Egypt announces oil discovery in Gulf of Suez

Total oil production from the concession has reached 23,000 barrels per day

FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2009 file photo, Iraqi laborers work at the Rumaila oil refinery in Zubair near the city of Basra, Iraq. Iraq's Oil Ministry says Iraq has resumed exports from its oil fields around Kirkuk, one year after the city was seized by federal forces from the autonomous Kurdish administration in the north of the country. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani, File)
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Egypt’s Cheiron has announced an oil discovery in the Geisum and Tawila West Concession in the Gulf of Suez as the country seeks to boost its energy production.

The discovery was made by the oil and gas company through exploration well GNN-11, which currently produces more than 2,500 barrels a day, Cheiron said in a statement on Tuesday.

Total oil production from the concession has reached 23,000 bpd, compared with 4,000 bpd before the GNN field was developed, the company said.

Cheiron holds a 60 per cent working interest in the concession, with Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (Kufpec) holding the remaining 40 per cent stake.

“The new Nubia discovery confirms the exploration potential in the northern area of the concession and Cheiron and Kufpec are planning to drill at least three additional exploration wells in the concession area,” the company said.

“In a broader sense, the discovery also demonstrates that while the Gulf of Suez is a relatively mature hydrocarbon province, it still has significant remaining exploration potential.”

Egypt, the Arab world’s third-largest economy, has been looking to boost its natural gas production to meet rising domestic demand and for exports to Europe.

The value of Egypt’s exports of natural gas reached $8.4 billion in 2022, up 171 per cent from a year earlier, as an energy crisis in Europe drove up demand for the fuel.

In December, Egypt discovered a large gasfield off its north-eastern Mediterranean coastline, with potential reserves of 3.5 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The find was in Nargis, one of four offshore exploration blocks in which US oil company Chevron holds operating interests along with Egypt’s Tharwa Petroleum.

Egypt's energy sector expects to attract $8 billion in foreign investment in the coming fiscal year, Tarek El Molla, the country's petroleum and mineral resources minister, told reporters on the sidelines of an event last month.

The investments will be allocated to developmental and operational activities in the oil and gas sector, he said.

Egypt has offshore exploration plans worth $1.8 billion to drill new gas wells in the Mediterranean Sea and the Nile Delta.

Global liquefied natural gas trade hit a high of $450 billion in 2022 amid a surge in European demand, according to the International Energy Agency.

Despite a rise in demand, LNG supply grew by only 5.5 per cent last year, mostly due to maintenance at large export terminals and as Freeport LNG’s Texas-based plant – one of the world’s largest export centres of the supercooled fuel – was shut down after a fire.

Updated: August 22, 2023, 11:28 AM