The number of active drilling rigs in Egypt fell by a whopping 13 in December to 48, the lowest level for more than three years. Whilst drilling activity continued almost unabated throughout 2011’s political upheavals payment delays led many firms active in Egypt – particularly smaller independents – to cut back on drilling activity in the second half of 2012 (MEES, 12 October 2012).

The collapse in Egyptian drilling has more than cancelled out the steady rise in Libyan drilling activity since early 2012. There are now 15 rigs active in Libya, only one shy of the pre-revolution total. Italy’s Eni and Poland’s POGC are the latest firms to return to exploration (MEES, 7 December 2012). (CONTINUED - 154 WORDS)