Apache Makes Significant Egyptian Gas Discovery

Apache has made its most significant discovery to date in Egypt's Western Desert. The Qasr-1X tested at a combined rate of 51.8 million cubic feet of natural gas and 2,688 barrels of condensate per day from two zones. The well logged 606 feet of net pay from six formations between 6,917 feet and 13,581 feet. Pressure analysis of the Jurassic reservoirs at Qasr indicates the presence of a 670-foot vertical hydrocarbon column.

"The Qasr 1-X is the most significant gas discovery in the Western Desert in the last decade," said Apache CEO and President G. Steven Farris. "It is perhaps the most significant discovery in Apache's 49-year history and establishes the Western Desert as an important hydrocarbon province well into the 21st Century."

A production test of the Lower Safa reservoir from perforations between 12,908 feet and 13,084 feet yielded 38.1 million cubic feet of gas and 2,155 barrels of condensate per day from a one-inch choke with 2,549 pounds per square inch (psi) of flowing wellhead pressure.

The thickest pay interval of 311 net feet was found in the Jurassic Ras Qattara reservoir, but only 90 feet of the least prospective upper zone could be tested due to mechanical problems encountered while completing the well. Perforated between 13,252 feet and 13,345 feet, it test-flowed 13.7 million cubic feet of gas and 533 barrels of condensate per day on a one-inch choke with 851 psi of flowing wellhead pressure.

"The lower part of the Ras Qattara that we were unable to test appears to be of even better quality than the upper interval," Farris said. "The Ras Qattara is a blanket sand which tends to cover very large areas," he noted.

Apache plans to drill an offset to the discovery and a twin well to test prospective AEB 5 and upper and lower Bahariya oil sands that were encountered up hole in the Qasr-1X.

The discovery is in the Ozoris area of Apache's Khalda Concession, in which the company holds a 100 percent contractor interest. It was identified by a 105-square-mile 3D seismic survey acquired in 2002.

Preliminary plans are to connect the new field to Apache's Salam gas plant, located approximately 17 miles from the discovery.