Egyptian promise for GSPC at South Diyur

Vol 14, PW 9 (21 Oct 10) People & Policy

Travellers to Egypt get nervous when they approach the colossal Sphinx or the gigantic pyramids.

GSPC is getting just as excited about its massive 37,678-sq km South Diyur exploration block – one of five it has in Egypt. PETROWATCH learns GSPC is gearing up to begin shooting 2D at South Diyur so it can begin a planned two-well exploration drilling programme at the onshore block by November next year (2011).

South Diyur, also known as Block 8, lies in Egypt’s western desert near the Libyan border. In May this year (2010), GSPC finished reprocessing and interpreting 1165-lkm old 2D from South Diyur and identified several ‘leads’.

“Now we plan to target all these leads by shooting new seismic,” explains a GSPC source. GSPC, he adds, plans to shoot 1600-lkm fresh 2D across 6400-sq km of the block by this December.

“Interpreting this data could lead to more promising leads,” we hear. GSPC also received approval from Egyptian authorities on July 1 this year to carry out aeromagnetic and gravity surveys at South Diyur and has hired the Nuclear Minerals Authority of Egypt for these surveys.

GSPC won South Diyur in 2006 during Egypt’s ‘Ganope’ international bidding round and signed the ‘concession agreement’ on March 9, 2008. Under the agreement, the consortium must spend at least $45m, shoot 500-lkm 2D and 200-sq km 3D and drill two wells during Phase-I.

After Phase-I expires in March 2012, GSPC can enter the optional two-year Phase-II in which it must spend at least $50m, shoot 500-sq km fresh 3D and drill two wells. In the optional two-year Phase-III, it must spend another $50m, shoot 500-sq km of 3D and drill four wells.

GSPC operates South Diyur with an 80% stake in partnership with Hyderabad-based infrastructure company IVRCL, which holds the remaining 20%. Canadian explorer GeoGlobal earlier had a 30% working interest in South Diyur but transferred its stake to GSPC in June 2008.