A report to the Ministry of Petroleum has clarified that during the fiscal year 2009 – 2010, Egypt has achieved the highest number of proven oil and gas reserves in the history of the petroleum sector, which is 18.3 billion barrels of equivalent oil compared to 11.8 billion barrels in the year 1999-2000, despite what has been consumed within that period. The remaining proven reserves are expected to increase to about 20 billion barrels within the next two years.
The report noted that the increase in reserves achieved during the first decade of this century is a result of the continuous development of research, exploration and development plans and programs, the intensification of research areas in various land and sea areas in Egypt, especially in the deep waters of the Mediterranean and new deeper geological layers in the Western Desert, the conclusion of more petroleum agreements and the attraction of major investments of international companies possessing outstanding technologies and expertise. The boost, which amounted to about $8 billion in the fiscal year 2009 – 2010, will increase within the coming period after the international companies’ announcement of increasing their investments after the successes achieved during their working period in Egypt.
The report has clarified that the petroleum reserve figure is a variable dynamic number, not a fixed one, and that the reserves and new discoveries’ assessment is based on documented/authorized reports and studies received from international oil companies operating in Egypt and are reviewed by a higher specialized reserves committee including a group of experts in the field of oil and gas industry. Besides, the officially declared reserves’ data are reviewed by specialized international institutions at the request of international companies investing in oil, gas, and petrochemicals together with international financial institutions.
The report also has clarified that the colloquial studies recently conducted by international institutions have confirmed that during the last decade, Egypt has achieved the highest success rate in research and exploration activities in North Africa including Libya, Algeria and Tunisia and that the total discovered oil and gas reserves exceed the reserves discovered in all of these countries within the same period.
Moreover, it is noted that the report issued by the U.S. Geological Survey in May has confirmed that the Mediterranean region is considered one of the most attractive areas for foreign investments owing to its enormous gas prospects. The report indicated that both regions of the Mediterranean and the Nile Delta contain undiscovered natural gas reserves estimated at around 223 trillion cubic feet in addition to approximately 7.6 billion barrels of undiscovered crude oil reserves, thus making both regions on the top of the list of the most important global areas in terms of the potential natural gas reserves.