CAIRO: The Apache Corporation, Egypt’s third-largest producer of hydrocarbons, on Wednesday announced it has discovered and tested three new oil and gas fields in the Western Desert, one of which is marked by unusually high oil productivity.
While it is too soon to say how much oil and gas these fields will turn out over their lifetimes, test drilling completed in late December suggested they could yield nearly 80 million cubic feet of natural gas and over 5,000 barrels of oil per day once operational, said the company’s executive vice president and general manager Rod Eichler.
Testing on one of the new fields, dubbed the Sultan 3X, suggested it could produce 5,021 barrels of oil and 11 million cubic feet of gas per day, according to a company statement.
The Ministry of Petroleum has granted a 25-year development lease for drilling this field, Eichler told Daily News Egypt.
The other two fields, known as Adam and Maggie, are both gas-condensate discoveries located on the firm’s existing Matruh development, north of the Sultan field. Company testing on both fields suggested that Adam will produce 28.5 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, and that Maggie will yield 40 million cubic feet of natural gas and 884 barrels of condensate per day.
Such rates of natural gas production are normal for the area, Eichler said, but the Sultan field showed an unusual abundance of oil.
“We were surprised with the oil productivity of this well, he said. “With 1,000 barrels per day, I’d say, ‘Okay, that’s typical.’ But 5,000 barrels – that’s a significant rate out here.
The company expects the Sultan field to begin production in February. The gas fields, however, will take longer, as they must be linked to the company’s natural gas facilities. They are expected to start by the end of the year, Eichler said.
Apache’s involvement in Egypt began in 1994, when it purchased a quarter of the Qarun concession in the Western Desert. Under state guidelines, the company works mostly through joint ventures with the Egyptian government, represented by the Egyptian General Petroleum Company, pumping about 116,000 barrels of oil and 520 million cubic feet of gas per day.
In 2007, Egypt contributed about 18 percent of Apache’s total production and accounted for 12 percent of its roughly 2.445 billion barrels of proved reserves, according to company documents. About 20 percent of the company’s over $9.9 billion in revenues that year came from Egypt.
The company also works in the United States, Canada, Australia, Argentina and in the United Kingdom’s North Sea.
In Egypt, revenues are divided about evenly between oil and gas. “They’re about fifty-fifty, Eichler said.