In September 2021, the company together with consortium partner Cheiron, acquired a portfolio of upstream oil and gas production, development and exploration interests in the Western Desert, onshore Egypt.
The producing fields are split over four distinct areas, each with different characteristics and geographies:
- The Obaiyed Area (Capricorn 50% WI) contains Egypt’s largest onshore gas field
- Badr El Din (BED) (Capricorn 50% WI) comprises five producing concessions, both oil and gas
- North East Abu Gharadig (NEAG) (Capricorn 26% WI) comprises the concession covering the NEAG Tiba area and the NEAG Extension area
- Alam El Shawish West (AESW) concession area (Capricorn 20% WI)
Working interest production across the four main concession areas in the Western Desert averaged ~34,200 boepd during 2022, with ~42% of the production mix comprising oil and condensate, as liquids opportunities continued to offer the best returns in the current price environment.
The concessions are Operated.
The 2023 well programme aims to deliver in excess of 40 wells, utilising six rigs for both development and exploration wells. The joint venture are focused on continual optimisation of the programme to improve overall drilling, completion and hook-up performance.
The Teen project is expected to come on stream during 2023, tying in three existing wells in a pilot evaluation to determine optimal full field exploitation.
Decarbonisation initiatives continue building on the work that commenced in 2022 relating to projects to reduce flaring, venting and identification of fugitive emissions. Additionally, verification of the overall calculation methodology for GHG emissions, associated with our 2022 baseline was completed in Q4 2022. Capricorn’s short and medium term GHG equity emission reduction targets (15% by 2025/30% by 2030) are on track.
Capricorn’s exploration activities are focussed across a number of assets, including three operated concessions, one non-operated exploration concession and within the Bapetco operated acreage, all held in 50:50 joint ventures with Cheiron. As a consequence, Capricorn is exposed to a variety of opportunity types from unconventional resource opportunities, established proven play types and near field opportunities.
In 2023 Capricorn began a campaign of operated exploration drilling, initially targeting the Abu Sennan licence in the South of the Western Desert. Further drilling of the first operated well in the South East Horus licence followed. During 2022, the operated acquisition of two 500 sq km 3D seismic surveys was completed safely and under budget in the South East Horus and West El Fayium concessions. These will be the focus of drilling in 2024. A seismic survey was also completed in the non-operated North Um Baraka concession and drilling here will also commence in 2024.
The objective of the exploration programme is to discover new commercial volumes to replace the producing reserves in order to sustain Capricorn Egypt production from 2025 onwards.
Environmental Management in Egypt
Alongside our partner Cheiron, Capricorn completed the purchase of Shell’s Western Desert assets in September 2021. Ahead of this acquisition, due diligence was undertaken based on International Finance Corporation (IFC) Standards and good international industry practice references.
The process concluded that the assets have been managed well, with a focus on integrity, major hazard management, and health and safety. We will work with Cheiron, the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and other partners to ensure the safety culture established by BADR Petroleum Company (Bapetco) is built upon.
Alongside Cheiron and Bapetco, we undertook a baseline study to assess our GHG emissions impact and identify reduction opportunities. The audit, conducted in late 2021, was the start of our baselining activity for these assets, with a detailed inventory of emissions planned for early 2022. The audit reviewed the accuracy of reporting in the Western Desert operating fields, the protocols used for reporting and any areas of uncertainty that need closing in 2022.
Committed to the World Bank’s Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 initiative, we are working towards eliminating routine flaring from our operations by the end of this decade. Flare-reduction projects are progressing well and additional opportunities have been identified. We are also replacing diesel generators with cleaner-burning gas equipment, and integrating solar power to reduce our reliance on diesel and gas. We will explore other options, including carbon capture and storage and the wider application of renewable power.
Managing water risks effectively is important in the Western Desert, an area of considerable water scarcity. We will focus on using freshwater efficiently and managing water discharge responsibly. This will involve enhanced understanding of water demand; quality and availability of sources; users and stakeholder vulnerabilities; environmental linkages; and discharges or abstractions affecting water resources to inform improvements.