Apache makes hydrocarbon finds in Egypt, Australia

Houston independent Apache Corp. reported the first two hydrocarbon discoveries of its 2008 exploration program, in Australia and Egypt.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Jan. 24 -- Houston independent Apache Corp. reported the first two hydrocarbon discoveries of its 2008 exploration program, in Australia and Egypt.

On test, the Hydra-1X exploration well in Egypt's Western Desert flowed 41.6 MMcfd of natural gas and 1,313 b/d of condensate from the Jurassic Lower Safa formation. The well, which is in a sparsely drilled area in the Shushan "C" concession in which Apache retains 100% interest, logged 178 ft of net pay in the Lower Safa—one of the thickest pay zones in that formation since Apache's 2003 discovery at Qasr. The well also encountered 45 ft of probable condensate pay in the Jurassic Alam El Bueib (AEB) Unit 6 sand and 30 ft of probable oil pay in the Lower Cretaceous AEB Unit 3.

"Although the accumulation is not as large as Qasr, the Hydra-1X penetrated the same Lower Safa sandstone that we discovered 25 miles away at Qasr—the largest field we've ever discovered, with estimated proved reserves of 2.3 tcf of gas and 80.4 million bbl of condensate," Apache said. The latest discovery extends the known Lower Safa production trend across Apache acreage an additional 9 miles north of the Kahraman B-22 Lower Safa discovery, which flowed 16 MMcfd of gas and 480 b/d of condensate after fracture stimulation when it was tested in October 2006.

Separately, in Australia, the Brulimar-1 discovery in Commonwealth waters on the North West Shelf encountered 113 ft of net pay in the Upper Triassic Mungaroo sandstone. Brulimar-1 is the fourth consecutive exploration success in the WA-356-P block. Apache, with a 65% interest, operates that block in a joint venture with Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co.

In Egypt, Apache plans to drill 282 wells in 2008, including 40 exploration wells that will target Jurassic formations with gas and condensate potential near the recent Hydra, Qasr; and Jade discoveries; oil potential farther southwest near Apache's Neith, Heqet, and Buchis development leases; new Bahariya and Abu Roash oil fields in the Abu Gharadig Basin; and Apache's newest acreage in Egypt, a 50% interest in 10.5 million acres on concessions farmed in from Tharwa Petroleum SAE.

In Australia, Apache is planning to drill 52 wells, including 32 exploration wells, in 2008. The schedule includes four additional exploration wells on the Julimar-Brunello trend and Apache's first exploration program in the Gippsland Basin off the coast of the southeastern state of Victoria, Australia's most prolific oil province with a variety of play types. The first of Apache's eight wells, the Wasabi-1, is scheduled to spud around Feb. 1.

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