HOUSTON, March 5 (UPI) -- U.S. energy explorer Apache Corp. said recent success in Egypt gave it the confidence to plan for more than 200 wells there this year.
Apache, which has headquarters in Houston, said it tested production at the Amoun NE-1X discovery at the combined rate of 3,186 barrels of oil and condensate and 11 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. Additional discoveries in the country tested at lower volumes, though Apache said it was planning to drill 270 wells, of which more than 60 would be exploration wells, in Egypt.
Thomas Maher, Apache's general manager for Egypt, said the latest discoveries confirm there are "multiple opportunities" to take advantage of the exploration and development potential in Egypt.
A year ago, Apache said it was approved for seven new development leases in the Faghur Basin, which it said would add 5,200 barrels of oil per day to its production capacity in the Western Desert.
Egypt boasts proven oil reserves of around 4.4 billion barrels, the U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration reports. It's the No. 2 oil producer in the region outside of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
In terms of natural gas, Egypt holds more than 75 trillion cubic feet in proven reserves, though increased demand is curtailing export potential.