Apache Scores Triple Play, Discovers New Fields in Egypt's Western Desert

Apache has reported three new field discoveries in Egypt's Western Desert that tested a total of 80 million cubic feet (MMcf) of natural gas and 5,909 barrels of oil and condensate per day -- all from Jurassic formations.

"Taken together, these three discoveries highlight the significant exploration potential for both oil and gas remaining in these concessions," said G. Steven Farris, Apache's president and chief executive officer. "Apache plans to continue an exploration and appraisal program in 2009 to capitalize on these successes."

The Sultan-3x well is a new oil field discovery located in the Khalda Offset concession about seven miles (11.5 km) south of Apache's Imhotep field. The well encountered oil pay in the Jurassic Alam El Buieb (AEB-6) and Safa formations. The Sultan-3X test-flowed 5,021 barrels of oil and 11 MMcf of gas per day from three commingled intervals in the Safa formation.

The discovery opens up a large area for further exploration and appraisal drilling on Apache-operated acreage south and east of the well. The Egyptian Minister of Petroleum has approved a 20-block development lease, and production is expected to commence in February. Apache has a 100 percent contractor interest in the Khalda Offset concession.

Adam-1x and Maggie-1x discovered new gas-condensate fields on the Matruh development lease north of the Sultan discovery. Adam-1x is located in the center of the Matruh lease about 3.5 miles (6 km) south of Apache's Alexandrite field. Wire line logs indicate as much as 102 feet of gas pay in the Jurassic Safa formation. A test of an interval in the Lower Safa produced dry gas at a rate of 28.5 MMcf per day.

Maggie-1x, located five miles (8.3 km) northeast of Adam-1x, was drilled to test closures at three levels in the AEB and Safa formations. The well logged 27 feet of pay in the Cretaceous Alam El Bueib (AEB-3D) formation and 83 feet of pay in the Jurassic Zahra and Safa formations. Preliminary results of tests of an interval in the Lower Safa formation measured gas at a rate of 40 MMcf per day with associated condensate production of 884 barrels per day. Apache has a 100 percent contractor interest in the Matruh development lease.