"Being in Egypt has always been an exciting experience for me," says Roger Patey, Shell's Country Chairman in Egypt and CEO of Shell Egypt N.V. "However, the prospective nature of Shell's Concession in the NEMED [North East Mediterranean Deepwater) Area is the most exciting news that I could have hoped for.
"If estimates prove correct, NEMED could deliver four billion barrels of oil and several trillion cubic feet of gas.
"Egypt has oil reserves of some three billion barrels and the potential exists for Egypt to add to this with success in NEMED. In fact, it could be significant both for the country, for Shell and for our 25 percent co-venture Esso Exploration and Production Egypt Limited.
"Of course, we hope that our early estimates can be confirmed by favorable exploration drilling results. To begin the process, we intend to start with the spudding of the first exploratory well in the NEMED Concession by the end of the year or very early next year.
"The NEMED Concession is also expected to be prospective for gas. If this proves to be so, it will be very good news indeed for Egypt, and will go a long way towards helping Egypt to become a major player in the global gas business.
"Other good news in Shell's E&P business in Egypt is that the US $300 million development of the Rosetta gas field is due to start production before the end of this year. The Concession is a joint venture with British Gas [40 percent], Edison [20 percent] and Shell [40 percent].
"The production company which has been established to manage the development of the Rosetta field is the Rashid Petroleum Company, in which EGPC [Egyptian Petroleum Corporation] has a 50 per cent stake, and Shell and British Gas 20 percent each, with Edison holding the remaining shareholding.
"The field is in the Nile Delta, 65 kilometers offshore, and will produce an expected 200 million standard cubic feet of gas per day when operations begin. The gas processing plant is nearing completion, and is situated on the Mediterranean coast at Idku.
"BAPETCO, a company in which Shell holds a 50 percent shareholding, with EGPC holding the other 50 percent, operates the Western Desert assets of the Badr El Din and Obaiyed concessions. Here the Obaiyed gas processing plant has come on line and is gearing up to reach its design capacity of 300 million standard cubic feet of gas per day.
"We are in the final stages of negotiations to set up the Fayum Gas Distribution Company with local partners. This company will distribute gas to both industrial and domestic consumers in the Fayum Governorate, which is some 50 kilometers south west of Cairo.
"Our other news is the formation of Pearl Services, a joint venture with local businessmen and Shell Services International to provide Information Technology services to the energy sector, both in Egypt and in other countries of the Middle East.
"All in all," Roger concludes, "it's a very exciting - and a very busy - time to be in Egypt."
Source: Shell Middle East.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)