Apache sees more prospects in western Egypt

Apache Corp., whose Egyptian subsidiary has doubled Egypt Western Desert output since 2005, sees much more potential in the area.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, June 18
-- Apache Corp., whose Egyptian subsidiary has doubled Egypt Western Desert output since 2005, sees much more potential in the area.

The company has budgeted 2010 drilling at 220 wells, and chances are fair that number will increase, said Tom Voytovich, vice-president of Apache’s Egypt region. The figure includes more than 50 exploratory wells.

Apache drilled 164 wells in Egypt in 2009 when capital was constrained due to the economic downturn.

Apache is producing 195,000 b/d of oil and condensate and 810 MMcfd of gas and has 25 rigs under contract. The oil figure is 27% of Egypt’s daily oil output and makes Apache Egypt’s third-largest producer behind BG PLC and the International Egyptian Oil Co. joint venture of Eni SPA and Egyptian General Petroleum Corp.

Apache has invested $4.2 billion in exploration, development, and facilities to double its output, generating an average of $10.6 million/day of revenue to the Egyptian government in this year’s first quarter. JVs with EGPC employ nearly 4,500 Egyptians.

The company has 22 total concessions and 63 development leases covering 11 million acres. The 1,650 wells on those blocks work out to a density of 1 well per 9 sq miles, leaving the area underexplored, Voitovich said.

During the 5 years, Apache drilled 869 new wells, discovered 57 new fields, implemented 13 waterflood projects, and shot 3.8 million acres of 3D seismic.

One recent completion that helped the company reach the production-doubling goal 7 months early is the Phiops-9 well, which tested at 4,632 b/d of oil from the Cretaceous Alam El Bueib-3E formation in the Faghur basin. Apache expects to be producing 40,000 b/d from the basin by the end of 2010.

The company’s acreage covers all or parts of the Faghur, Shushan, Matruh, Alamein, Abu Gharadig, Ghindi, and Beni Suef basins.

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