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 assets are located across four concession areas These have a variety of characteristics such as reservoir age, reservoir type and fluid properties. The four concession areas that comprise Capricorn’s production position are:
- Obaiyed (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)
Development activity in these concessions is guided by a broad portfolio of new well candidates and projects. New well activity in 2023 occurred across all four concession areas with the greatest focus on the Abu Roash reservoir targets in the BED concession, where continued step-out and delineation wells have extended the field limits and added reserves. Much of the new well activity has been focused on this liquids-rich area which benefits from stacked reservoir targets. Within BED the consortium has been actively developing an inventory of additional opportunities for future drilling.
The consortium continues to assess facilities projects to manage asset integrity and add production where possible. In 2023 facilities projects were completed at BED, Teen and Karam. These projects focused on optimising gas production with compression and low-pressure production optimisation, with production impact to be assessed in Q1/24.
Decarbonisation initiatives are in place to reduce flaring, venting and fugitive emissions in line with Capricorn’s net zero commitments. Capricorn’s operated data (direct from our contractors) is recorded in our GHG inventory where emission factors are applied – we receive annual support and limited assurance on this data set, enabling the continuous improvement of our reporting disclosures. Our non-operated data is received directly from our partners with emission factors already applied, and independent verification of this calculation methodology for GHG emissions, associated with our 2022 baseline was completed in Q4 2022. Our operated and non-operated data set directly contributes to this baseline which underpins our equity Scope 1 and Scope 2 emission reduction targets of 15% by 2025, 30% by 2030, with a commitment to achieve net zero by 2040.
Capricorn has a non-operated participation in three exploration concessions in the Western Desert, 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 the coming year it is anticipated that these concessions will present the opportunity to target conventional and unconventional objectives with exploration drilling. Work continues to mature these opportunities, supported by the delivery of new 3D seismic, previously acquired by the consortium.
On the Bapetco concessions the consortium continues to mature near-field exploration targets. These opportunities have been an area of success since entry into the assets and in particular in the BED area where new hydrocarbon pools, such as at BED15 have been discovered and subsequently developed.
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.