BG Group Makes Gas Discovery Offshore Egypt

BG Group and partners Shell Egypt NV and Edison International have successfully completed the Rosetta-11 exploration well in the Rosetta Concession, offshore the Nile Delta.

The Rosetta-11 well marks a Pliocene gas discovery in a new field, Rashid North, 20 kilometers north east of the Rosetta field. Rosetta-11 was drilled to a depth of 1,605 meters in a water depth of 160 meters and was suspended as a future production well.

Dr Stuart Fysh, President of BG Egypt said: "The success of Rosetta-11 continues BG Group's outstanding exploration record in the offshore Nile Delta Concessions. Since 1997, the Company has realized a 92 percent success rate having drilled 23 successful wells out of a total of 25. The highly skilled exploration team in BG Group and its joint venture company, Rashid Petroleum Company, have developed a thorough understanding of potential gas-bearing structures in the area increasing the chance of success when drilling."

The Rosetta-11 well completes the exploration program in the Rosetta Concession. BG and partners have applied to the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) for a Development Lease for this new discovery and approval is expected to be granted later this year. Under the Concession Agreement, all areas of the Concession not included in a Development Lease or Development Lease application were relinquished to the Egyptian Government on May 29, 2003.

BG Group has a 40 percent working interest in Rosetta. Shell Egypt NV holds 40 percent and Edison International holds the remaining 20 percent interest. The partners were awarded the Concession in 1995.

Rashid Petroleum Company (Rashpetco), a joint venture company formed by BG (20 percent), Shell (20 percent), Edison (10 percent) and EGPC (50 percent), undertakes exploration, field development and field operations on behalf of the Rosetta Concession holders.

BG, Shell and Edison signed a 25-year Gas Sales Agreement with EGPC in October 1997 to supply gas from the Rosetta Concession into the domestic market. EGPC received first gas from Rosetta on January 31, 2001, just 45 months from first discovery in April 1997. The initial stage of the Rosetta development consists of six wells tied back to a 'not normally manned' platform with a 66km gas/condensate pipeline to the onshore terminal for delivery into the national grid system near Idku, east of Alexandria.

The Egyptian national gas transmission system was initially supplied at a Daily Contract Quantity (DCQ) of 200 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd). The DCQ rose in two steps, reaching the plateau level of 275 mmscfd on July 1, 2002.

Since the Rosetta Concession award in 1995, BG has undertaken gross capital expenditure of US $314 million to realize the first phase of development. During 2002, Rosetta produced a total of 99.1 billion cubic feet of gas (bcf) - 21.6 bcf net to BG. Rosetta has continued to prove a flexible and reliable source of gas to the Egyptian domestic market and has been able to take opportunities to produce up to 335 mmscfd during periods of high demand. This capability helped Rosetta achieve an average rate above the 75 percent of the Annual Contract Quantity (ACQ) minimum contractual take level in 2002.

Phase 2 of the Rosetta Concession development will consist of an unmanned minimum facilities wellhead platform tied back to the existing Rosetta platform. The project Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) work started in March 2003 and first gas from the project is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2005.