Dana Gas wins Egypt oil exploration deal
Sharjah, April 22, 2013
Dana Gas, a leading regional private sector natural gas company, said it has won a major oil exploration contract from the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company and has also been pre-qualified as a non-operator in Lebanon’s first offshore licensing round.
The Abu Dhabi-listed energy firm was awarded 100 per cent working interest in the North El Arish Offshore (Block 6) concession area located offshore Nile Delta, in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea, in water depths of up to1,000 m and covering an area of 2,980 sq km.
The concession has an eight-year exploration period comprising three phases starting with an initial four year exploration period and two additional two year extension periods, said a statement from Dana Gas.
A 20-year development lease period will be granted based on approved commercial discovery. It is expected that the new concession will be awarded in late 2013 following completion of the necessary procedures, which concludes when the concession is passed into lawafter approval by the competent authorities.
Commenting on the win, Rashid Al-Jarwan, the executive director and acting CEO said:“We are pleased with the outcome of this bid round and look forward to the exploration and development of this very prospective new concession. The award of this concession demonstrates Dana's confidence in Egypt over the long term."
It also shows the company’s desire to optimize its coast investments and maximize the value of its portfolio of opportunities, stated Al-Jarwan.
"We continue to engage in a constructive dialogue with government entities and the Ministry of Petroleum to resolve the issue of the outstanding receivables," he added.
Dr Patrick Allman-Ward, the general manager of Dana Gas Egypt said the deal confirms Dana Gas’ belief in the remaining petroleum potential in Egypt and the company’s long term commitment to the country.
"We believe Block 6 holds significant potential, lying as it does on strike with recent material discoveries in adjacent acreage in the Levantine Basin. The Block provides an opportunity for Dana Gas to expand its operating activities in Egypt into both shallow and deep water operating environments," he added.
Dana Gas said its operations in the Nile Delta currently produce gas and associated liquids from 10 fields. In spite of recent operational challenges, its Egypt unit produced gas, LPG, condensate and crude oil at an average rate of just over 32,200 bpd in 2012.
The UAE firm is currently the sixth largest gas producer in Egypt and is firmly committed to pursuing further investment opportunities in the region, in partnership with bothlocal and international energy companies.
In another major development, Dana Gas has been pre-qualified as a non-operator in Lebanon’s first offshore licensing round. As per the contract, the company will be able to bid as non-operator in the licensing round which opens on May 2.
As part of the bid, only consortiums of minimum three companies will be awarded a block, with each non-operator obliged to have a minimum 10 per cent working interest. There are 10 deep water exploration blocks available, ranging from 1,500 to 2,500 sq km.-TradeArabia News Service