Apache Makes 4th Egyptian Gas Discovery

Apache has made its fourth consecutive deepwater discovery on its 2.3-million acre West Mediterranean Concession offshore Egypt. The El King-1X found not only significant gas reserves in both the primary objective Miocene-age formation and the secondary Pliocene objective but also the first Miocene deepwater oil in the Nile Delta. The El King-1X is the company's 10th discovery in Egypt and 15th worldwide this year.

"The discovery is important in several respects," said G. Steven Farris, Apache's president and chief executive officer. "It is the first deepwater Miocene oil discovery in the Nile Delta, confirming speculation by the industry's geoscientists that such a hydrocarbon system is present and invigorating the play's deepwater oil exploration; it tested rich gas in the Miocene's middle Abu Madi formation at a rate of 31 million cubic feet of gas (MMcf) and 757 barrels of condensate per day, analogous to the shallow-water Abu Qir field 30 miles to the east where ultimate recoveries are estimated at 53 million barrels of condensate and 2.1 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas.

"With the success in the Miocene added to a substantial 291-foot uphole column in the Pliocene, El King-1X results get us well on our way to our 3 Tcf reserve goal," Farris said.

Two tests were conducted in a 190-foot column (101 net feet of pay) in the Miocene's Abu Madi formation. The first, in an eight-foot interval between 7,738 feet and 7,746 feet, flowed at a maximum daily rate of 2,630 barrels of oil and 1.2 million cubic feet of gas on a 20/64-inch choke with flowing wellhead pressure of 1,350 pounds per square inch (psi). The oil gravity was measured at 32 degrees API. The second test, in a 38-foot interval between 7,664 feet and 7,702 feet, flowed at a rate of 31 MMcf of gas and 757 barrels of condensate per day, a liquids-to-gas ratio of 25 barrels per million cubic feet. The test was conducted on a 50/64-inch choke with flowing wellhead pressure of 2,114 psi.

"Because the test rate was limited by the surface test equipment, we calculated an absolute open flow potential at 372 MMcf per day based on the wellhead pressures and the gas flow rate," Farris said.

The uphole Pliocene interval contains approximately 90 net feet of gas pay in a 291-foot column. The zone will not be tested at this time, as it is similar to productive intervals in Apache's three previous deepwater gas discoveries.

Located 28.5 miles offshore in 2,361 feet of water, the El King well is 11 miles southeast of the Abu Sir-1X discovery, eight miles southeast of the Al Bahig-1X discovery and four miles east of the El Max-1X discovery. The fifth well in the series will evaluate correlative Miocene intervals at depths approaching 11,000 feet.

Apache is the operator of the El King-1X with a 55-percent contractor interest in the deepwater portion of the concession. RWE-Dea has a 35-percent interest and BP holds the remaining 10 percent.