The structure of Egypt's oil and gas industry is changing

Jul 25, 1999 02:00 AM

The structure of Egypt's oil and gas industry is changing due to declining crude oil production, rapidly rising natural gas output and steadily increasing consumption of petroleum products. One of the clearest changes these factors have brought about to the industry has been to push Egypt, in financial terms, toward being a net oil importer, the latest issue of the London-based MEED said.
The most recent figures on the oil balance of payments published by the EGPC show a small surplus of $ 113 mm in 1998, compared with a $ 877 mm surplus in 1997. MEED said the disappearance of the surplus stems from a number of factors, besides the fluctuations in world oil prices. In the past five years, Egypt steadily reduced its crude production due to the crumble of oil prices in the world markets.

Egypt was producing about 840,000 bpd in 1996. The amount has since dwindled to about 785,000 bpd at present. Over the same period when crude output was cut down, consumption rose to 450,000 bpd from 400,000 bpd this year in Egypt. Output reduction and consumption increase have prompted lower export volumes. Crude and products exports are now about 275,000 bpd, compared with 360,000 bpd in 1996.
The most important factor in the changes in Egypt's oil balance of payments is increased gas production. Cheaper price and friendliness to the environment have lured power stations and vehicles to be converted to gas.
In the first half of 1999, Egypt's gas output stood at 45.31 mm cmpd. As the Obeiyed and Khalda areas in the Western Desert and gas fields in the Gulf of Suez have been brought on stream, the gas output will be pushed to 65.14 mm cmpd in the second half of 1999.
The gas production will rise by a further 14.16 mm-16.99 mm cmpd at the end of 1999 and in early 2000 when a series of fields off the Mediterranean coast come on stream.

Source: Xinhua via Newspage
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