Egypt’s upstream is dominated by a who’s who of majors – Eni, BP and Shell are the key players – and that is unlikely to change any time soon with Cairo desperate for these deep-pocketed firms to provide the investment needed to bolster the country’s waning output (MEES, 22 September). At the same time, a number of small to midsize independents have either been taken over by larger firms or exited Egypt altogether in recent years amid rising ‘receivables’ owed by state-firms EGPC and EGAS (MEES, 15 September).

But through the turmoil, one local firm has managed to take an increasingly prominent role in Egypt’s upstream. Cheiron (formerly PICO) was established in the late 80s, taking mature and declining fields in Egypt’s former oil heartland, the Gulf of Suez. (CONTINUED - 1028 WORDS)