Oil company reports status quo in Egypt

Feb. 3, 2011 at 7:50 AM
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HOUSTON, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- There are some personnel left in Egypt to manage static production operations, but non-essential company employees were evacuated, oil company Apache said.

Political upheaval in Egypt has spilled over to energy markets, contributing to a spike in crude oil prices. The International Energy Agency stressed that oil supplies shouldn't be upset by the unrest, though international energy companies are withdrawing non-essential staff from the country.

U.S. independent energy company Apache, which last year paid $650 million to BP for Egyptian development leases, said, although it pulled most of its staff from Egypt, production continued unabated.

"Apache's production, located in remote locations in the Western Desert, has continued uninterrupted," the company said in a statement.

A research note from Barclays Capital Research said "most" drilling activity in Egypt has been halted because of the political unrest, the Platts news service reports. Natural gas production hasn't been affected and sea ports are open, the research note said.

"We believe the Suez Canal is not under immediate threat from the current political crisis in Egypt," the research note was quoted as saying.

Egypt remains a net exporter of crude oil, though increased domestic demand has put a strain on the volume of natural gas leaving the country, the IEA said.

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