Dana Gas Needs Financing Partner to Drill “Thuraya”, Offshore Egypt


Dana Gas the UAE based minnow, is hoping to drill a “key” prospect in its operated Block 6, offshore Egypt, in 2023.

But the operator, strapped for cash, needs a well-heeled partner to co-finance the probe.

The subject is the Thuraya prospect in the block, which is also known as North El Arish Concession.

Dana Gas is offering a material interest in Block 6 to a company willing to fund the planned Thuraya well, recently estimated likely to cost $95Million (dry hole). “A $90Million cost recovery pool, which is fully recoverable under Egypt’s profit-sharing fiscal regime, can also be shared with an incoming party. Operatorship is available to suitably qualified companies”, says a statement by marketing agents for the prospect..

Dana Gas is in the process of securing an extension to the current 2nd Exploration Period after unavoidable delays incurred during the seismic data acquisition and the COVID pandemic. Together with the optional 3rd Exploration Period of two years, this will secure the license area for three years enabling the well obligation to be drilled by mid-2023.

Envoi, the British acquisition and divestment advisor which the company hired to recruit suitable farminees, frames the situation as an “opportunity to participate in drilling of dual (stacked Oligocene & Cretaceous) play in ‘Thuraya prospect’, testable with one well”.

Envoi says that Thuraya is close to proven play analogues (including cretaceous reef in Zohr Field to the north andOligocene clastics in Ameeq and Nour discoveries to the west).

Envoi says the Thuraya prospect holds estimated combined ‘Mean’ Potential of 17+ Trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of Gas Initially In Place (GIIP) and  37 Tcf Upside (‘Mean’ 11+ Tcf and 24Tcf Upside recoverable resources) “where a discovery of only 2+ Tcf would be commercial”.

“Although large carbonate reef prospects are recognised where local basement highs occur in the region (now also including Block 6), the Oligocene sand potential, proven in the Nile Cone by the Salamat and Atoll fields since 2013, has only recently been recognised as a primary play target in the eastern part of Egypt’s offshore nearer to Block 6”, Envoi notes in its briefing.

“Its potential here has been unlocked by the Nour and Ameeq discoveries made in 2019 and 2020 just 20km to the west of Block 6. This Tertiary play fairway is, however, defined by regional seismic amplitude mapping, which clearly show that extensive basin floor fans originated from the Nile Delta. These have prograded through time to the north and east. These delta floor and prodelta complexes progressed into the Levant Basin and through the Block 6 area during Oligo-Miocene times. 

“Today the Miocene is also a proven reservoir in the very large (22Tcf) Leviathan and Tamar Fields to the north east which are interpreted as the younger more distal extension of the same sediment system that passed through Block 6 with similar resource potential, and where it remains undrilled”. Envoi’s briefing contends.

“The majority of the mapped Cretaceous and two distinct Oligocene closures that overlie it in the Thuraya prospect are now confirmed to lie mostly within Block 6 by the new Broadband 3D survey completed in 2020. 3D seismic as well as shipborne gravity and magnetic data was acquired right up to the maritime boundary to define the edge of the Thuraya prospect after the earlier block-wide 2015 3D survey was not permitted to cover the border area.

“Combined, these two plays in the Thuraya prospect are now estimated to be capable of an un-risked ‘mean’ in-place potential of 17Tcf GIIP (and P10 upside of over 37Tcf GIIP) with a ‘mean’ recoverable resource potential of over 11Tcf (and P10 upside of 24 Tcf recoverable), based on conservative volumetric inputs. The commercial threshold for a development in the area is calculated to be around only 2Tcf recoverable, hence a discovery in either the clastic or reef plays would be highly attractive commercially. The full combined mean resource potential in the Thuraya field of over 11Tcf is calculated to have an NPV10 value of $2,2Billion with an EMV of $1Billion. Block 6 also has material follow-on prospectivity, including the same stacked Oligo-Miocene play in three undrilled prospects which combined could add around 7 Tcf to the Block 6 recoverable resources. The potential value of this opportunity and the Thuraya prospect on its own should not be underestimated. Egypt’s self-sufficiency, with declining domestic gas production, is only expected to be able to fully support demand until around 2025”.


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