Local Lab to the World for 25 Years | http://stratochem.com
December 2014
It's Official

2014 is ending, bringing a close to StratoChem's 25th anniversary--and what an anniversary it has been.  This year marked our first full year of American market presence.  From our many new clients to our ongoing partnerships with first-class geoscientific labs like FIT, PSI, Sirius Exploration Geochemistry (with whom we unveiled a highly innovative and revealing study of the North Dakota Three Forks this year), and most recently, Midland-based SCAL, Inc., we're very happy about how things have gone, but we look forward to an even better 2015. Thus, we would like to announce a new, US-based address in Denver:

StratoChem Services
600 17th St.
Suite 2800
Denver, CO 80202
+1 (303) 228-7032

Whether you're a long-time client, established partner, or a new friend, we want to thank you for making the past year a great one for SCS, and wish you the happiest of holiday seasons.

Your Friends at StratoChem Services
Oil & Gas Prices
(Image courtesy of Freepik.com.)
Industry News
EGAS to Invest US $4Bn to Boost Egypt's Gas Output
October 8th, 2014

Egypt Flag Flat

Khaled Abdel Badie, chairman of EGAS, said that the company has finished four natural gas projects among the 10 projects in the country. The remaining gas projects will be developed during the year 2014-2015.


Egypt reportedly holds two trillion cu/m of natural gas reserves. Despite new natural gas discoveries, Egypt is currently facing a decline in the gas production rates, which has declined by an annual average of three per cent. The current output stands at 138mn cu/m, compared to 158mn cu/m produced in 2013.


Egypt has been diverting natural gas supply away from exports to the domestic market to meet demand. As a result, Egypt's total gas exports have declined by an annual average of 30 per cent from 2010 to 2013, added EGAS.


Badie added, "Egypt's LNG exports have also continued to drop in 2014. The country has plans to start importing LNG after September 2014 when it receives a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) from Norway-based Hoegh LNG."

Oil Declines as OPEC Seen Holding Off from Production Cuts
November 26th, 2014
(rigzone.com by Jessica Resnick-Ault)

New York, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Wednesday after OPEC increased signals that it would hold off making any major production cuts this week.


With U.S. trading subdued by the approaching Thanksgiving Day holiday, activity was thin and prices choppy, hitting near four-year lows early in the day. U.S. weekly oil inventory data showed a bigger than expected build in crude stockpiles, although the data had little impact.


OPEC Gulf oil producers have reached a consensus not to cut oil output when OPEC meets Thursday, a Gulf OPEC delegate told Reuters.


Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi confirmed the Gulf states had reached a unified decision, but did not specify what the consensus was. Naimi said he believed the oil market "will stabilise itself eventually," increasing speculation the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) largest producer and exporter, would not support an output cut at its Thursday meeting.


"The market will fix itself ultimately," UAE Oil Minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui said in an interview.


Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh, often among the first to call for cuts, added to expectations the group will not take any dramatic action in Vienna, saying he and Naimi were now "very close" in their positions and that there was "unity" in the group to monitor the market.


Benchmark Brent futures settled down 58 cents at $77.75 a barrel. U.S. crude fell 40 cents to $73.69, having hit a low of $73.30.


"It's all about OPEC - volatility is up across the board on options," said Tariq Zahir of Tyche Capital.


The increasingly bearish view on prices is prompting more traders to start shorting the market, brokers said.

On Tuesday, U.S. WTI futures open interest rose despite a fall in prices, likely a sign new shorts were entering positions in the market just before OPEC's Thursday decision, said Ed Kevelson, Head of US Energy OTC at Newedge.


Oil prices have dropped by a third since June and some OPEC members have called for the cartel to reduce production sharply in an attempt to tighten the market. Predictions for the OPEC meeting range from a large output cut to no action at all.

U.S. crude inventories rose by 1.9 million barrels in the last week, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 467,000 barrels, the EIA said.


(Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein in Singapore, Jack Stubbs and Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by William Hardy, Chizu Nomiyama, Chris Reese and Richard Chang)

Tanzanian Flag Tanzania: Statoil Makes 7th Gas Find Offshore
October 20th, 2014

The latest discovery in the Giligiliani-1 well has amounted to 33.9bn cu/m, bringing the total gas volumes discovered in the region to 594.6bn cu/m, it said.


Nick Maden, senior vice-president for Statoil's exploration activities in Western Hemisphere, said, "This discovery has proven the gas play extends into the western part of Block 2, which opens additional prospects. Our success rate in Tanzania has been high and opening up a new area will be key to continuing our successful multi-well programme."


The rig 'Discoverer Americas' will now drill the Kungamanga prospect located in the central part of the offshore block.

According to Statoil, Giligiliani-1 discovery is succeeded by the five high-impact gas discoveries namely Zafarani-1, Lavani-1, Tangawizi-1, Mronge-1 and Piri-1 and Lavani-2.


Statoil operates the licence on Block 2 on behalf of Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) and has a 65 per cent working interest. ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Tanzania Limited holds the remaining 35 per cent.

Weatherford Sells Chemicals, Drilling Fluids Units to Lubrizol
December 1st, 2014

Dec 1 (Reuters) - Oilfield services provider Weatherford International Plc said Berkshire Hathaway Inc's Lubrizol Corp would pay $750 million in cash for two businesses that provide chemicals and drilling fluids for oil and gas production.

Weatherford said the sale of its engineered chemistry and  

integrity drilling fluids businesses also included a potential increase of $75 million tied to the performance of the units after the closure of the deal, expected by the end of this month.

Engineered chemistry supplies additives and fluids for a range of oilfield activities, including cementing, drilling and fracking.  

The other unit makes drilling fluids and additives for enhanced performance of drilling operations.


The sale is part of Weatherford's broader plan to divest non-core businesses and repay debt. The company has raised about $1.8 billion from divestitures this year.

Weatherford said its net debt would be between $6.6 billion and $6.8 billion at year-end, lower than its earlier target of $7.0 billion-$7.5 billion.


"Positive that despite energy market turmoil Weatherford (is) still delivering on its strategy to jettison non-core businesses," Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co analysts wrote in a note.

In a separate statement, Lubrizol said the purchase of the two businesses would give it "a more significant footprint in the $20 billion oilfield chemicals business."


(Reporting by Swetha Gopinath in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

BP Egypt, Partners, to Invest $240M in Egyptian Blocks
November 11th, 2014

Egypt Flag Flat

BP Egypt and its partners have committed to investing $240 million in two exploration blocks awarded by Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Co. (Egas) in its 2013 bid round (OGJ Online, Sept. 25, 2014).


Block 3, North El Mataria, which marks BP's entry into the onshore Nile Delta, lies in the northeastern section of the Nile Delta cone, 57 km west of Port Said. BP will operate the block with 50% equity and Dana Gas of Abu Dhabi will hold the remainder (OGJ Online, Sept. 30, 2014).

BP holds 50% interest in the Denise-Karawan (Deka) natural gas development offshore the Nile Delta, which started production in August (OGJ Online, Aug. 22, 2014).


Block 8, Karawan Offshore, lies in the Mediterranean Sea on the northeastern part of Egypt's economic waters. The block is 220 km northeast and 170 km the northwest of Alexandria and Port Said, respectively. BP will have 50% equity and the block will be operated by Eni SPA, which holds the remainder.


The program will include 3D seismic and three exploration wells in each of the onshore and offshore blocks in phases over 6-8 years. BP says both blocks demonstrate "gas-bearing characteristics."


BP's presence in Egypt includes the West Nile Delta project, which it says would provide more than 1 bcfd, representing 25% of current production in the country.


BP also holds 33% interest in United Gas Derivatives Co., which is an NGL plant extracting LPG and propane, in partnership with Eni unit International Egypt Oil Co. and Egyptian midstream gas distribution company Gasco.

Iraq: Marathon Announces Jisik Discovery in Kurdistan
December 1st, 2014

Marathon Oil, through its wholly owned subsidiary Marathon Oil KDV, has announced that the Jisik-1 exploration well has discovered multiple stacked oil and natural gas producing zones on the Company's operated Harir Block in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.


Located approx. 40 miles northeast of Erbil, the Jisik-1 well was drilled to a total depth of approx. 15,000 feet. Oil and natural gas shows were noted over an extensive gross interval of both Jurassic and Triassic reservoirs. A drill-stem testing program yielded a sustained flow rate of 6,100 barrels per day of oil, and multiple non-associated gas zones flowed at a combined rate of approx. 10-15 million cubic feet per day, without stimulation, together with associated condensate, all of which were equipment constrained. The Jisik-1 well will be suspended for potential future use as a producing well.


Marathon Oil is the operator of the Harir Block, with a 45 percent working interest. Total holds a 35 percent working interest and the Kurdistan Regional Government holds a 20 percent carried interest.

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