Dana Gas, the sixth largest gas producer in Egypt, started on Friday a major maintenance work programme in the El Wastani Plant in the Nile Delta that will increase its production output by 25%, according to a company statement..
The upgrades are expected to boost the plant’s yield by 40 million standard cubic feet per day, which is equivalent to 6,650 barrels of oil.
The plant will shut down for approximately two weeks while the company upgrades its facilities and equipment. The maintenance work will enhance plant conditions through modifications, modernisations and de-bottlenecking, according to the statement.
Dana Gas operates in the Nile Delta through El Wastani Petroleum Company (Wasco) and its joint-venture company with the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS). The gas producer also signed an agreement with the Egyptian government last week to develop its first offshore concession in Egypt, in the north Al-Arish in the eastern Nile Delta.
On 13 February, the Ministry of Petroleum announced that it has signed gas and oil exploration deals with the United Arab Emirates’ branch of Dana Gas, Ireland’s Petroceltic International and Italy’s Edison.
The Ministry said the deals will bring at least $265m for eight new wells in Northern Sinai, the Mediterranean Sea and the Nile Delta.
In 2013, Dana Gas Egypt’s production averaged 36,700 barrels of oil per day, registering a 14% year-on-year increase. The company announced during the third quarter of 2013 that it had recorded the highest production levels in Egypt in the last two years, equivalent to 41,500 barrels of oil per day.
In the fourth quarter, the company’s revenues surged to AED 682m compared to AED 554m in the same period in 2012. While net profits during the quarter rose by 12%, the yearly figure fell 5%.
The company attributed the deterioration in net profit to the “increase in royalty payments to the Egyptian government, higher depreciation, depletion and amortisation expenses in Egypt, as well as lower sales of high-margin LPG in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.”
Increasing Egypt’s energy production stands as a challenge facing the country, Minister of Petroleum Sherif Ismail said earlier in February. He added that current energy resources are “incomplete, uneconomical and don’t achieve visions of medium and long term development”.