Apache discovers two oil fields in Egypt's Western Dessert, extends another

By Phaedra Friend Troy

US independent producer Apache Corporation (NYSE:APA) has made two new oil discoveries and a ‘significant’ appraisal in the Faghur Basin in the frontier southwest portion of the Western Desert in Egypt.

Drilled about 6 miles south of Apache’s Phiops field, the Pepi-1X exploration well test flowed at a rate of 4,216 barrels of oil and 4.9 million cubic feet of natural gas per day from a 68-foot interval in the Lower Safa formation.

Also located about 6 miles south of Phiops, the Buchis South-1X exploration well logged 131 feet of pay in multiple Cretaceous zones, including the Kharita and Alam El Buieb formation sands. The test of the Alam El Buieb formation flowed at a rate of 1,647 barrels of oil per day.

The Pepi and Buchis discoveries have identified several additional exploration drilling opportunities on the trend.

The Faghur-8X appraisal well extended the Faghur field by 1.6 miles to the east. The successful well logged 79 feet of stacked Cretaccous pay in multiple Al El Buieb sands. The well test on one of the sands flowed at an average rate of 2,992 barrels per day, and additional development drilling opportunities have been identified because of this extension.

"The Faghur Basin continues to be a successful focus area for Apache, with AEB and Safa reservoirs that have proven to be prolific oil and gas producers,” said Tom Voytovich, VP of Apache’s Egypt region. “These recent discoveries support the multi-pay potential of this oil-prone area of the Western Desert."

So far in 2010, Apache has drilled five discoveries in the Faghur Basin. Two more wells are currently being drilled, the WKAL I-3X and the Nebra-1X. Another five exploration wells are planned this year.

Current gross production from the Faghur Basin is 24,000 barrels of oil per day. Through infrastructure projects presently under way, processing and transportation capacity for the region is expected to increase to 40,000 barrels of oil per day by the end of the year.

Additionally, Apache is evaluating 3D seismic survaey from a recently completed 155-square-mile survey to determine new exploration prospects in the basin.

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