Resource plays are at the centre of worldwide attention following the rapid growth in tight and shale gas production in North America over the last 5 years. This paper examines the opportunities and challenges that the exploration, appraisal and development of resource plays can bring to Egypt. Resource plays are defined in this paper as "technically difficult to extract" hydrocarbons found in tight sandstones, carbonates and shales.
As the energy demand is increasing in Egypt and oil and gas production from the conventional development asset base is declining, resource plays may hold the future for Egypt's energy supply. Resource plays are attractive because they typically have relatively low exploration risks, material in-place and recoverable volumes, long lasting production and can often utilize available ullage in existing infrastructure and facilities. Unlocking these plays, however, also pose significant challenges.
This paper will 1) summarize learning's from North America projects and how they may apply in Egypt, 2) investigate the key technical challenges of resource plays and 3) examines the current regulatory and contractor landscape and its opportunities and hurdles for resource plays.