ing the Aphrodite discovery and Isreal’s Leviathan discovery. Mediterranean development has been gridlocked for
quite some time, and this latest discovery stands to alter
the flow of gas from other recent major discoveries (OGJ
Online, Apr. 7, 2014).
Isreal’s National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Min-
ister Yuval Steinitz told The Jerusalem Post: “Following the
reports, the discovery of the huge gas field in Egypt is a pain-
ful reminder that while the state of Isreal is standing still and
taking its time with the final approval of the gas outline, and
delaying further exploration, the world is changing before our
very eyes, also with ramifications on export possibilities.”
While Isreal has made progress, this latest discovery may
take away Egypt as an export client (OGJ Online, Apr. 6, 2015).
Analysts with Raymond James & Associates Inc. noted that de-
velopment of the Zohr discovery is not realistic before 2020,
but the long-term opportunity is supportive of greater energy
independence for Egypt. The discovery is less encouraging for
plans to supply Egypt from fields offshore Israel and Cyprus.
Eni, through its subsidiary IEOC Production BV, holds a
100% working interest in the Sharouk Block and is operator.
Eni SPA expects accelerated development of what it describes as a “supergiant gas discovery” at its deepwater Zohr
prospect offshore Egypt. The company will immediately appraise its discovery, which it says might hold 30 tcf of lean
gas in place in an area covering 100 sq km.
The Zohr 1X NFW discovery well was drilled to a total
depth of 13,553 ft in 4,757 ft of water on Egypt’s Shorouk
Block 9. The well hit a 2,067-ft hydrocarbon column in a
carbonate sequence of Miocene age with 400 m of net pay,
Eni said. The company has future plans to target a deeper
Cretaceous upside with a dedicated well.
Zohr is the largest gas discovery made in Egypt and
the Mediterranean Sea, and if early estimates hold true,
could become one of the world’s largest natural gas finds,
the company said. As Eni begins to fast track development
for the Zohr discovery, the Mediterranean region looks on.
Egypt’s Sharouk Block is on the country’s offshore boundary, and is in close proximity to Cyprus’ Block 12 contain-
Gas discovery offshore Egypt rivals Mediterranean giants
EIA lowers US oil output estimates amid prolonged oil-price slump
US crude oil production in June totaled 9. 3 million b/d, a decline of 100,000 b/d from the revised May figure, according
to the US Energy Information Administration’s Petroleum
Supply Monthly (PSM) released Aug. 31. The US hit a peak
of 9. 61 million b/d in April.
EIA revised downward production estimates released in the
PSM for January through May by 40,000 b/d to 130,000 b/d.
The largest revisions in volume include decreases of oil production in Texas, ranging 100,000-150,000 b/d; and increases in
the federal Gulf of Mexico, ranging 10,000-50,000 b/d.
The revisions reflect a slowing of production as crude-oil
prices have plunged over the past year. US crude production for the first 6 months of 2015 averaged 9. 4 million b/d.
While the oil-directed rig count has risen over the past 6
weeks, Raymond James & Associates Inc. last week revised
downward its rig count projections for the next few years
(OGJ Online, Aug. 28, 2015).
Beginning with the June PSM data, EIA is providing estimates for crude production, including lease condensate,
based on data from the EIA-914 survey. The expanded survey collects monthly oil production data from a sample of
operators of oil and natural gas wells in 15 individual states
and the federal gulf.
Production from all remaining states and the federal Pacific is reported collectively in an “other states” category.
EIA says the survey-based approach improves estimates by
representing more than 90% of oil production in the US. Later
this year EIA will report monthly crude production by API
gravity category for the individually surveyed EIA-914 states.
June movement varies
During June, Texas oil output averaged 3. 46 million b/d,
down from 3. 53 million b/d in May but still up from 3. 15
million b/d in June 2014. The state peaked at 3. 64 million
b/d in March. North Dakota, meanwhile, reported output
of 1. 2 million b/d, up slightly from 1. 19 million b/d in May
and more noticeably from 1.09 million b/d in June 2014. Its
recent peak was 1. 23 million b/d in December 2014.
In its Drilling Productivity Report (DPR) released earlier
in August, EIA projected that crude production in September from seven major US shale plays will decline 93,000 b/d
to 5. 27 million b/d (OGJ Online, Aug. 10, 2015). A bulk of
recent shale oil declines have come in the Eagle Ford and
Bakken shale plays.
According to the PSM, production from federal waters in the
Gulf of Mexico during June reached 1. 45 million b/d, up slightly from 1. 44 million b/d in May and more noticeably up from
1. 41 million b/d in June 2014. EIA earlier in the year forecast
crude output would reach 1. 52 million b/d in 2015 and 1. 61
million b/d in 2016—or respectively 16% and 17% of total US