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May 2014
Hello from the AAPG's Annual Convention & Exhibition!

The AAPG's Annual Convention & Exhibition was a great success for us here at StratoChem. Together with our partners from Sirius Exploration Geochemistry, we had a full week of exhibiting, meetings, and of course, seeing friends from the United States and around the world. It was a productive and fun week for us, and we hope those of you who attended felt the same way.  If you missed us at the ACE, however, we hope we'll get a chance to see you this August at the Unconventional Resources and Technologies Conference in Denver. Check back with us regularly for more details!

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Industry News
Egypt Flag FlatEgypt to Pay $1 Billion Owed Oil Firms in 2 Months
April 22nd, 2014

Egypt will pay about $1 billion of the money it owes to foreign oil companies within the next two months, the state's MENA news agency said, quoting Oil Minister Sherif Ismail.

Egypt says it owes some $6.3 billion to those companies.

Last year Egypt paid $1 billion of the money it owes the international firms as part of a repayment scheme seeking to revive confidence in the economy after years of turmoil.

"A new chunk of around $1 billion will be paid to foreign firms within two months," Ismail said.

The country has previously said it would repay a further $3 billion in monthly installments until 2017 as an incentive to encourage foreign oil companies to increase exploration and production.

Egypt has been struggling to meet soaring energy bills caused by high subsidies on fuel products for its 85 million people.

The government's ability to pay oil companies and contractors was hit after the popular uprising that ousted president Hosni Mubarak in Feb. 2011 which roiled investment and tourism and cut tax revenues.

Financial disclosures by firms including BP, BG Group , Edison SpA and TransGlobe Energy show Egypt owed them more than $5.2 billion at the end of 2012.

Political turmoil has intensified after the army overthrew elected Islamist president Mohamed Mursi last year following widespread protests against him.

Since Mursi's ouster, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have poured in billions of dollars in grants, interest-free loans and oil products.

Ismail said Egypt receives around $700 million in petroleum aid every month from Arab states.

Kurdistan: Oil Search Encounters Hydrocarbons at the Taza 2 Well
March 31st, 2014

Oil Search reports that at 06:00 hours KRI time on 23 April 2014, the Taza 2 well was at a depth of 3,255 meters and preparing to drill ahead in an 8-1/2" hole. During the week, the well penetrated the Jeribe Formation, encountering hydrocarbon shows in line with prognosis, and an 18 metre core was cut in the carbonate reservoir. Good recovery of the core was achieved and a comprehensive analysis programme is planned.

Taza 2 is located 10 kms north-west of Taza 1 and is designed to appraise the hydrocarbon-bearing intervals discovered by Taza 1 (Jeribe/Dhiban and Euphrates/Kirkuk Formations), as well as explore deeper Tertiary and Cretaceous targets including the Shiranish Formation.

The participants in Taza 2 are: Oil Search (Iraq) Limited (1) 60%; Total E&P Kurdistan Region of Iraq (Taza) B.V. 20%; Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) 20%.

(1) Oil Search's funding interest is 75%, with the KRG's 20% interest carried by Oil Search and Total E&P Kurdistan Region of Iraq (Taza) B.V.
Egypt Flag Flat Egypt: President Authorizes Petroleum Ministry to Sign Contracts with Exploration Companies
April 22, 2014

Presidential spokesman Ihab Badawy stated on April 22nd that President Adly Mansour has issued three bills authorizing the Minister of Petroleum to contract with Ganoub El Wadi Petroleum Holding Company and Vega Petroleum Limited to explore and produce oil east of the Zeit Mountain in the Gulf of Suez. Dana Petroleum will also receive its license for exploration and production south of the Dara Oasis in the Eastern Desert and Dragon Oil has been granted a concession in the East Zeit area of the Gulf of Suez.


In another bill, Mansour permitted the ministry to amend a 2005 agreement between the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation and Apache allowing the latter exploration rights in the West Kalabsha Concession in the Western Desert.

US: Bakken Field Produces First Billion Barrels of Oil
April 29th, 2014

Continental Resources has announced that the Bakken field of North Dakota and Montana recently reached the milestone of 1 billion barrels of light, sweet crude oil produced. According to data from IHS, the Bakken's cumulative oil production reached the billion barrel mark in the First Quarter of 2014.


'This milestone validates the immense potential of the Bakken field and development is just beginning,' said Jack Stark, Senior Vice President of Exploration for Continental. 'Two-thirds of this oil was produced in the last three years. This is something our country can celebrate as the oil and natural gas industry continues to create jobs, grow our economy and secure America's energy future.'


Horizontal drilling technology has spurred the discovery of vast new resources of oil in America. Much of this potential has yet to be accounted for in the nation's proved reserves of crude oil. The Bakken field alone appears to be the largest oil field discovered in the world in more than 40 years. Continental is the largest producer, driller and leaseholder in the Bakken field.


 Lebanon: Spectrum Begins Phase 2 of Onshore Surveys
April 21st, 2014

April 10th marked the launch of the second phase of onshore 2-D surveys performed by Spectrum. This phase of surveys will take place along the coast and in the regions around Mount Lebanon. Although Spectrum was not fully satisfied with working conditions in the first phase, they still managed to achieve very promising results, motivating further cooperation with the Lebanese Ministry of Energy, helmed by Arthur Nazarian. Minister Nazarian is expected to begin creation of a newer, better legal framework for the petroleum services industry, since the existing laws are outdated.


Interested in seeing the results of the first Lebanon survey?  Check out our joint Levantine Basin study with Spectrum! 

In This Issue
Upcoming Events

5/5 - "Offshore Technology Conference 2014" - Houston, Texas, USA

5/19 - "11th Maghreb, Mediterranean, Mideast Upstream" - Nicosia, Cyprus
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