middle East - Abu Dhabi, UAE  
  • October 29th: OTC Brazil - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The 8 Biggest Misconceptions About Ancient Egyptian History    
Egyptian history has fascinated people all over the world for centuries, but some popular ideas about Egypt are inaccurate. Below are some of the most persistent myths and the truth behind them.

Slaves built the Pyramids. 
Movies are filled with images of cruel Egyptian taskmasters ordering slaves to drag the massive bricks that make up the Pyramids, but archaeologists digging in the workers' encampments discovered their standard of living was actually better than the average ancient Egyptian, leading to the conclusion that the Pyramids were built by highly-skilled laborers who were proud of their work. 

Pharaohs married their sisters.
It was commonly accepted for decades that Pharaohs chose their own sisters for their queens. Historians now aren't so sure; referring to the Pharaoh's wife as his "sister" may have been nothing more than a metaphor for the deep love he felt for his bride. 

Ancient Egypt was a black African civilization.
Like most powerful, sophisticated cultures, ancient Egypt had citizens from many backgrounds--including black Africans. While ancient Egypt doubtless traded with and was inspired by the advanced black cultures of Ethiopia and Nubia (in fact, the Twenty-Fifth Dynasty was a line of Nubian kings who conquered their northern neighbor), all archaeological evidence indicates that Egypt itself was not predominately black. 

Cleopatra was Egyptian.  
Cleopatra was an intelligent and able ruler of Egypt, but she was Greek rather than Egyptian. A descendent of Alexander the Great's general, Ptolemy, she was actually the first and only member of her dynasty to speak the Egyptian language. 
Napoleon's troops shot off the Sphinx's nose.
While a common story says that French, Turkish, or German soldiers used the Sphinx's nose for target practice, in reality it was probably centuries of weathering in the harsh desert that slowly ground the nose off. 
(Photo by Daniel Schwen)  
Egyptians built the pyramids of Mexico and Central America.
While many people see similarities between the Aztec and Mayan pyramids of Mexico and the pyramids of Egypt, they are actually very different. Mexican pyramids were stepped and used as temples, while the vast majority of Egyptian pyramids were smooth-sided and used as tombs. Additionally, ancient Egyptians had stopped building pyramids for over 2,000 years before the first pyramids were built in Mexico.  
The "curse of the Pharaohs" killed those who entered Tutankhamun's tomb.
The only death associated with the opening of Tutankhamun's tomb was that of Lord Carnarvon, the British aristocrat who funded the dig that discovered it. The cause was an infected mosquito bite. The other members of the expedition lived for years afterwards. 
Aliens built the Pyramids.
There is no evidence whatsoever that the Pyramids were built by anyone but the ancient Egyptians. Archaeological records, including papyri, nearby campsites, and the monuments themselves, show clearly that ancient Egyptians built the Pyramids. But while the Egyptian workers, architects, and masons left many traces of themselves, archaeologists have yet to find any rusting spacecraft or alien mummies buried in the Sahara. 
Special Announcement: Western Desert Study Launched! 

As 2013 winds down, StratoChem Services has a very exciting announcement to make: the launch of our very first regional study of the Cenomanian-Turonian sediments in North Africa.

Drawing on nearly twenty-five years of experience working in the region, StratoChem is proud to announce a groundbreaking series of studies of the Cenomanian-Turonian sediments from Lebanon to Tunisia, with the first study concentrating on Egypt's Western Desert.

Utilizing data from over 60 wells (taken from approximately 3200 rock, 28 oil, and 69 extract samples), the Western Desert study will include high-quality geochemical analysis with a retail value of $.5 million, available for purchase at a price of just $60,000.  For further information on the study and its contents, please contact us.

Origins of samples used in the Western Desert study.

Finally, with Eid Al'Adha coming up, we want to wish everybody "Eid mubarak!" and we hope the season is one of peace, prosperity, and comfort no matter where you are.


Your Friends at StratoChem Services


StratoChem to Provide Analysis for Three Forks Study


Our partners at Sirius Exploration Geochemistry are about to launch a new multi-client subscription study aimed at determining the source or sources of the oils in the Three Forks formation of North Dakota, with emphasis on evaluating potential acreage with Three Forks production and vertical and lateral migration within the formation.

USGS 2013 recoverable reserve estimates for the Bakken and Three Forks formations.

StratoChem's years of geochemical expertise made us Sirius's first choice to provide the biomarker and carbon isotope analysis vital to unlocking the secrets of this increasingly important area of exploration and production. With an ever greater number of our clients working in the United States, we view this study as an exciting opportunity to better understand the challenges and conditions under which a significant number of our clients work. For further information on the study, please contact Doug Waples.
Egypt: New Gas Discovery in North Damietta
Egypt Flag Flat September 9th, 2013

BP Egypt announced on Saturday a significant gas discovery in Salamat well which is the first well in the North Damietta Offshore Concession granted in February 2010 and operated by BP. "The wire logs, fluid samples, and pressure data confirmed the presence of gas and condensate in 38m net of Oligocene sands in Salamat" BP said in a statement.

The deepwater exploration well, which is the deepest well in the Nile Delta, was drilled using the 6th generation semi-submersible rig "Maersk Discoverer" at a depth of 649 meters, reaching a total depth of around 7000 meters.

BP stated that further appraisal will be required to "better define the field resources and to evaluate the options for developing the discovery."

"The Salamat discovery is a great outcome for our first well in this core exploration programme in the East Nile Delta. It shows our commitment to meeting Egypt's energy needs by exploring the deep potential offshore of the Nile Delta" said Hesham Mekawi, BP Egypt regional president in the press release.

Mekawi added that they are currently evaluating the standalone and tie-back to the nearby Temsah infrastructure development.

Meanwhile, the Executive Vice President of Exploration at BP, Mike Daly, said: "Success with Salamat proves hydrocarbons in the centre of a 50-km long structure. With a hydrocarbon column in excess of 180 metres, the discovery increases our confidence in the materiality of the deep Oligocene play in the East Nile Delta."

The Salamat discovery is located around 75 kilometres north of Damietta and only 35 kilometres to the northwest of the Temsah offshore facilities.

BP, which has 100% equity in the discovery, has been working in Egypt in oil and gas exploration and production for 50 years, with investments exceeding $20bn, making it one of the largest foreign investors in the country. It has produced 40% of Egypt's entire oil production in collaboration with Gulf Suez Petroleum Company and BP's joint venture company (JV) company with the Egyptian General Petroleum Company, and currently produces almost 15% of Egypt's annual oil production.

BP is working to meet Egypt's domestic market growth by exploring in the Nile Delta and investing to add production from existing discoveries. It is also present in the downstream sector through Natural Gas Vehicles Company (NGVC, BP 40%) which was established in September of 1995 as the first company in Africa and the Middle East to commercialize natural gas as an alternative fuel for vehicles.
Dana Says Egypt Can Pay Back Dollar Debt in Local Currency

Egypt Flag Flat September 26th, 2013  



Dana Gas PJSC offered to allow Egypt to pay back part of the $290 million owed to the company in local currency to make it easier for the state to find the money, needed by the producer to sustain output.


Dana is waiting for a reply to its proposal that the nation pay 65 percent of the dollar debt in Egyptian pounds, Chief Executive Officer Patrick Allman-Ward told reporters in Sharjah. The temporary measure would let Egypt retain foreign-exchange reserves and give Dana currency to pay local costs, he said.

Egypt, the Arab world's most populous nation, is struggling to meet fuel demand as local output slowed after an uprising in 2011 and a military coup this year. Dana Gas (DANA) restructured about $1 billion of its Islamic bonds in December because of payment delays caused by political unrest in Egypt and Iraq.


The company, based in the United Arab Emirates, increased output about 6 percent this year from 2012's 60,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, Investor Relations Director Robinder Singh said. Egyptian output reached a two-year high of 41,500 barrels in August, while the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq was flat.

Dana is talking with the Kurdish government to recover $430 million of receivables, said Allman-Ward, who replaced Ahmed Al-Arbeed as CEO this month. Dana expects to start up the Zora gas field off the shores of U.A.E.'s Sharjah and Ajman emirates in late 2014 with a daily output of 40 million cubic feet, he said.


"The intent is that we would get more gas and in return for that gas we would be then paid, say, at a higher price," Allman-Ward said of the plans to recover receivables. Dana has the potential to raise Egyptian output 25 percent, he added.


Proposals to list shares abroad aren't high on the agenda, Singh said. The National newspaper in May cited board member Majid Jafar as saying the company may revive the plans.

ETAP CEO Discusses Opportunities in Tunisia
September 26th, 2013

On the run up to the North Africa Oil & Gas Summit taking place in Tunis toward the end of October, organized by The Energy Exchange, the CEO of the country's state-run ETAP Mohamed Akrout discussed investment opportunities in an interview.


Below is an excerpt of the exclusive interview with The Energy Exchange.

Discussing the opportunities ETAP wishes to pursue in 2013, Mr. Akrout said:  "ETAP has recorded a sharp improvement in exploration activities in 2013. In 2013, 15 wells have been drilled compared to 11 in 2012, and 11 in 2011. We have also carried out large-scale seismic acquisition, which will eventually end up in an exploration and development program in the near future.


"Tunisia possesses 32 free blocks, which present great opportunities. With regards to new projects, we expect to realize our annual provisions concerning the principal gas project through: the development of the Nawara concession located in the South, and the conclusion of all supply and construction contracts. This work will commence in early 2014."


Tunisia is one of the few states viewed as one of the more stable countries in North Africa. With the availability of a professionally mature workforce, well established basins, services for seismic and drilling, proper infrastructure in terms of roads and pipelines, as well as a stable government, the country is ready, and open, to conduct business with the international market.


Mr. Akrout confirms: "Activities related to exploration and production have been maintained at the same pace and have as such continued in often normal conditions, without any significant or noticeable incidents. The few instances of social disorder have been surmountable by a high level government policy which encourages open dialogue and transparency in negotiations with all stakeholders."


With regards to ETAP's expectations from IOCs entering into partnerships with the company, Mr. Akrout explained that their expectations are centered around a relatively ambitious exploration program that uses appropriate technology and meets international environmental standards.


Tunisia places great significance on protecting the environment - ETAP considers it very important to partner with companies that are not just energetic, engaged, and technically focused, but also those that adhere to ETAP's CSR initiatives by ensuring social and humanitarian responsibility towards their respective environment, and within the local community. They also expect to partner with companies that meet the international standards in terms of corporate and project governance in oil and gas activity.


Mr. Akrout looks at the North Africa Oil and Gas Summit as an opportunity to learn and share the latest studies, technologies and work methods practiced in the oil and gas industry. He believes through this opportunity, challenges can be resolved, and different types of risks encountered at a national and international level can be managed.


To be held from 22 - 24 October, the North Africa Oil and Gas Summit, will focus mainly on the upstream activity in the region. Receiving support from Ministry of Energy and Mines, Morocco, for the first time in years, the eighth edition of the summit will unite regional and global experts from leading International and National Oil Companies (IOCs & NOCs) as well as government representatives across the industry in their vision to facilitate success in the region.


Additionally, with Ministry support from Tunisia, Libya and Morocco; National Oil Company (NOC) support from ETAP, NOC Libya, ONHYM, SMH and Sonatrach; and international support from Shell, Repsol, OMV, Total, RWE, BG, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, DNV, Perenco, Winstar Resources, Petrofac, Ecumed Petroleum and the European Investment Bank amongst many others, the summit will provide a strategic platform to address the key challenges faced by the industry as well as discuss solutions that will facilitate success in the region.

Khartoum on Fire Over Slashed Fuel Subsidies

Sudanese Flag September 27th, 2013


Recent reports say that at least 27 people have been killed during protests in Khartoum over fuel subsidy cuts announced by president Omar Al Bashir, plaguing the capital city with the worst unrest seen in recent years.


Internet access was cut on September 25 as thousands took to the streets, torching cars and petrol stations in central areas of Khartoum. While many speculate the government itself cut internet access, a Sudanese media outlet reported that the Gezira state governor said protestors attacked power stations which could also imply telecommunication offices.

Uganda: China's CNOOC to Spend $2 Billion on Kingfisher Oilfield
September 26th, 2013

AIM-listed Northern Petroleum on Friday provided an update on the previously announced testing programme designed to evaluate the production potential of the leases acquired by the Company in northern Alberta, Canada, in the first quarter of 2013. Since acquiring the acreage, the Company has purchased and interpreted 19 sq kms of 3D seismic data. This analysis has increased the number and type of drilling opportunities available on the land. These opportunities include the identification of undrilled reef structures as well as reefs which may benefit from drilling up-structure from the previous entry point.

As a result of this work, the Company is now sufficiently confident to extend the proof of concept programme to include a possible side track and a new well alongside the re-entries. Rig tenders are currently being evaluated for this programme. While this work has been undertaken, the Company has been awaiting the formal assignment of the existing wellbores from previous operators to allow access to the well re-entry candidates. These assignments are in process, however are taking longer than usual. The drilling of a new well and a side track are not affected by this and therefore the final proof of concept well sequence will be adapted to reflect this.

The seismic analysis and the wait on the assignment of wellbores mean that a rig is now expected to be on location in November this year to start the testing programme. Upon encouraging results, operations will move immediately into the development phase.

Keith Bush, Chief Executive Officer of Northern, commented: 'While the team is keen to get a rig on site and test the play, this change in approach to the proof of concept phase will allow us to evaluate the different development options from the start. This in turn should lead to a more economically efficient development.'