Friday, 9 July 2010

Egypt launches spill containment exercise

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the recent spill affecting the Egyptian tourist destination of Hurghada have prompted Egypt and the Saudi oil company Aramco to launch an oil spill containment exercise in an Alexandria port in November 2010.

Other sponsors of the exercise included BP, Shell, Aramco's shipping subsidiary Vela, and Egypt's Arab Petroleum Pipeline Company (SUMED).

The exercise will aim to test response to a big shipping spill in the Mediterranean Sea, and ensuring that Egypt has the right equipment and personnel to deal with any potential disaster.

There has been criticism of Egypt's response to the spill that affected Hurghada, pressuring the government to put in place measures and procedures to respond effectively to a larger spill if such an accident were to occur in the future.

BG Egypt said on Tuesday 6th July that it will invest US$2 billion to install a pipeline and drill new wells off Egypt's Mediterranean coast to help meet Egypt's growing demand for gas.

It expects the new offshore pipeline, its third in the West Delta concession, to be operational by the end of this year, allowing the firm to maintain its current production levels.

BG was one of six firms that won offshore oil and gas blocks in the Egyptian bidding process in the Mediterranean in February 2010.

For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.

© 2010 Menas Associates

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