By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Dec. 11 -- Apache Corp., operator of the 2.3 million acre West Mediterranean (Block I) concession off Egypt, recently made its fourth consecutive natural gas discovery, El King-1X, in the deepwater portion of the concession. The discovery follows close on the heels of the Houston-based independent's third such discovery, made last month (OGJ, Nov. 18, 2002, p. 8). The well was drilled 28.5 miles offshore in 2,361 ft of water.
"The El King-1X found not only significant gas reserves in both the primary objective Miocene-age formation and the secondary Pliocene objective, but also the first Miocene deepwater oil in the Nile Delta," Apache said.
G. Steven Farris, Apache president and CEO, said that the discovery was "important in several respects" in that it was the first deepwater Miocene oil discovery in the Nile Delta, which confirms industry speculation that such a hydrocarbon system is present. Also, the discovery tested rich gas in the Miocene's middle Abu Madi formation, Farris noted. The well tested at 31 MMcfd of gas and 757 b/d of condensate, which is "analogous to the shallow-water Abu Qir field 30 miles to the east where ultimate recoveries are estimated at 53 million bbl of condensate and 2.1 tcf of gas, Farris said, adding that because the test rate was limited by surface test equipment, an absolute open flow rate of 372 MMcfd was calculated based on the wellhead pressures and the gas flow rate.
The company performed two tests on the well in a 190 ft column in the Miocene's Abu Madi formation. The first test was conducted in an 8 ft interval at 7,738-7,746 ft and flowed at a maximum of 2,630 b/d of 32° gravity oil and 1.2 MMcfd of gas through a 20/64-in. choke with flowing wellhead pressure of 1,350 psi. The second test, in a 38 ft interval at 7,664-7,702 ft, flowed 31 MMcfd of gas and 757 b/d of condensate through a 50/64-in. choke with flowing wellhead pressure of 2,114 psi.
Apache plans to drill a fifth well to evaluate correlative Miocene intervals at depths approaching 11,000 ft, it said.
Apache is operator of the El King-1X well and holds 55% contractor interest in the deepwater portion of the concession. Other concession partners are RWE-DEA AG 35% and BP PLC 10%.