In This Issue
StratoChem End-of-the-Year Highlights
US Energy Rigs Down One to 1,761
Kenya: Tullow Announces Agete-1 Oil Discovery Onshore
Serinus Secures Funds for Tunisia
Indonesia: NuEnergy Announces Strategic Investment
India: ONGC to Develop KG-DWN-98/2 Block Alone
New SCS Building Shot
Upcoming Events  
  • December 5th: 4th Basra Oil & Gas International Conference & Exhibition - Basra, Iraq
  • December 8th: Gas Arabia Summit - Muscat, Oman
  • December 10th: MENA Shale Event - Abu Dhabi, UAE  
Great Turning Points in Egyptian History
Egypt's history is filled with many exciting moments when the past could have gone very differently.  As we end an exciting and at times dramatic year, let's look at a few and think about how different things could have been.

Narmer Unifies Upper and Lower Egypt
Reigning in the 3100s BC, the Pharaoh Narmer is generally believed to have united the kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt. Without Narmer's conquest, would Egypt have remained two separate countries? 

The Death of Alexander the Great 
Alexander the Great died in 323 BC in what is now Iraq, but he had deep fascination with and love of Egypt, having not only been crowned Pharaoh but also declaring himself the son of the Egyptian god Serapis.  If Alexander had lived, would he have made Egypt the center of his vast empire?  

Cleopatra and Marc Antony Are Defeated at Actium    
In 31 BC, Emperor Octavian defeated Marc Antony and Cleopatra at the battle of Actium, allowing Rome to claim full control over Egypt. But Antony was a far more experienced soldier than Octavian and could have won. What would that have meant for Egypt? 

The Mamluks Defeat the Mongols at Ain Jalut   
The Mamluks began as slave soldiers in the service of various Islamic rulers, but often seized power for themselves.  When the Mongols invaded Egypt in 1260, they were met and defeated by the Mamluks at Ain Jalut in Egypt--the first time that anybody permanently defeated a Mongol force. If the Mamluks hadn't won, Egypt would probably have been ransacked like Baghdad, Russia, and China.  

Mohamed Ali Modernizes Egypt   
An Albanian-born military officer, Mohamed Ali arrived in Egypt in the early 19th century in service of the Ottoman Sultan. By the end of his life he had modernized Egypt's military and instituted a variety of reforms to the country, including the institution of the first printing press and widespread translations of European scientific and medical books. 

Syria Leaves the United Arab Republic  
Syria and  Egypt formed the United Arab Republic from 1958 until 1961, when Syria seceded.  How different would our world be if they still formed one country? 
Greetings from StratoChem!   

2013 will soon be officially over, bringing a turbulent but successful year to a close. From profound political changes at home to new opportunities abroad, it's been a wild ride of a year that's left us at times breathless, at times excited.  We look forward to a more tranquil but equally successful 2014 both for us and
for all the wonderful friends and clients we have made and continue to make.

Most of all, we're excited to be celebrating our 25th anniversary this year.  In an industry where companies form and dissolve on a yearly basis, it's a testament to the quality, relevance, and usefulness of our geochemical analyses and interpretations that we're as strong today as we were in 1989.  2014 will be a year of celebration for us and we hope you'll join in.  We'll be debuting a new logo starting with the very next newsletter.  And of course, we'll still be here providing top-of-the-line geochemical service for your exploration and production endeavors, no matter where they may be.

To you and yours we wish a happy, healthy, and peaceful 2014.


Your Friends at StratoChem Services


September 2013
StratoChem End-of-the-Year Highlights


It was a full year for us, participating in conferences and exhibitions as far afield as  London, Pittsburgh, and Denver and working with exploration and production professionals from all over the world. Here are three of the biggest pieces of StratoChem news from 2013:


A New Website:  Early in the year we debuted our new website.  Check regularly for news, updates, and changes!

Launch of the Western Desert Study: Twenty-five years of experience with the geology and geochemistry of the Middle East and North Africa make StratoChem the ideal company to perform a commercial study of the Cenomanian-Turonian sediments of Egypt's Western desert.  The first in a series of studies profiling the Cenomanian-Turonian sediments from Tunisia to Lebanon, please contact us for further details about purchasing this new study.

SCS Comes to the US: With an increasing number of clients in the United States, we decided it was time to dedicate two full-time employees to serving the American market.  Business Development Manager David Mungo ( and Sales Manager and Client Representative Hunter Eden ( are now based in the United States full-time and invite you to direct any questions, concerns, and comments to them.


Here's to an even fuller, more prosperous 2014!


US Energy Rigs Down One to 1,761, Baker Hughes Says

November 22nd, 2013  

(Source: Lynn Doan, 


Rigs targeting oil and natural gas in the U.S. dropped by one this week to 1,761, according to Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI) 


Oil rigs increased two to 1,387, data posted on the company's website show. The gas count dropped one to 369, the Houston-based field services company said. Miscellaneous rigs were down two to five.


The volume of crude and gas extracted per rig has jumped to records in shale plays across the U.S. as companies adopt more efficient drilling and completion techniques, boosting the yield from wells and helping increase domestic oil production to the highest level in two decades. The advances have weakened companies' appetite for more rigs, driving the U.S. rig count down by 56 in the past year.


U.S. oil output slipped 7,000 barrels a day to 7.97 million in the seven days ended Nov. 15 from the highest level since January 1989 in the previous week, according to data compiled by the Energy Information Administration, the Energy Department's statistical arm. Crude stockpiles climbed 375,000 barrels to 388.5 million barrels, a record seasonal high.


West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery declined 34 cents to $95.10 a barrel at 1:07 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 8.8 percent in the past year.


U.S. gas stockpiles slid 45 billion cubic feet last week to 3.789 trillion, the EIA said yesterday. Supplies were 2.3 percent below a year earlier and 0.4 percent above the five-year average.

Natural gas for December delivery rose 7.1 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $3.773 per million British thermal units on the Nymex, down 3.3 percent in the past year.

Kenya: Tullow Announces Agete-1 Oil Discovery Onshore
November 22nd, 2013

Tullow Oil has announced that the Agete-1 exploration well in Block 13T, onshore Northern Kenya, has discovered and sampled moveable oil with an estimated 100 metres of net oil pay in good quality sandstone reservoirs.

The Agete-1 wildcat well is part of a major exploration campaign and has made the fifth consecutive oil discovery in the first of a chain of multiple rift basins across Tullow's acreage in the region. This discovery de-risks several follow-on prospects located to the north and is on trend with the Twiga South, Ekales, and Ngamia oil discoveries and adds to the significant resource base already discovered.


The Sakson PR5 rig drilled Agete-1 to a total depth of 1,930 metres. Following completion of logging operations the well will be suspended for future flow testing which will confirm the net pay count. The rig will then move to drill the Ewoi-1 wildcat in the east of this basin, targeting a rift flank prospect similar to the recent Etuko oil discovery.

Tullow operates the Agete-1 well with a 50% interest and Africa Oil (50%) has a non-operated interest.


Elsewhere in Kenya, exploration and appraisal activities continue to accelerate with the Amosing-1 well, in Block 10BB, expected to commence drilling before the end of November with the Weatherford 804 rig. The Etuko-1 well test in Block 10BB is also scheduled to commence this month with the PR Marriott 46 rig which recently arrived in country and the Ekales-1 well test is scheduled to commence with the new SMP-5 workover unit in early December.


Angus McCoss, Exploration Director, Tullow Oil plc commented today:

'A fifth consecutive oil discovery onshore Northern Kenya highlights the emerging world class exploration and production potential within our rift basin acreage. An intensive campaign for 2014 includes appraisal and exploration within this first basin and pioneering wells targeting the prospectivity throughout the entire chain of similar rift basins.'

Serinus Secures Funds for Tunisia
November 22nd, 2013

Serinus Energy signed two loan agreements in the aggregate amount of $60 million with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to aid in financing the capital program being planned for its recently acquired oil and gas fields in Tunisia. The company holds stakes in the Sabria, Chouech Essaida, and Ech Chouechand Sanrah.


The financing consists of two loans, one in the amount of $40 million (senior loan) and the second in the amount of $20 million which can be converted in to shares of the company (convertible loan). The Senior Loan can be drawn in two tranches of $20 million each and carries an interest rate of Libor plus 6%. Some or all of the Convertible Loan can be repaid with, or converted into common shares of the company at the then current market price of the shares.


Tim Elliott, the president and CEO of Serinus said: "The EBRD played an important funding role in our success in Ukraine where we were able to increase production almost 500% in 40 months and we are very pleased to be able to work on a new project with the bank, which has been a true partner for us. The investment which we are about to make in Tunisia represents the largest single investment in our Company's history. This is not only a reflection of our confidence in the potential of our projects, but also our confidence in the future of Tunisia and its people."

Indonesia: NuEnergy Announces Strategic Investment

Indonesia November 22nd, 2013


NuEnergy Gas has announced that it has issued a written offer to a potential strategic investor. The offer includes an investment in the company and a farm-in to the Rengat PSC located in Sumatra, Indonesia. The strategic investor is a large Asian diversified multinational group. The group has a turnover in excess of $5bn. Both parties have been in formal due diligence for the past month.

Under the terms of the proposal the farm-in party would provide cash and a carried interest to NuEnergy. It is intended the party would fund the work program of Rengat PSC. From the cash NuEnergy would fund the ongoing work program for the Muara Enim PSC and Muara Enim II PSC located in South Sumatra.

Negotiations between NuEnergy and the party are at an advanced stage. Both parties are working to reach agreement this year.

India: ONGC to Develop Deepwater KG-DWN-98/2 Block Alone
November 20th, 2013

India's ONGC will go solo in developing its most promising deep-water hydrocarbon block in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) Basin with help of consultants, as potential international partners like Shell and ConocoPhillips have shied away from taking stakes or providing technological expertise. Harnessing potential resources in deep-water blocks is crucial to the state-run explorer's plan to augment oil and gas output which has stagnated - if not declined - in recent years, despite a reasonable accretion to reserves.


Sources say ONGC will invite international consultants in the sector such as Aker Solutions, Technip, Pegasus and Worley Parsons soon to place bids for preparing the field development plan (FDP) for its KG-DWN-98/2 block. 'ONGC has little experience in developing offshore deep-water blocks and will therefore issue tenders inviting global consultants to help us prepare the FDP for the block,' said an official directly involved in the matter.


Though the company has been trying to woo the likes of Shell and ConocoPhillips for joint development of the block for around a year now, they have so far remained non-committal. ONGC's KG blocks had received interest from international players in the past but delays on the part of the government in approving the proposals stymied their entry. Though the farm-out agreements for giving 15% to Brazil's Petrobras and 10% to Norway's Statoil were signed in 2007, a joint operating agreement could not be inked.

ONGC's KG basin blocks holds about 4.85 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves (22 million metric standard cubic metres per day of gas at peak production) and indicated oil reserves of around 100 million tonnes. They will be the company's first significant producing block in the technologically challenging deep-water zone when it comes on stream in 2017-18.


FDPs comprise of activities and processes that are required to develop a field. As ONGC does not have expertise in developing deep-water fields, it requires assistance in understanding various aspects of production from these zones including environmental impact, geophysics, geology, reservoir and production engineering, infrastructure, well design and construction, completion design, surface facilities, and economics and risk assessment.