The Western Desert has become one of the most promising petroleum production regions in Egypt, and is now the subject of intensive exploration, discovery and development activity by multinationals, Minister of Petroleum Sherif Ismail said in a Saturday statement.
Ismail recently visited several petroleum projects in the Western Desert in Karoun, East Bahariya and Heba oilfields that are owned by Karoun Petroleum Company.
“The high production rates recorded in this region made it attractive for further international investments,” he said, citing low investment costs compared to investments required to explore and develop production in deep water, the availability of cost-efficient infrastructure and production facilities, and the speed of converting newly discovered oilfields to production.
The minister later visited the crude oil treatment area and East Bahariya electricity power station, with a capacity of 16 MW and investments of $49m. The station, situated 150km from Cairo, operates using natural gas supplying electricity to the region’s oilfields, crude oil transportation and water injection stations. This saves diesel when operating generators and pumps.
During his visit, the minister listened to a detailed explanation from Mohamed Mounes, head of Karoun Petroleum Company. “The company’s production from its concessions in Karoun, East Bahariya, Karama, Beni-Suef and Wadi El-Rayyan totaled 43,000 barrels per day of crude oil,” said Mounes. “The approved investments for 2013/2014 by our US partner Apache are $480m to dig 76 development fields and eight discovery fields.”
Mounes added that 1,300km2 have been surveyed by 3D Sezimi technology in Beni-Suef’s concession area at a cost of $22m, and production started from a new deep geological structure discovery at a depth of 11,000 feet with a production rate of 250 barrels/day, in addition to another new discovery in shallow geological structure discovery with a production rate of 650 barrels/day.
“We planned to dig ten new discovery fields over a year and a half and to commence an expansion project in the Karoun site to raise its production capacity from 75 to 200 thousand barrels/day,” said Karoun’s chairman.
Petroseela Chairman Mohamed Abdel-Azim meanwhile provided the minister with a detailed presentation regarding his company’s fields in Al-Fayoum’s concession area in the Western Desert. “The company’s production increased from 1500 to a current production of 6,000 barrels per day of crude oil,” he announced.