Beach on target for oil production in Egypt

Rick Wilkinson
OGJ Correspondent

MELBOURNE, Nov. 25 -- Beach Petroleum NL, Adelaide, is on target to produce first oil from Egypt following a successful test of a development well in its North Shadwan block in the Gulf of Suez offshore Sinai Peninsula.

The company said its NS377-3 well flowed as much as 1,400 b/d of oil, which indicates a likely production rate of 1,500-2,000 b/d when the field is brought on stream during June 2010.

NS377-3 is the first development well of four planned for the NS377 and NS385 fields in the permit in which Beach has a 20% interest. Beach is operator, while others in the joint venture are Tri-Ocean Energy and Egyptian General Petroleum Co.

Beach aims to grow its reserves position to at least 20 million boe in Egypt during the next 5 years, predominantly focusing on the shallow waters of the Gulf of Suez. The company acquired its North Shadwan interest in 2008.

The concession contains three existing undeveloped oil discoveries and several prospective exploration targets. The fields were discovered by Amoco in the 1980s and lie in 20-40 m of water 2-4 km off Sinai.

The shallow water enables development via deviated drilling from onshore where all the production facilities are located. Oil will be delivered to the processing plant via an 11-km pipeline.

The next well in NS377 field will be exploration well Teen-1 followed by another development well, NS377-5. A different rig will be used to drill NS285-2 in NS385.

Combined ultimate recovery from these fields is expected to be 10-15 million bbl of oil. Full development is expected to cost as much as $60 million.

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