Apache eyes Egypt unconventionals

US independent Apache plans to explore deeply buried rock formations, including shales, in Egypt's Western Desert for oil and gas Apache holds 74,000 acres in the East Bahariya field and believes a shale formation there holds between 700mn and 2.2bn barrels of oil, Dow Jones quoted Thomas Voytovich, head of Apache's Egyptian business, as saying.

Houston-based Apache, which has begun drilling shale wells in Argentina, believes there are unconventional basins in Egypt that are analogous to those in North America.

Apache's results with such geology in North America have enticed Egyptian officials, who have signed off on a pair of shale drilling operations, Voytovich said during the company's annual investor meeting.

"We have two wells planned to test the idea here later this year," Voytovich said. "It's a step-change for us."

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