Apex Discovers Oil in Egypt’s Western Desert

The SEMZ-11X is the US independent’s second exploration well in the Southeast Meleiha Concession.

APEX Well location map
Alex Williams

Privately held independent E&P firm Apex International Energy, backed in part by UK energy investment firm Blue Water Energy, on 18 January announced a discovery in the Southeast Meleiha Concession (SEM) in the western desert of Egypt.

The discovery was made at the SEMZ‑11X well located 10 km west of Zarif field, the nearest producing field.

The well was drilled to a total depth of 5,700 ft and encountered 65 ft of oil pay in the Cretaceous sandstones of the Bahariya and Abu Roash G formations. Testing of the Bahariya resulted in a peak rate of 2,100 B/D with no water. Additional uphole pay exists in the Bahariya and Abu Roash G formations that can be added to the production stream in the future.

The SEMZ-11X was the Houston firm’s second exploration well in an ongoing three-well program following the acquisition and processing of 1342 km2 of 3D seismic data in 2019–2020.

The first well, the SEMZ-1X drilled in December, also discovered Bahariya oil with 17 ft of indicated pay. Located 23 km west of Zarif field, it was also drilled to 5,700 ft and tested at a rate of 100 B/D. Apex plans to fracture stimulate the 1X in the future.

“These oil discoveries are an important step in our company’s development and in validating our strategy to grow an oil and gas company of substance through a combination of drilling and acquisitions,” said Apex CEO Roger Plank. “The presence of hydrocarbons in both the 1X and 11X confirms our geologic model and significantly enhances the prospectivity of a number of other mapped prospects and leads across our 2534 km2.”

The third well of the current drilling campaign, the SEMZ-3X, was started later in January. Apex plans to drill the 3X to a depth of 5,700 ft in search of oil just 5 km east of Zarif field.

Apex holds a 100% working interest in the SEM exploration concession, which it purchased through the 2016 exploration bid round of the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC).

“We look forward to working together with our partners at EGPC to further explore and develop the considerable potential of our concession and to expeditiously bring online production from this first discovery,” Apex President Tom Maher said.