WRAP: Oil companies evacuate Egypt staff on safety concerns
London (Platts)--31Jan2011/527 am EST/1027 GMT
International oil companies including BP, Shell and Russia's Lukoil have
evacuated non-essential staff from Egypt due to the violent anti-government
protests that broke out in Cairo and other major cities last week.
The revolt to overthrow embattled President Hosni Mubarak raged into the
seventh day on Monday, AFP reported.
As offices and some business closed in the wake of the unrest, local
personnel are being advised to remain at home.
Egypt's oil and gas production based in the Western Desert, Nile Delta,
and Gulf of Suez, has not yet been affected by the protests, according to
western oil companies.
Security staff at BP's offices in Cairo said the UK major had begun
to evacuate foreign personnel, adding that that most of the company's
staffing in Egypt are local.
There has been no known impact to BP operations which produced net
equity output of 150,000 boe last year, a company spokesman in London said.
Italy's Eni, Egypt's biggest foreign oil and gas producer with an
averaged of 230,000 b/d of oil equivalent in 2009, is continuing to operate
its upstream sites normally, a spokesman said. He said the company expects to
comment shortly on its current staffing arrangements in the country.
Meanwhile, Shell has evacuated "non-essential" staff and their
dependents from Egypt, company spokesman Kim Blomley said Monday in an
"Given the development of events over the weekend, it was decided to
temporarily relocate expatriate staff, dependents and some non-essential
expatriate staff," Blomley said. "A number of senior and key personnel,
including the Shell Egypt country chair, remain in the country."
Local staff have been advised to stay home and the Shell offices are
closed, Blomley said, adding that he had no immediate information on how
Shell's retail operations and oil and gas production had been affected.
Lukoil, Russia's largest privately held oil company, and
independent gas producer Novatek also started to evacuate their staff from
Egypt, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency reported Sunday.
"Lukoil's staff will be evacuated on Sunday and Novatek's employees on
Monday," the agency quoted a source in Cairo as saying.
OIL, GAS OPERATIONS IN EGYPT
The UK's BG Group has withdrawn non-essential staff while leaving
senior management and operational workers in place in order to maintain
production, a spokesman said.
The company produces some 159,000 boe/d from two gas producing areas
offshore the Nile Delta; the Rosetta and the West Delta Deep Marine
There is little official information on the effect on state-operated oil
and gas production operations in Egypt.
In 2009, an estimated 1 million b/d of crude and refined products moved
north through the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean, while 800,000 b/d moved
southbound into the Red Sea, according to the US Energy Information
Most of Shell's upstream operations in Egypt are in the Western Desert
and Nile delta, according to the company's website. No production figures
were given, although the website says that Shell's daily production in Egypt
consists of oil, gas and condensates.
The company also operates more than 80 retail service stations across the
Lukoil is involved in several upstream oil projects in Egypt, the biggest
of which is the West Esh El Mallaha oil field on the Red Sea coast, where it
holds a 50% stake. It is also involved in a joint project with Italy's
Eni-Agip in the Meleiha field development in the Libyan Desert. It operates
the West Geisum and the Northeast Geisum offshore blocks in the Suez Gulf as
Russia's Novatek has set up a joint venture with Egypt's Sarva to produce
gas from fields in the northern city of El Arish, RIA Novosti said.
--Thomas Hogue, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Robert Perkins, email@example.com
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