Apache plans further development for active Egyptian program

Apache Corp. has applied for licenses to develop two recent discoveries in the Western Desert of Egypt, where drilling now includes horizontal wells targeting conventional and unconventional resources.

The company said it expects approval this year for development leases for discoveries in the North Tarek and Khalda Offset concessions.

In the Khalda Offset area, the Apries-1X well tested 4,389 b/d of oil and 14.2 MMcfd of gas from Paleozoic Basur sand in the Shushan basin. The $5-million well cut 87 ft of net pay in the Basur.

The NTRK-H-1X well in the North Tarek area, which is in the Matruh basin, tested 20 MMcfd of gas and 250 b/d of condensate from 60 ft of fraced Jurassic Lower Safa pay. Drilling of the well followed the Upper Safa gas-condensate discovery in the NTRK-G-1X well, which was drilled to 15,710 ft at a cost of $7 million (OGJ Online, May 7, 2013).

Last year, Apache received approval of 20 leases converting short-term exploratory rights into 20-25-year development licenses covering 66,000 acres. The company now has 119 development leases in Egypt covering almost 2 million acres.

Apache has 25 rigs at work in Egypt, including four drilling horizontal wells. Its exploration leases cover 5 million acres. Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration & Production Corp. last year bought a one-third interest in Apache’s Egypt business (OGJ Online, Aug. 30, 2013).

Apache works in the country through joint ventures with Egyptian General Petroleum Corp. called Khalda Petroleum Co. and Qarun Petroleum Co.

Drilling in 2013

Last year, Apache operated an average of 26 rigs and drilled more than 250 wells in Egypt. Gross average production in the third quarter was 346,530 boe/d.

Drilling in 2013 included the Western Desert’s deepest well, NRQ-8X, which reached 19,322 ft in the North Ras Qattara Concession of the Alamein basin. The well, an appraisal of the NRQ 3151-1X discovery, encountered 98 ft of net pay in the Upper and Lower Safa formations. Apache said it expects to test the well this quarter.

Elsewhere, Apache is developing Meghar field, a 2012 discovery in the Abu Gharadig basin. Three wells drilled in the second half of 2013 logged 127-181 ft of net pay in Lower Bahariya, Upper Bahariya, Abu Roash G, and Abu Roash E sands.

In Southwest Abu Gharadig field, the SWAG-8 development well flowed 756 b/d of oil and 15.3 MMcfd of gas during tests of 36 ft of Abu Roash G pay.

On the Siwa Concession of the southern Faghur basin, the Khalda venture drilled the first development well in SIWA-L field. The SIWA 2-L2 flowed naturally on test at the rate of 3,047 b/d of oil from Paleozoic Desouky sand. Two SIWA-L wells are together producing more than 8,000 b/d in an early-production system. Apache plans additional development drilling this year.

Another Faghur basin well, TAYIM-W3 in the West Kalabsha Concession, tested 2,412 b/d of oil and 5 MMcfd of gas from 32 ft of total pay in the Upper and Lower Safa.

Apache said Khalda Petroleum recently completed expansion of Kalbsha facilities enabling oil production to increase by 4,500 b/d this quarter.

Horizontal drilling

The first well of a multiwall horizontal drilling program, AG-115H in Abu Gharadig field, has come on stream and produced averages of 1,681 b/d of oil and 3 MMcfd of gas during December. Production is from a 1,970-ft lateral of a horizontal section in a 20-ft oil zone in Abu Roash D limestone. The well cost $6.5 million to drill and complete.

A horizontal well targeting the Abu Roash G dolomite in Main Razzak oil field is being tested. Drilling is in progress on a horizontal well targeting Abu Roash G sandstone in North El Diyur field, a horizontal well targeting Abu Roash G dolomite in North Ras Qattara field, and two horizontal wells targeting the Upper Bahariya formation in Umbarka and Neama fields.

Apache said average production from its Abu Gharadig basin properties reached a record 55,214 boe/d gross in December, up 90% since acquisition of the assets in 2010.

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