Apache makes oil and gas discoveries in Egypt's Western Desert

oil egypt-dani simmonds sxc.huApache has announced that it has discovered oil and gas in two new concessions in Egypt’s Western Desert

Based on new field discoveries in the North Tarek and Khalda Offset concessions, the US explorer said that it has also applied for two additional development leases that it expects to be approved in 2014.

The Apries-1X, located in the Khalda Offset Concession within the Shushan Basin, tested 4,389 bpd and 402,099 cubic metres of gas per day from Paleozoic Basur sand. The well encountered 26.5 metres of net pay in the Basur. The well cost approximately US$5mn to drill and complete.

The NTRK-H-1X, located in the North Tarek Concession within the Matruh Basin, tested 566,336 cubic metres of gas per day and 250 barrels of condensate per day from 18 metres of fracture-stimulated Jurassic Lower Safa pay. The well was a follow-up to the previously announced NTRK-G-1X Upper Safa discovery. This deep gas-condensate well was drilled to 4,788 metres and cost US$7mn to drill and complete.

The company operates in Egypt in partnership with Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corporation, which owns a one-third minority interest in Apache’s Egypt oil and gas business.

Thomas M. Maher, Apache’s region vice president and general manager in Egypt, said, “We currently have 27 drilling rigs in operation — including four drilling horizontal wells — as well as 20,234 sq km of exploration area and 8,094 sq km in the target-rich, stacked-pay environment of the Western Desert.

“This progress is the result of hard work and collaboration involving the Apache team, the Khalda Petroleum and Qarun Petroleum joint ventures and our partners at the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and the Ministry of Petroleum.”

In 2013, EGPC and the Ministry of Petroleum had approved of three leases, which brought the number of applications approved to 20. The leases approved in 2013 converted 267 sq km of short-term exploration acreage into 20- to 25-year term development leases, the company added.

Apache currently has 119 development leases that cover almost 20,234 sq km.

Drilling activities

The US explorer said that its Khalda Petroleum JV also completed drilling operations on the deepest well in the Western Desert. In the North Ras Qattara Concession of the Alamein Basin, the NRQ-8X was drilled to 5,890 metres to appraise the previously announced NRQ 3151-1X new field discovery. The NRQ-8X encountered 29.8 metres of net pay in the Jurassic Upper and Lower Safa formations. The well is expected to be tested during Q1 2014. Apache had acquired an operating interest in the North Ras Qattara Concession in the Alamein Basin in 2010 and followed up with acreage in the Yidma-Alamein Concession in 2013.

In the Abu Gharadig Basin, Apache said that it continues to develop the multi-pay Meghar Field that was discovered in 2012. Three development wells were drilled in the second half of 2013, all logging net pay between 38.7 metres and 55.1 metres in the Lower Bahariya, Upper Bahariya, Abu Roash G and Abu Roash E sands. Wells with pending completions are expected to extend current record production from the area.

In the nearby Southwest Abu Gharadig Field, the SWAG-8 development well tested 756bpd and 433,247 cubic metres of gas per day from 11 metres of pay in the Abu Roash G formation.

In the Siwa Concession in the southern Faghur Basin, Apache’s Khalda joint venture (JV) with EGPC, drilled the SIWA 2-L2, the first development well in the previously announced SIWA-L Field. The offset well test-flowed 3,047 bpd on natural flow from

Paleozoic Desouky sand. In aggregate, the two wells currently are producing more than 8,000 bpd through early production facilities. Additional development drilling is planned in 2014, the company said.

In the Faghur Basin, the TAYIM-W3 well in the West Kalabsha Concession tested 2,412 bpd and 141,584 cubic metres of gas per day from 9.7 metres of aggregate pay in the Upper and Lower Safa formation.

In order to accommodate additional oil and gas production from the Faghur Basin, the Khalda JV recently completed expansion of existing facilities at West Kalabsha Concession. The expanded facilities are expected to increase oil production by 4,500 bpd during the Q1 2014.

Apache also reported that that the first well of a multi-well horizontal drilling programme in the Western Desert — AG-115H — in the Abu Gharadig Field, was drilled, completed and is currently producing. During December 2013, the Khalda JV well produced an average of 1,681 bpd and 84,950 cubic metres of gas per day from a 600-metre lateral of horizontal section within a six foot oil zone in the Abu Roash D limestone. Total cost to drill and complete the AG-115H was US$6.5mn.

With contributions from the AG-115H and other wells, production from Abu Gharadig Basin properties averaged a record 55,214 barrels of oil equivalent per day (gross) in December 2013, a 90 per cent increase since the assets were acquired in 2010, Apache announced.

Testing is currently underway at a horizontal well targeting the Abu Roash G dolomite in the Main Razzak oilfield. Drilling is under way on four horizontal wells, with one targeting the Abu Roash G sandstone in North El Diyur Field, one targeting Abu Roash G dolomite in the North Ras Qattara Field, and two targeting the Upper Bahariya Formation at Umbarka and Neama Fields.

In 2013, Apache said that it had operated an average of 26 drilling rigs and drilled more than 250 wells. Gross production averaged 346,530 boepd during the Q3 2013.



Apache announces seven oil and gas discoveries in Egypt


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