Petrogas has entered into a 50:50 joint venture with China National Petroleum Corporation to develop the field. A new company is being set up under the name of Daleel Petroleum Companyto operate the Mezoon-5 concession. The plan is to invest $180 million to boost the field’s production to a peak of 25,000 barrels a day (b/d) from 5,000 b/d at present.

The project will involve drilling up to 80 new wells in the concession over the next six years and implementing an extensive water injection programme, which is expected to peak at 60,000 b/d of water.

The Oil & Gas Ministry has approved the company’s development plan and negotiations are under way to decide on the schedule for tendering. Petrogas expects to invite consultants to bid by the beginning of the fourth quarter for the contract to provide front-end engineering and design (FEED) services for the main water injection scheme.

The government is pressing independent operators to invest more into developing field infrastructure in order to increase production (see Special Report).