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Results from a Four-Year Exploration and Development Effort in the East Bahariya Concession, Western Desert Province, Egypt


Bedingfield, John, Gregg Barker, Dave Pivnik, Thomas Maher, Ron Roberts, David Phelps, Martin Oldani, Peter Munday, Apache Egypt Companies, Cairo, Egypt


Apache Egypt Companies began operations in the East Bahariya Concession in Egypt’s Western Desert in December, 2000. The concession is located 170 kilometers southwest of Cairo in the eastern Abu Gharadig Basin. Prior to assuming operatorship, 9 dry holes and 2 undeveloped oil discoveries were drilled on the block, all based on 2D seismic data. Since early 2001 to the end of 2004, Apache has acquired 1,428 square kilometers of very high quality 3D seismic data processed through pre-stack depth migration. Exploratory drilling on these 3D data sets has resulted in 18 oil discoveries out of 21 attempts for an overall suc­cess rate of 86%. An additional nine exploration wells are planned in 2005. This area is structurally complex having undergone several periods of extension in the Jurassic and Cretaceous and at least one period of Late Cretaceous – Tertiary compression. Trap sizes are relatively small but in aggregate constitute a valuable resource. The extensive use of 3D seis­mic as an exploration tool has reduced the structural risk to such an extent that relatively small prospects can be economically pursued and commercially exploited. The discoveries and resulting development drilling have yielded 45 oil wells producing over 15,200 BOPD at year-end 2004. The production is exclusively from Cretaceous sandstones within the Abu Roash and Bahariya Formations at an average depth of 7,200 feet. We will present the geo­logic history of the area and the role of 3D seismic in defining the structural framework and trap geometries that helped turn this non-producing area into a major contributor to Egypt’s oil production.