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September 2014
Greetings from StratoChem!

The second annual Unconventional Resources Technology Exhibition and Conference in Denver, Colorado has come and gone, and the booth we shared with our partners at Sirius Exploration Geochemistry received many visits from friends and clients, both old and new.  If you were able to make it to Denver and stop by, we thank you for coming to visit us. If not, we're sorry we missed you but hope to see you at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists' Annual Convention & Exhibition next May.  And if we just met you this past week at URTeC, it was a pleasure to do so and we welcome you to the StratoChem family!

Your Friends at StratoChem Services

Our joint booth with Sirius Exploration Geochemistry at URTeC.
Oil & Gas Prices
(Image courtesy of Freepik.com.)
Industry News
Jordan to Award Two Blocks for Oil & Gas Exploration
August 25th, 2014

JordanJordan is offering two blocks in its northeastern region for oil and gas exploration, according to the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. Jordan imports about 96 per cent of its energy needs annually.


The Ministry said that companies can submit bids for tenders to explore the Sarhan and Azraq blocks in Mafraq Governorate, 80km northeast of Amman.


The deadline for interested firms to submit bids is 20 October 2014.


Exploration is likely to be based on the model of production-sharing agreements between the government and the bidding companies.


Jordan, which imports about 96 per cent of its energy needs annually, terminated a production sharing agreement in mid-2013 with Sonoran Energy to explore for oil in the Azraq block as the Indian company reportedly did not commit to the agreement.


In an interview with The Jordan Times, energy Minister Mohammad Hamed said that the National Petroleum Company will continue to explore for gas in Al Risha field after BP stopped its oil drilling operation in Jordan early this year.

Brent Falls, US Crude Rises As Global Demand Seen as Weak
August 28th, 2014
(rigzone.com by Anna Louie Sussman)

NEW YORK, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Brent crude oil fell and U.S. crude rose as ample global supply and lackluster demand pressured the global benchmark while positive U.S. economic data supported oil prices in the world's largest oil consumer.


U.S. gross domestic product expanded at a 4.2 percent annual rate instead of the previously reported 4.0 percent pace, the Commerce Department said on Thursday, reflecting upward revisions to business spending and exports.


Separate reports showed a second consecutive week of declines in the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits and a jump in home purchase contracts.


"There's better demand here in the U.S. than versus Europe," said Phil Flynn, an analyst with the Price Futures Group in Chicago, Illinois.


Oil supply is expected to exceed demand this year, analysts forecast, and crude oil benchmarks on both sides of the Atlantic Basin are on track to post a second monthly decline.


October Brent crude fell by 26 cents to settle at $102.46 a barrel. Last week, the contract hit a 14-month intraday low of $101.07 and it has been unable this week to break out of the $101-$104 range.


U.S. crude for October rose 67 cents to settle at $94.55 a barrel.


The spread between the two benchmarks widened to $9.15 during the session, then narrowed to settle at $7.91.


"Brent-U.S. crude pushed above $9 again and that's a pretty lofty premium given that we don't have a supply disruption," said Gene McGillian, an analyst with Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.


Political instability in Iraq and Libya continued to weigh on investors' minds, even though oil exports from the two countries have actually risen in recent months.


Libya's National Oil Corp (NOC) said on Thursday the country's oil production had risen to 665,000 barrels per day (bpd) from 650,000 bpd earlier this week.


Analysts say a revival of Libya's oil industry may be short-lived as armed groups and two parliaments fight for control of the North African country.


An Islamist insurgency in Iraq also threatens to derail long-term output plans set by OPEC's second largest producer.


Rapid rises in North American oil production over the last three years have more than compensated for output losses due to conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says.


U.S. oil production grew by more than 4 million barrels per day (bpd) between January 2011 and July 2014. During the same period, 2.8 million bpd of global oil production was knocked out by unplanned supply outages, the EIA said on Wednesday.

Global oil demand has increased less than expected over the last few years and analysts say the developing trade dispute over the Ukraine crisis could also help curb fuel consumption.

Hopes that the presidents of Russia and Ukraine could reach a ceasefire deal dimmed after Ukraine accused Russia of launching a new military incursion.


(Additional reporting by Christopher Johnson in London, Florence Tan in Singapore; editing by David Clarke, David Evans and Chizu Nomiyama)

Egypt Flag Flat BP Announces First Gas from DEKA Project, Offshore Egypt
August 24th, 2014

BP Egypt announced Thursday first gas from the DEKA project offshore Egypt with the start of production from the Denise South-6 well at an initial rate of 50 million cubic feet per day (mmscf/d).


The DEKA project is centred on the Denise and Karawan gas fields in Temsah Concession in the East Nile Delta and will supply the country's domestic market.


Hesham Mekawi, BP North Africa Regional President, said: "The DEKA project is another example of BP's commitment to Egypt and longstanding Egyptian partnerships. We look forward to continuing to play a key role in the development of Egypt's energy sector and maximising the use of our existing resources to help meet the country's growing energy demands for years to come."


The DEKA project is a group of gas discoveries being developed through 5 subsea wells including the Plio-1 C well in the Temsah concession, the installation of subsea production systems together with sealines and gas processing at the onshore El Gamil Gas Plant onshore. It uses existing infrastructure from the Seth field (BP 50% interest), the Temsah pliocene export pipeline and El Gamil gas terminal infrastructure. DEKA is expected to deliver 230 mmscf/d of gas at peak from early 2015 from the five wells including Plio-1 C.


The Denise South 6 well is approximately 65 kilometres north of Port Said, in 100 metres of water.


BP and ENI each hold a 50% interest in the Temsah concession. DEKA is operated by the Petrobel joint venture.

WesternZagros Declares Commercial Discovery at Kurdamir
July 15th, 2014

WesternZagros Resources Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:WZR) ("WesternZagros" or "the Company") and its co-venturer, Talisman (Block K44) B.V. ("Talisman"), have submitted a Declaration of Commercial Discovery ("DoC") to the Kurdistan Regional Government ("KRG") for the oil and gas discovery in the Kurdamir Block. A phased development plan, outlining future production wells, facilities and supporting infrastructure, is under preparation for submission to the KRG.


"This is a long-anticipated, important milestone for WesternZagros as well as the Kurdistan Region. We estimate the Kurdamir block to hold nearly 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) of contingent resources on a mean basis. In addition, the three stacked reservoirs in Kurdamir hold significant upside potential, of an additional estimated 1.6 billion BOE of prospective resources on a mean basis. Declaring Kurdamir as a commercial discovery is another key step as we continue our evolution from an explorer to a producer and towards generating cash flow," said Simon Hatfield, WesternZagros Chief Executive Officer.


Future expansion phases will be determined by the success of the first phase of the development drilling campaign. The co-venturers are advancing plans for the first horizontal development well with an anticipated spud date in Q4 2014, subject to KRG approval.


The DoC submission was accompanied by an Appraisal Report, which reflects the work conducted during an exploration and appraisal program on the Kurdamir field that began in 2009 and concluded in May 2014. The program consisted of acquiring 2D and 3D seismic, drilling three exploration wells, performing numerous formation tests and carrying out an extended well test ("EWT"). Positive results from the Kurdamir-2 EWT were a key component in advancing the DoC.


WesternZagros currently holds a 40 percent working interest in the Kurdamir Block. Talisman holds a 40 percent working interest and is the operator, while the KRG holds the remaining 20 percent.


About WesternZagros Resources Ltd.


WesternZagros is an international natural resources company focused on acquiring properties and exploring for, developing and producing crude oil and natural gas in Iraq. WesternZagros, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, holds a 40 percent working interest in two Production Sharing Contracts with the Kurdistan Regional Government in the Kurdistan Region.


WesternZagros's shares trade in Canada on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "WZR".

Egypt Flag Flat Egypt: Sea Dragon Farm-Out Agreement for South Disouq
August 18th, 2014

Sea Dragon Energy Inc., an oil and gas exploration and production company with assets in Egypt, is pleased to announce it has entered into an agreement with IPR Energy Resources, Ltd to farm-out a 45% participating interest in the South Disouq Concession, located in the Nile Delta, Egypt.

The South Disouq concession comprises 1,275 km˛ of acreage in the Nile Delta of Egypt and is anticipated to contain significant gas potential. It is located within the prolific Abu Madi-Baltim trend, which currently contains 10 discoveries, containing 6.3Tcf of gas and 100 MMbo of liquids.

Under the terms of the agreement IPR will carry the cost of the 1st Phase Commitment well (subject to a cap), pay $1.9 MM of the signature bonus, fund its proportionate share of the remaining work program, and will have the option to operate the Commitment well.

IPR is a privately-held company based in Dallas with exploration and production assets in Egypt, the United States, and Pakistan. IPR has been active in Egypt for over 30 years and currently has operations and equity interests in 6 concessions. It also has a global upstream consulting business and an oil field services division in Egypt.

This agreement remains subject to final approval by the regulatory authorities in Egypt. Post approval, Sea Dragon will have a 55% interest in the concession, with IPR holding the remaining 45%. Sea Dragon will continue to be the operator.

Commenting, Paul Welch, CEO of Sea Dragon, said:
"This agreement is an important milestone for the development of the South Disouq concession, which in itself is a key asset for the Company, representing significant exploration upside potential in an area the Sea Dragon management team have had proven success. The farm-out will also provide Sea Dragon with the financial flexibility to continue to develop and invest resources across our wider Egyptian asset base. We look forward to working with IPR to explore for the significant potential within this concession."

MOG Invites Bids for 5 Onshore, Offshore Blocks in Oman Bid Round 2014
August 6th, 2014
(Flat Omani Flagwww.rigzone.com--by Cheang Chee Yew)
Oman's Ministry of Oil & Gas (MOG) issued an invitation to petroleum companies with experience in upstream hydrocarbon projects to participate in the Oman Bid Round 2014, under which the government is offering two offshore and three onshore blocks.


The two offshore acreages offered in for bidding are Blocks 18 and 59, while the three located onshore are Blocks 43A, 54 and 58.


Block 18 lies in water depths of 98.4-9,842 feet (30-3,000 meters) in the north Sohar basin and covers an area of 8,162 square miles (21,140 square kilometers). Block 59, located off the east coast of central Oman in depths of 0-11,811 feet (0-3,600 meters), has an area of 15,632 square miles (40,488 square kilometers).


Onshore Block 43A is spread over an area of 2,656 square miles (6,879 square kilometers) in the north of Oman mountains, while Block 58 is located in the south edge of the Western Flank covering an area of 879 square miles (2,277 square kilometers) between the South Oman Salt Basin and Rub Al Khali Basin.


Block 54, occupying 2,174 square miles (5,632 squre kilometers) in south east Oman, is located near Petroleum Development Oman's Block 6 oilfields, Occidental Petroleum's Block 53 Mukhaizina field - which produces over 100,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) - and Blocks 3 and 4, where production reaches over 20,000 bopd.


Companies interested in these blocks are invited to submit their bids to MOG by Oct. 31, with participants in the bid round required to place a deposit of $100,000 per block with the Oman government.

In This Issue
Upcoming Events

9/23 - West Texas Geological Society Fall Symposium; Midland, TX, USA

Want to see more but haven't quite got room on your schedule for an Egyptian vacation? Filmmaker Gena Aziz has provided StratoChem with an exclusive video to let you do just that.  Helwa Ya Baladi ("My Beautiful Country") can be seen below.  We hope you enjoy it!

Helwa ya Baladi MPEG 2 Program stream, 15 Mbps
Helwa Ya Baladi

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