RWE DEA increases interest in Egypt deepwater concession

RWE DEA AG signed an agreement to acquire from BP Egypt an additional 6.667% participating interest in the deepwater portion of the West Mediterranean (Block I) concession.

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Nov. 12 -- RWE DEA AG, a subsidiary of German utility RWE, Hamburg, has signed an agreement to acquire from BP Egypt an additional 6.667% participating interest in the deepwater portion of the West Mediterranean (Block I) concession, subject to required Egyptian government approvals. The concession encompasses 31,200 sq km within the gas-prone Nile Delta.

"This acquisition fits strategically within our Egypt focus area and gas strategy in the Western Nile Delta," RWE DEA said of its increased interest in the partnership.

Apache Corp., Houston, is the concession operator, with a 55% contractor interest. RWE DEA now holds 35% interest and BP 10 %.

Apache recently announced its third consecutive natural gas discovery in the deepwater portion of the concession. The El Max-1X well is in 3,100 ft of water 5.5 miles south of the partnership's first deepwater discovery, the Abu Sir-1X (Blue prospect), which was completed in May (OGJ Online, May 22, 2002).

The El Max potential pay interval is similar to both the Abu Sir and the subsequent Al Bahig discovery (OGJ Online, July 23, 2002), but with a larger interpreted gas column of over 500 ft., Apache said. Abu Sir test-flowed 17.4 MMcfd from 104 ft of perforations in the least prospective section of a 311-ft gross column, and Al Bahig had a 247-ft gross potential gas column.

"Having hit on all three of our deepwater exploration wells drilled thus far, (we) are well on our way toward our goal of establishing at least 3 tcf of gross natural gas reserves on the deepwater part of the concession," said G. Steven Farris, Apache president and CEO. "West Med has the highest reserve potential of any property in Apache's worldwide portfolio."

Apache said it would drill two additional wells by yearend. The partnership is working towards establishing sufficient natural gas reserves to support a deepwater development in the near future.

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