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Shell to invest $600m in Western Desert operations

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By Ahmed Tolba

Badr Petroleum Company (Bapetco), a joint venture between the Egyptian General Petroleum Company (EGPC) and petroleum giant Royal Dutch Shell, announced that the latter has decided to invest $600 million in exportation and production operations in its Western Desert concession areas. The endeavor comes in the context of Shell’s exploration plan for the new 2012-2013 fiscal year.The companyplansto drill 65 exploratory and developmentalwells toboost reserves and production rates of the fields.

Dr. Sherif Sousa, President of Bapetco, statedthat drilling commenced inAlam Al-Shawishdevelopment lease, following the successfulextractionof natural gas from the Apollonian formation for the first time in Egypt. The company will also drill three appraisal wells withdaily production rates of 5 million cubic feet of natural gas using foam hydraulic fracturing technology for the first time in Egypt or North Africa. Wells drilled with older techniques only produced approximately 0.5 million cubic feet per day.

The wells’ estimated reserves stand at approximately600 billion cubic feet. A project is in progress to increase the amount of extractable oil from the Bahga, Sitra and Badr-3 fields by approximately 15 million barrels.

Sousastated that the drilling of 20 new wells has commenced in the Sitra field to double its production and increase the extractableoil by 8 million barrels. The company will also drill 55 developmental wells and 10 exploratorywells during the current fiscal year in light of the company’s daily oil and gas production reaching 36,000 barrels of oil and 400 million cubic feet of natural gas, an increase of 3% from the plan.

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