Egypt Oil Output To Fall As Key Producer Apache Slashes Investment

Egypt hopes the recent award of five large Western Desert exploration blocks will boost output in its oil heartland from the current 360,000 b/d. Shell’s recommitment to exploration promises future gains from deep formations. But near-term output will fall as key producer Apache slashes 2019 investment.

Egypt last month awarded five large exploration blocks in its Western Desert oil heartland. Shell, a company that had long stalled on Egypt investment signaled that “we’re back” by taking three, with Italy’s Eni also snagging acreage ( MEES, 15 February ). Both companies have trumpeted major recent success in targeting new deeper formations, holding out the prospect of future output gains.

The ‘Western Desert’, essentially the vast swathe of Egypt between the River Nile and the Libyan border (see map), produced 360,000 b/d of oil (318,000 b/d crude, 42,000 b/d condensate) for 2018. The region’s share of Egypt’s overall oil output hit a record 56% last year, up from 44% at the start of the decade – though this is partly the result of falling output elsewhere (see chart 1). (CONTINUED - 2225 WORDS)


chart 1: Egypt Oil Output By Region ('000 B/D): Western Desert Desert Edges Up To Record 56% Of Total For 2018, Mediterranean Condensate Output Also Up Sharply
chart 2: Western Desert Crude Output Rose 18,000 B/D (6%) In 2018 But Gas And Condensate Output Fell
chart 3: Apache Egypt Rig Count And Oil Output