- Companies producing non-associated gas operate in the Nile Delta and its offshore extensions into the Mediterranean and in the Western Desert. Most gas production comes from deep offshore Mediterranean fields north of the delta, the Western Desert and Sinai. EGPC's equities in gas-producing ventures have been taken over by the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Co. (Egas), which was created in Aug. 2001.
- The main operators in the Nile Delta and the East Mediterranean gas fields are Petrobel (Egas/Agip), an Agip-BP JV, Bapetco (Egas/Shell), the Western Desert Petroleum Co. (WEPCO - Egas/Apache), and BG. Petrobel is the biggest gas producer in Egypt, with its output at present exceeding 1,100 MCF/d and forecast to peak at 1,304 MCF/d by 2010.
- Abu Madi - Petrobel: For many years the biggest gas field in Egypt, Abu Madi, was found onshore in 1967 by Agip (IEOC) which developed it in the 1970s. With its producing wells increased to 21 and facilities expanded by the end of 1992, the field has a capacity of 400 MCF/d. Its plants can produce 7,000 b/d of condensates and 200 t/d of LPG. Abu Madi has important extensions, some in production and others being developed, in which IEOC has other partners.
- IEOC's Nile Delta and Mediterranean blocks have proven gas of more than 15 TCF. Gas fields off the northern coast have been developed under a $2 bn four-year programme launched in 1998 by IEOC's parent group ENI. ENI has a 20% stake in a gas marketing franchise in a most profitable part of Egypt (see DT No. 1).
- Al Qar'a, the biggest onshore extension north of Abu Madi found in 1985, produces 190 MCF/d of gas, 3,700 b/d of condensate and 200 tons/d of LPG. It is held by the Nile Delta Oil Co. (Nidco), a JV of Egaz (50%), IEOC (37.5%, operator) and BP (12.5%). It went on stream in April 1992 at the rate of 112 MCF/d from eight wells. It was developed further in 1997 to raise its output from less than 170 MCF/d, and to produce more condensates and LPG. Finds added to its stream include Khalala, Nidco-9 and Al Qar'a NW-1. NW-1 in Jan. 1994 tested 30 MCF/d of gas and 200 b/d of condensate from a 20-metre thick zone. Qar'a gas is processed at Abu Madi.
- WDDM Concession
- Since 1994, BG Group and partners have discovered 18 gas fields, with Scarab, Saffron, Simian, Sienna, Sapphire, Serpent, Saurus, Sequoia, SimSat-P2, Sapsat-1, Sapsat-2 and Swan in production.
- WDDM infrastructure is designed to supply gas to the domestic market and Egyptian LNG at Idku
- In the East Mediterranean offshore, IEOC has a number of major gas fields in deep waters, with over 11 TCF of reserves. The biggest are Temsah, Port Fuad, Wakar and Halawa. Except for Halawa, these are held by Egas and IEOC. BP has interests in most of them. The fields lie mainly in 3,820/4,075 metre-deep Miocene formations.
- Port Fuad, 35 km from Port Fuad (near Port Said), is a big gas field found in 1992 by IEOC. It lies in Petrobel's offshore North Port Said block. With reserves proven at 3 TCF and lying at a depth of 4,000 metres, Port Fuad and satellite fields came on stream in April 1996 to initially produce 70 MCF/d of gas and 3,500 b/d of condensate from four wells tied to an unmanned platform remotely controlled from the shore. The output has since risen considerably with the addition of several discoveries, including Sigan field which IEOC found in Nov. 1997 about 54 km north of Port Said. The stream is linked to the national gas network by a 25-km pipeline. Onshore facilities at Port Said, 36 km away and on stream since 1996, treat the gas. Under the JV agreement, the gas is split 75/25 in favour of Egas, as in the case of the other new ventures.
- IEOC had first found gas from a Port Fuad well in 1982 but it later relinquished the block. In 1991 it took that area again as a sole right holder, with the block set at 1,200 sq km, and later began deep drilling near the 1982 well. The 1992 discovery led to drilling of three more wells. The four wells tested 42 MCF/d of gas and 2,000 b/d of condensate.
- Wakar, in the same block 20 km north-west of Port Fuad and 17 km north of Port Said, has proven reserves of 1.5 TCF. The pay zone is at a depth of 4,000 metres. It began production in Feb. 1997 from a platform similar to that of Port Fuad, then with a capacity of 42 MCF/d of gas and 2,740 b/d of condensate. The output has since risen considerably. IEOC and EGPC in Oct. 1997 signed an agreement under which the Agip unit built a 42-km gas pipeline from the Port Said processing plant to serve Egyptian users in Sinai. With a capacity of 4,000 MCM/y, the pipeline went on stream in late 1999 at the cost of $60m.
Darfil in IEOC's Port Fuad block, came on stream in 1997. East Delta, a smaller field in IEOC's East East Delta block, came on stream in 1996.
IEOC/BP - Mediterranean Gas Co. (MGC) was formed in Feb. 1997 as a JV of EGPC (50%), IEOC (25%) and BP (25%) to develop big gas fields in four offshore blocks: Temsah and East Delta Deep Marine operated by IEOC, and Baltim and Ras El Barr operated by BP. (In Aug. 2001 EGPC's equity was taken up by Egas). Gas production from them began in late 1999. The four MGC blocks are the only ones in which IEOC and BP are equal partners. MGC's target is to produce over 1,000 MCF/day by 2004.
IEOC and BP hold interests in many blocks in the Nile Delta and nearby offshore Mediterranean areas.
- Temsah Gas Field, with proven reserves estimated at 3 TCF, has been on stream since early 1997 and is a major producer. The field, in the Temsah block off Damietta north-west of Wakar and near Al Qar'a, lies at a depth of 13,300 ft, with 260 ft of water. It has important extensions developed and put on stream at end-1999. Other fields on this block include Denise N, in about 374 ft of water having gas at depths of 4,308-4,981 ft.
- The first Temsah find in early 1996 tested 35 MCF/d of gas and about 2,400 b/d of condensate. The block is held 50% by Egas, 25% by IEOC (operator) and 25% by BP. Temsah has a main unmanned platform directly linked to an onshore processing plant.
- Baltim, a big offshore field on stream since late 1999, produces over 350 MCF/d. Its plateau capacity is to be 460 MCF/d. It is one of five Med. fields developed for a total plateau capacity of 1,500 MCF/d. The others are Ha'py and Seth operated by BP, Rosetta operated by BG and IEOC's Temsah extensions. Baltim is in BP's Baltim block, and is one of the biggest offshore finds in the East Med. made by Amoco in July 1993.
- The Baltim block is held 50% by Egas, 25% by BP (operator) and 25% by IEOC. The gas lies in a Messinian Fm of Abu Madi sands at 12,835 ft and in 144 ft of water. The discovery well tested at 31.6 MCF/d of gas and 586 b/d of condensate. Baltim is 25 km from the shore. It has three unmanned platforms and an onshore processing plant near Abu Madi.
- IEOC's Baltim South, excluded from the MGC, came on stream in Feb. 1997 at the rate of 11.6 MCF/d of gas and 315 b/d of condensates, both of which being piped to the Al Qar'a processing plant. Also excluded from the MGC is East Baltim, in a separate block in which BP is the operator. East Baltim, on stream in early 2000, is producing 247.5 MCF/d.
- Ras El Barr is a very rich offshore gas block off the delta coast where Amoco first found gas/condensates in early 1995.
- It is about 45 km off the town of Damietta. It includes the giant gas fields of Ha'py and Seth Gas Field and their satellites in Pliocene Kafr Al Shaikh Fms, with 4 TCF of proven gas reserves and a big reserve of condensate, developed and put on stream in Feb. 2000 by BP.
- Their output rose from 284 MCF/d to 400 MCF/d in 2002, with the gas sold to the local market. Its development and a related gas processing plant cost $180m. Condensate output has been rising gradually. The two fields have an unmanned, remote-controlled platform in 260 ft of water. The gas goes through a 70-km pipeline to a new processing plant built 20 km west of Port Said.
- Amoco and IEOC on Nov. 4, 1997 signed with EGPC a long-awaited contract whereby EGPC was to buy their gas, on a take-or-pay basis, for domestic consumption for a period of 25 years. BP has a rapidly expanding CNG business which supplies vehicles in Egypt (see DT No. 1).
- The East Delta block is another gas-rich area operated by IEOC. Its partner is Total. One discovery there made in July 1990 about 30 km from Abu Madi tested 10.3 MCF/d of gas and 1,100 b/d of condensate. Halawa, a 1 TCF field found in Feb. 1992 south-west of Lake Al Manzala, tested 55 MCF/d of gas and 900 b/d of condensate from two pay zones at 10,300 ft. The output from Halawa and other structures is piped to a treatment plant at Port Said which came on stream in 1996.
The Offshore North Sinai block, where BP holds 50% and is the operating partner of Burlington Resources of the US (50%), is another gas-rich area. In Feb. 1997, Amoco found Tao-1 in 190 ft of water and struck a 39-ft zone, with about 500 ft of productive sands. Kamose-1, found in April 1997, lies in 98 ft of water in a 269-ft gas-bearing rock in a Pliocene Kafr Al Shaikh Fm. The second well, Seti Plio-1 in 280 ft of water, struck 120 ft of gas-bearing rock in the same Fm. These confirmed a rapidly expanding Pliocene gas trend on the eastern edge of the delta running from Ha'py, 100 km north-west of Tao-1. By then a zone stretching from Alexandria to Port Fuad had become the most prolific gas province in Egypt and one of the largest in the world. North Sinai gas is sold to Egas under a 110 MCF/d contract.
BP, the largest concession holder in the Nile Delta and its offshore extensions, has spent over $1 bn on developing its finds, including those in the offshore North Sinai block. With the Akhen block in the delta being developed, Ha'py, Baltim and Temsah fields will enable BP's gas output to reach 1,200 MCF/d in 2004.
In the deep-water North Alexandria block, held 60% by BP and 40% by RWE-DEA of Germany (which bought Repsol's stake in early 2001), BP in June 2001 announced a major gas find. Fayum L-1x well, drilled in 400 metres of water 35 km offshore, tested 21 MCF/d of gas from the main target zone and 6 MCF/d siltier zone. This was the second find on the block since Taurus-1 was discovered in late 2000. BP said the well's proven reserves were 600 BCF gross. With the well abandoned temporarily, the rig was moved about 45 km to the north-east to drill the Libra-K1x well on the same block, which in July 2001 tested 22.3 MCF/d of gas and 170 b/d of condensate from one of five zones in the Kafr Al Shaikh Fm. The well is in 450 metres of water and BP estimated a combined 50-metre thick pay zone with 500 BCF of reserves which it said boosted the block's reserves beyond 2 TCF. In late 2001 BP began work on drilling the first exploration well on the West Mediterranean Deep-Water block, in which it holds 100% - having bought Total's 50% stake in mid-2001. Under an E&P deal signed in May 1999, BP was committed to spend $48m over a five-year period and drill one well. BP also operates the adjacent North Idku block