<%@ Page Language="VB" ContentType="text/html" ResponseEncoding="iso-8859-1" %> Offshore Mediterranean Conference - Ravenna, March 2005

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Welcome: Minister of Petroleum, Arab Republic of Egypt

Since 1999 OMC has started an important co-operation with the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation that organises the Mediterranean Offshore Conference and Exhibition every two years in Alexandria.

The Egyptian sister event resulted from an idea born at the conclusion of OMC 99 in Ravenna when the Egyptian oil authorities agreed to organise a convention and an exhibition alternatively in Italy and in Egypt.

The scope of the project was and still is, to focus the attention of the international industry on the Mediterranean area. OMC and MOC aim at being meeting points for authorities and operators as well as offering occasions to build new relationships and co-operations.The 2004 edition of the Mediterranean Offshore Conference, sister event of OMC of Ravenna,  represents the international confirmation of the importance of such event for the offshore petroleum industry in general and for the business relationships that bind the Northern and Southern shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

MOC of Alexandria, that is organised under the patronage of the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum has now received from the international market the confirmation of its role and importance, as the Southern Mediterranean meeting in conjunction with OMC of Ravenna as the Northern Mediterranean meeting.

Egypt is one of the World pioneers, certainly the leading country in Africa, and in the Middle East to start oil activities. Throughout its long history of successes, the Egyptian oil industry has always been interactive with world-wide trends and encourages holding such international conferences and seminars in Egypt. We have always believed that the exchange of knowledge in such meetings undoubtedly pays off in terms of enhancing innovative and creative thinking. In fact within the last 5-year plan (1992/93) -(1996/97), 89 agreements have been signed for oil & gas prospecting in several areas in Egypt: "El-Salam", "the South Delta", "North Sinai", "Beni Suef", "Matrouh", " The Gulf of Suez " and "Marsa Alam". Egypt's strong petroleum industry supports the key chemicals sectors, fertilizers, petrochemicals, polymers and other chemicals. Plans are also underway to expand the petrochemical industry in Egypt.

Realising the importance of natural gas, the Ministry of Petroleum has adopted a comprehensive energy strategy evolving around gas as its main core. Following encouraging discoveries in the 1990's, the future of Egypt's petroleum industry is thought to be in natural gas rather than crude oil. By the end of 2001, gas proven reserves increased to reach 55 Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF), as a result of the successful exploration activities in the past few years. We have an ambitious plan to more than double the proven reserves of oil and gas, targeting investments over 10 billion US $ in the next few years. These investments will be directed mainly to deep and ultra-deep waters in the Mediterranean and Red Sea, which has great potential for oil and gas discoveries.

It is important to remember that more than 50 international oil & gas companies are currently working in Egypt with investments estimated at about 2 billion US $ annually. This demonstrates their confidence in the Egyptian economy as well as the political and economical stability and credibility that Egypt enjoys. All these factors will ultimately enhance Egypt’s position as an oil & gas producer and exporter attracting eventually more international investments.

In the next few years, the offshore oil & gas industry will face great challenges to explore in remote and difficult areas and ultra-deep waters that require applying the most up-to-date technologies. We look forward to the outcome of such conference to help overcome these challenges and contribute to the future success of the oil & gas industry.

The MOC in Alexandria with the OMC of Ravenna  provide every year a meeting point in the Mediterranean area for national and private companies, corporations, government agencies, energy authorities from the offshore, oil & gas markets worldwide.

The venues of the MOC and OMC conferences are as unique as the events themselves:

- Alexandria, the leading cultural centre of the world in the 3rd century BC, famous for the extensive library, which revives today in the magnificent Bibliotheca Alexandrina, is   the 2nd largest city of Egypt, a commercial and economic centre and the main offshore hub of the country due to its location on  the Nile delta;

-  Ravenna, the last capital of the Western Roman Empire in 402 AD, still retaining many unique remains of its glorious imperial past as a Byzantine city, is the 2nd largest commercial port of Italy and an important oil and gas center in the Mediterranean area.

Culture and technology are the hallmarks of these modern-ancient cities that through their conference and exhibition share a common goal: to strengthen co-operation among Mediterranean Countries and energy operators. 

H.E. Eng. Sameh Fahmy
Minister of Petroleum Arab Republic Of Egypt

© OMC 2005