Apache Corp. has continued its successful string of drilling in Egypt’s Western Desert. The company reported strong appraisal and developmentdrilling results following its previously announced discovery of two new oil fields, the Berenice and Ptah fields.
Development leases were approved by EGPC and Ministry of Petroleum in record time, taking only 13 days from submission of the development plan for Berenice, and only six days for Ptah.
The Berenice and Ptah fields are located in the Faghur Basin along the same fault trend in the Khalda Offset Concession. Exploration and drilling efforts are targeting rock from both the Mesozoic and deeper Paleozoic eras. These targets are a primary focus for the company and have proven successful in this area with oil and gas discoveries made at the nearby Shu-1X, Apries-1X, Bat-1X, and Geb-1X wells, although Apache did say that the Ptah is the largest new field found in the play thus far.
Five wells, including the discovery wells, have been completed to date by Khalda Petroleum Company, Apache’s JV company with EGPC. The company said that all five wells are producing without the need for fracture stimulation at a combined rate of more than 13,600 bpd of oil with first production starting in November 2014. The wells have produced approximately 1 million barrels of oil to date.
Apache currently has three rigs operating in these two fields to drill development wells. All oil is being shipped via pipeline to nearby Khalda-operated processing facilities. Apache plans to continue increasing production from the two fields to 17,500 bpd by mid-year.
The Berenice field started producing light oil from the Cretaceous-aged Alam El Buieb formations in November. Three wells are currently producing more than 9,500 bpd from a 700-acre drainage area with pay zones that range between 38 ft and 142 ft. Apache has a drilling rig dedicated to the field, which is currently drilling the Berenice-4 and will then continue on to the Berenice-5. The Berenice-4 contains a 142-ft oil pay zone in the target AEB-3D/-3E sandstones with excellent reservoir quality. Up to four additional wells are planned during the first phase of development.
The Ptah field started producing light oil from the Paleozoic-aged Shiffah Formation in December. This field also has substantial target zones logged in the AEB-3D/-3E formations that have yet to be tested. In the Shiffah, the field discovery well (Ptah-1X) is currently producing 2,350 bpd and a second well (Ptah-3X) started production in March at a rate of 2,000 bpd. Shiffah pay zones have averaged 130 feet while the AEB-3D/-3E formations yet to be completed have logged an average net oil pay section of 65 feet.
Apache said that it will conduct further appraisal drilling and AEB-3D/-3E production testing on the Ptah-4X and Ptah-6 wells to further define the field size and reserves. Drilling depth to the deeper Shiffah is approximately 13,800 ft, while the AEB-3D/-3E targets average a depth of 11,000 ft.
“These recent discoveries demonstrate the inventory and upside potential Apache enjoys in Egypt,” said Apache Egypt Country Manager Tom Maher. “By applying new technologies and advanced 3-D imaging by an integrated team, we have gained a better understanding of the Western Desert petroleum system. This has allowed us to uncover new, deeper targets in areas where we have been operating for years. These recent discoveries, coupled with several other exploration activities currently underway, highlight the significant opportunity we have for greater development of our 6.7 million gross acres.”