Egypt Awards Nour to Eni (Updates on Nooros )
updates in italics with further licence awards
Eni confirmed August 14 it has been awarded the Nour exploration licence offshore Egypt in what it describes as "the prolific East Nile Delta Basin" of the Mediterranean Sea.
The area is located some 50 km offshore in the Eastern Mediterranean, in water depth ranging from 50 to 400 meters, and covers a total area of 739 km2. Eni plans to proceed with the drilling of an exploration well already in the second half of the 2018.
Nour is operated by Eni through its subsidiary IEOC. In the concession, which is in participation with Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (Egas), Eni holds an 85% stake in partnership with Tharwa Petroleum Company, which holds a 15% stake.
Nour is highly promising. But when press reports circulated in June, quoting Egyptian official sources saying that it might hold three times more than the 30 trillion ft3 (850bn m3) gas in place at the Eni-operated supergiant Zohr gas field, Eni was quick to argue that this was speculative talk, as it had undertaken no exploratory drilling on the licence. Clearly though, Eni is keen to drill now as soon as possible.
An hour after its initial announcement August 14, Eni also announced that the Egyptian authorities have also authorised a new Nile Delta Concession Agreement allowing a ten-year extension of the Abu Madi West Development Lease (203 km2), where the Nooros gas field is located, and the execution of further exploration activities within El Qar'a Exploration Lease (64 km2). It said these assets are located in the 'Great Nooros Area', one of the most prolific areas of the Nile Delta, offshore Egypt.
Furthermore, they have authorised a five-year extension of the Ras Qattara Concession Agreement and relevant Development Lease. Following this extension, a new drilling campaign in the Zarif and Faras fields will unlock remaining hydrocarbon reserves and allow further exploration activities within the Western Desert basin, said Eni.
Eni said that the Great Nooros Area's asset lease extension strengthens its gas portfolio while "confirming the success of Eni's strategy of near field exploration that has revitalized production in the Nile Delta area, where the Nooros field is currently producing 32mn m3/d [11.7bn m3/yr] , corresponding to about 215,000 barrels of oil equivalent/day." Eni, through its subsidiary IEOC, holds a 75% stake in the concession while BP has a 25% stake. The operator is Petrobel, a joint venture between IEOC and state-owned producer Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC).
In Ras Qattara concession, covering 104 km2, Eni holds a 75% stake while its Croatian partner INA holds a 25% stake; operator is Agiba, an IEOC-EGPC joint venture.