Apache makes two discoveries in Egypt

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Apr. 7 -- Apache Corp., Houston, has made two new oil and gas discoveries in Egypt: The Syrah 1X wildcat, on the Khalda Offset concession, flow-tested at a rate of 46.5 MMcfd of natural gas; and the Tanzanite 1X discovery, on Apache's onshore West Mediterranean concession, flow-tested at 5,296 b/d of oil and 7.4 MMcfd of gas.

Syrah 1X
The 2 million-acre Khalda concession, which Apache operates with a 100% contractor interest, is located 250 miles west of Cairo and contains 25 other discovered oil and gas fields (see map, OGJ, Nov. 8, 2004, p. 34).

Syrah 1X, completed in the Jurassic Lower Safa formation, was drilled to 14,445 ft TD and perforated between 13,750 ft and 13,905 ft in a Jurassic fault block separate and down-dip from world-class Qasr Jurassic field and overlain by a four-way dip closure at the Cretaceous Alam el Bueib (AEB) 3D formation. It was tested through a 48/64-in. choke with 3,980 psi of flowing wellhead pressure.

Syrah 1X logged 266 ft of net pay from Cretaceous to Jurassic horizons between 11,400 ft and 13,918 ft. The thickest pay—174 ft between 13,744 ft and 13,918 ft—is in the Lower Safa and is stratigraphically similar to Qasr field, which is one of the two largest gas fields in Egypt's Western Desert and Apache's largest discovery to date (OGJ Online, July 12, 2004). Syrah 1X also logged 32 ft of net pay in the Jurassic Upper Safa and 60 ft of potential oil pay in AEB sands.

Pressure analysis indicates that the AEB 3E pay may be in communication with Qasr and Ozoris fields 3 miles to the south.

The Syrah well's structural-stratigraphic trap in the Jurassic Lower Safa encompasses a 606-ft hydrocarbon column over a potential area of more than 4,000 acres.

"The Syrah 1X Jurassic discovery is a separate closure 3.3 miles northwest of Qasr field which, with estimated reserves of 2 tcf of gas and 45 million bbl of condensate, is the largest discovery in Apache's history," said Rodney J. Eichler, Apache's executive vice-president in charge of Egyptian operations. "Delineation of the structure will take additional wells, but seismically, the Syrah field is potentially at least one-quarter the size of Qasr. That would rank the new-field discovery the third-largest Jurassic gas field found to date in the Western Desert."

Apache plans to produce Syrah's gas through its new Qasr field production facility starting this summer, adding to the company's present Western Desert gross production of 300 MMcfd of gas. Apache has contracts that will more than double its Western Desert production to 637 MMcfd of gas, as additional processing capacity comes on line over the next several years. The rig that drilled the discovery has moved southwest 0.2 of a mile to drill the Syrah 2, targeting oil pays in the AEB.

Tanzanite 1X
On Apache's onshore West Mediterranean concession, the Tanzanite 1X discovery was tested through on a 1-in. choke with 814 psi of flowing wellhead pressure from 13 ft of perforations in the AEB 3A sandstone. The well logged a combined 207 ft of net pay from several Cretaceous horizons between 8,670 ft and 11,560 ft.

The Tanzanite 1X was drilled to 12,440 ft TD to test a seismically defined four-way dip closure 1.7 miles southeast of North Alamein field and production facilities.

The well will be connected to North Alamein's processing facilities. Apache will begin production following Egyptian General Petroleum Corp.'s approval of a development lease. Apache holds a 65% contractor interest in the concession and RWE DEA AG, Hamburg, 35%.

Apache will drill the Tanzanite 2 appraisal well 0.4 of a mile northeast of the Tanzanite 1X surface location to test the Alamein Dolomite. The well will be designed to test and produce the overlying Kharita and Dahab reservoirs at this updip location.

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