AFPC’s fields are mostly in a very mature stage of development, with some 88% of the 2400 mln bbl that is expected to be recoverable, “the easy oil”, already produced in the last 20 years.
Extraction of the remaining 300 mln bbl will take place over the next 20+ years or so, with production levels expected to decline to 50,000 b/d by 2014. The challenge this poses is both on maintaining the integrity of AFPC facilities for the next 20+ years and on rationalising the AFPC organization in line with the size of its future production. The need for slimming down the AFPC organization has recently become even more apparent with the large drop in oil price, End 2008, that has resulted from the global financial crisis. This clearly puts pressure on AFPC to reduce costs.
Having said all this, the ratification by HE the President on 16th November 2008 of a 10-year license extension agreement with private shareholders has secured the continued dedication of Shell to work together with SPC to optimize the AFPC business through continued technology transfer and provision of experts, and pursue other exploration opportunities in Syria - under the path of development and improvement that is led by HE the President Bashar Al Assad. If Shell’s exploration efforts are successful it is likely that AFPC will play a role in the subsequent development of the newly discovered fields.