Egypt Seismic Can Get Exciting — In Many Ways

Three-D Seismic Technology

Egypt Seismic Can Get Exciting — In Many Ways

Three-D seismic technology has been extremely beneficial to Apache's exploration program in Egypt.

Acquisition is simple in the country's Western Desert, which is hard-pan, flat and relatively featureless. The biggest impediment to seismic acquisition in the Khalda region is old land mines and unexploded artillery shells remaining in the World War II El Alamein battlefield.

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Photo courtesy of Apache Corp.

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Egypt Seismic Can Get Exciting — In Many Ways

Three-D seismic technology has been extremely beneficial to Apache's exploration program in Egypt.

Acquisition is simple in the country's Western Desert, which is hard-pan, flat and relatively featureless. The biggest impediment to seismic acquisition in the Khalda region is old land mines and unexploded artillery shells remaining in the World War II El Alamein battlefield.

A recent example of 3-D seismic translating to a profitable oil discovery was on the East Bahariya concession just west of Qarun. Apache bought the acreage from Repsol in the late 1990s and immediately drilled a well that produced 1,400 barrels of oil per day. Last year the firm acquired 3-D seismic data across the concession and earlier this year drilled its second commercial discovery. The Southeast Karama 1X well tested at a rate of 1,140 barrels per day from the Cretaceous-age Abu Roash G Formation.

Six additional prospects have been developed in the area based on the 3-D seismic.

"We have now identified three fields — and this is nice, shallow oil at 7,000 feet or less," said Rodney Eichler, Apache's regional vice president for Egypt. "In one year we will take that concession from virtually no production to 3,000 barrels of oil a day.

"That's an example of what you can do with a good exploration model and a focus on a specific region," he continued. "We know what to look for, what makes a good prospect and what reduces the risks."