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Exploration & Production

QatarEnergy is acquiring an interest in two exploration blocks offshore Egypt. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

QatarEnergy is expanding its presence in Egypt with the signing of an agreement with ExxonMobil to acquire a 40% participating interest in two exploration blocks offshore Egypt

Under the terms of the agreement, QatarEnergy will acquire a 40% working interest in each of the “Cairo” and “Masry” Offshore Concession Agreements, while operator ExxonMobil will retain the remaining 60% working interest.

The Cairo and Masry offshore exploration blocks were awarded to ExxonMobil in January 2023 and cover an area of approximately 11,400 sq km in water depths of 2,000 to 3,000 metres.

His Excellency Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the Minister of State for Energy Affairs, the president and CEO of QatarEnergy said, “I am pleased with our entry into the Cairo and Masry offshore exploration blocks as they expand QatarEnergy’s presence in the Arab Republic of Egypt and extend our ambitious exploration programme in-country.”

QatarEnergy has been expanding its overseas upstream portfolio in recent years, entering Egypt’s upstream sector in 2021 with the acquisition of interests in two offshore exploration blocks in the Egyptian side of the Red Sea from operator Shell. It has also made recent acquisitions in Mauritania and Lebanon.

Licenses for 29 projects are on offer. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Chinese companies have won 10 out of the 13 projects awarded so far in the three-day bidding process for the Iraq’s sixth licensing round, according to press reports, with Iraqi Kurdish companies KAR Group winning a further three

Winning bidders are reported to include CNOOC, ZhenHua, Anton Oilfield Services, Sinopec, Geo-Jade, Zhongman Petroleum and Natural Gas Group (ZPEC) and UEG.

Licences for 29 projects are on offer, a key objective being to ramp up output of natural gas for domestic use. Iraq is currently dependent on Iran for much of its gas supply. Iraq is looking to derive more than 3,459mn standard cubic feet of gas per day and over one million barrels of oil per day from these licensing rounds, according to a statement from the office of Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani.

Iraq is the second largest OPEC oil producer after Saudi Arabia, currently producing around 4.3mn bpd. However, it is yet to harness the full potential of its huge oil and gas reserves, with security concerns and unfavourable contract terms acting as a deterrent to badly needed foreign investment. Gas flaring is also a serious issue. In 2022, the country was the second-largest source of gas flaring worldwide, according to World Bank data, although some initiatives are now underway to capture and use the associated gas rather than flaring it. 

The integrated Marsa LNG project is intended to be the first LNG bunkering hub in the Middle East. (Image source: TotalEnergies)

TotalEnergies and OQ have announced Final Investment Decision (FID) of the integrated Marsa LNG project through their joint company Marsa Liquefied Natural Gas

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