• Indefinite maintenance delay due to gas shortages
  • Obaiyed field produces 420 million cubic feet a day of gas.

Maintenance at the Obaiyed gas field in Egypt’s northwest has been delayed indefinitely due to the country’s ongoing gas shortage.

“The field should have already had a 20-day shutdown, but the country cannot go without the field’s gas,” said an official close to the project who requested anonymity as they are not authorised to speak to the media.

The Obaiyed field is operated by Badr Petroleum Company (Bapetco), a joint venture between UK/Dutch energy company Shell and state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), and currently produces 420 million cubic feet a day (cf/d) of gas.

If the field was shut down for 20 days, the country would lose out on the production of 8.4 billion cubic feet of gas that would have been produced over the period.

The Obaiyed field requires maintenance to wells and production facilities, as well as a new distribution control system, according to the source.

Egypt is currently attempting to ease its worst gas shortage in decades through liquefied natural gas (LNG) import deals.

Deals worth a total of $2.2bn have been signed with the UK’s BP, Dutch-owned Vitol, Hong Kong-headquartered Noble Group and Dutch commodity trading company Trafigura.

Egypt is also looking to ramp up domestic production over the long term, following a new agreement between BP and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (Egas) to develop the $10bn North Alexandria concession. During 2014, it signed dozens of new concession agreements and other deals to modify existing contracts.

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