Issue: May 2015



  • Definitions and Opportunities: Driving Development Through Optimization

    Optimization is one of those catchall terms that has taken the business world by storm, not least in the petroleum sector. Even our own newspaper is hosting a convention centered around it. In truth, optimization is an engineering concept straight out of the textbook, amply used by mechanical and electrical engineers to reconcile opposing priorities. In the world of petroleum engineering it is about balancing cost versus quality and getting the best (optimal) technological result within existing financial constraints.


  • The Energy Crisis in Egypt and the Repercussions of Oil Prices

    Oil is found mostly in sedimentary rocks (whether sand, shale, clay, or limestone) deposited by rivers and seas in prehistoric times. Besides water, they also carry fine organisms, plants, and organic matter which when buried, eventually becomes petroleum (oil or gas) under specific conditions of temperature and pressure. Oil does occasionally exist in non-sedimentary rocks but this is rare, which is why exploration tends to focus on sedimentary areas.

  • Optimizing Services

    “Optimization is improving something,” explained Miguel Muñoz, a Production Engineer at Apache Egypt, at the start of our interview. The term optimization in its most basic form is, “an act, process, or methodology of making something as fully perfect, functional, or effective as possible, whether it is mathematics, computer science, economics, management science, business development, or the intricate fabric of our lives.” While “you can optimize your life by sleeping a little bit more,” said Muñoz, in the oil and gas industry “optimization is an integral process that occurs in different technical aspects of all the disciplines and departments within the [oil] company,” he continued.

  • Incentives and Solutions: Egypt’s Oil Recovery Prospects in a Low Price Environment

    Oil recovery is a necessity, not a luxury, for an energy-importing nation like Egypt that has a limited number of oil producing wells, most of which are already mature. With a rapidly rising population and a slow pace of exploration there simply is no substitute for Improved and Enhanced Oil Recovery (IOR/EOR). It has been estimated that as much as 60% of a well’s original supply stays locked in a reservoir at the end of its 30 to 40 year life-cycle. IOR sets the scene so to speak; beginning at the primary and secondary stages and targeting mobile oil, while EOR comes at the hardest tertiary (third-stage) and involves immobile oil. Cairo University’s Mining Studies and Research Center estimates that as much as 3.2Bn barrels of oil remain to be extracted at this final stage.

  • Yemen’s “Gate of Tears”: the Strategic Red Sea Strait of Bab El Mandeb

    Bab El Mandeb has long been a historical and civilizational chokepoint where the shortest trade routes between Europe, North Africa, India, and East Asia can be controlled—or stopped. However, recent events in Yemen, with Houthi rebels in control of a number of ports along Yemen’s Red Sea coast, and the Arab bombing campaign of Yemen—which Egypt is party to—have made the future of the straights uncertain. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, an estimated 3.8 million b/d of crude oil and refined petroleum passed through the Bab El-Mandeb waterway in 2013, making it a critical junction for world trade.

  • A 12 Billion Dollar Promise

    “BP to Invest $12 Billion in Egypt,” this is the headline that has caused a media frenzy to blow like wind passing through every news agency in the region.

    BP has claimed the title for the biggest foreign direct investment made in Egypt, and reactions are still flooding in weeks later at extreme ends of the spectrum. After all, besides the headline, little details of the agreement itself were shared publicly.

  • Fugro SAE: International Company With Egyptian Heart (Pt.2)

    Fugro SAE (FSAE) is responsible for Fugro’s survey and subsea activities in Egypt. Benefiting from investment in Egypt over more than 30 years, FSAE has developed a strong capability in the country, allowing delivery of world-class services to the Egyptian offshore industry entirely by Egyptian staff and locally available re-sources.

  • International Women’s Day at GUPCO

    BP is one of the main sponsors of the International Women’s Day held in the beginning of March. As such, it was proposed that GUPCO host an event to recognize and celebrate the contributions women have made to the oil and gas industry in Egypt. It was also held to try and inspire women currently working in GUPCO and our shareholder offices. GUPCO has a proud history of hiring, training, and developing all of their staff—including many of the women who now hold senior positions in government organizations.