Dana Gas is linking the drilling of a key deepwater Mediterranean wildcat planned for 2019 to improved payments. Having received $20mn (in Egyptian pounds) on 18 December towards its dues for past gas deliveries the firm adds that it is “looking forward to further payments before year end…[enabling it] to proceed with its plans to drill the Merak deepwater exploration well” on the North El Arish Concession on the maritime border with Gaza. The company adds that it “understands that a further payment is planned to be made in US$ before year-end.” “Final preparations are underway” for the well, Dana says.

Dana’s Egypt output all comes from onshore concessions in the Nile Delta. Production slipped from 39,500 boe/d (187mn cfd gas and 8,300 b/d liquids, mostly condensate) to 32,300 b/d (of which around 153mn cfd gas) in Q3. However, output has since risen with the start-up of the Balsam-8 well adding 25mn cfd. The company was owed $210mn by EGPC as of end-September, down from a mid-2014 peak of $300mn. (CONTINUED - 170 WORDS)