Sharjah's Dana Gas starts drilling Egypt's Merak-1 offshore well

The Merak prospect may contain four trillion ft3 of natural gas which could “easily support an offshore field development”

Dana Gas is using Tungsten Explorer for the Merak prospect in Egypt.
Dana Gas
Dana Gas is using Tungsten Explorer for the Merak prospect in Egypt.

Sharjah-headquartered and Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange-listed Dana Gas has started drilling operations at Egypt's Merak-1 well, located in 755m of water within the North El Arish concession, with prospective resources from this exploration’s success valued at four trillion ft3 of natural gas.

This natural gas could “easily support an offshore field development” according to a company statement, which continued that Merak-1’s success would be followed up by additional exploration and appraisal drilling works. 

North El Arish, also known as Block 6, is located in the Eastern Mediterranean basin, where other natural gas discoveries have also reportedly been made in recent years. 

Sixth-generation drillship Tungsten Explorer, on hire from Advantage Drilling Services – a joint venture of Ades International and Vantage Driller II Co – is being used to drill the well, with the operation expected to last 70 days.

Dana Gas’s production from Egypt currently stands at 34,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, and since its purchase of Centurion assets on the shore of Nile Delta in 2007, the firm has drilled 48 exploration wells with a 67% success rate and 25 new pool discoveries. 

The firm plans to drill an exploration well at El Mataraya Onshore, a joint venture block operated by BP, later this year.

Commenting on Merak-1 works, Dana Gas’s chief executive officer, Dr Patrick Allman-Ward, said: “Until now, all of our Egyptian operations have been onshore the Nile Delta. 

“Whilst we continue to optimise production from our 14 existing fields and explore new prospects in the Nile Delta region, the potential addition of new world class gas resources offshore presents an opportunity for significant growth in our Egypt business that would be transformative for Dana Gas.”

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