Flow Level Pressure

Is There Oil and Gas in the Nile?

Apr 07 2017 Read 916 Times

Famous as one of the longest rivers on the planet, the Nile is mighty to say the least. But as well as being one of Africa’s most impressive natural wonders, the latest findings have also pegged it as a petroleum goldmine.

Late last month, British Petroleum made its third gas discovery in Egypt’s North Damietta Concession. Sitting in the East Nile Delta, the site has been hailed as a lucrative opportunity for BP, with Chief Executive Bob Dudley commenting, “This latest discovery confirms our belief that the Nile Delta is a world-class basin.”

Kickstarting Qattameya

Drilled to a total depth of 1,961 metres, all eyes are on the Qattameya Shallow-1 exploration well. Drawing on wireline logs, pressure data and fluid samples, BP analysts were able to confirm the presence of 37 metres of net gas pay, harboured in high quality sandstone dating back to the Pliocene Epoch. For those unfamiliar with geologic timescales, this makes the sandstone anywhere between 5.3 to 2.6 million years old.

Situated 60 kilometres north of Damietta city, the well is just a few hours from the Egyptian capital. Currently, BP holds 100% equity in the discovery, and stands to rake in leviathan profits if the project is successful. As expected, BP North Africa Regional President Hesham Mekawi is optimistic, revealing that Qattameya could kickstart a new era of oil and gas for Egypt.

“We believe development of Qattameya could help unlock the resources in other nearby discoveries with similar shallow low pressure characteristics. This is part of our long-standing commitment to Egypt and to unlocking Egypt’s energy potential,” he comments.

BP fronts Egyptian oil and gas movement

While the Arab Republic does support a free market, there’s no arguing with the fact that BP dominates the non-renewables landscape. Currently, the company produces around 40% of Egypt’s total gas, and has been operating in the country for close to 55 years. Its investments are pushing $US30 billion, which makes BP one of Egypt’s largest foreign investors. The Qattameya project will crystallise will not only crystallise this status, but also put the East Nile Delta on the map as a gas goldmine.  

Like any new exploration project, BP will face major challenges as it brings Qattameya to life. For more insight into how new technologies are helping producers overcome fiscal obstacles, ‘NEL Helps Oil & Gas Industry Reduce Financial Burden of Heavy Oil Measurement’ offers expert commentary from in-house flow measurement engineer, Craig Marshall.

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