Petroceltic Pares Capex On Lower Prices

Irish independent Petroceltic gives a flavor of cost pressures hitting midsize independents in the MENA region in the wake of oil prices which have more than halved over the past six months.

The firm, in a 15 January ‘operational update’ says that given “the current low oil price environment” it will focus 2015 capital expenditure (capex) on “its core production and development assets” in Algeria and Egypt – and by implication will focus less on frontier exploration acreage, such as that in the KRG (see above).

A pledge to “optimize production volumes” effectively refers to Egypt, site of some 90% of the firm’s output (all from onshore Nile Delta concessions: 85mn cfd gas and 3,000 b/d oil). Whilst this is decent news for Egypt’s near term gas output, longer-term Egypt is banking on new gas from offshore Mediterranean finds. But there is little cash to kick-off exploration on the two deepwater blocks Petroceltic was awarded in partnership with Italy’s Edison in December 2013 (North Thekah) and September 2014 (North Port Fuad – MEES, 3 October 2014.) (CONTINUED - 561 WORDS)