Bapecto and Khaleda Petroleum plan on drilling three horizontal wells in the Apollonia field in the Western Desert, reported Al-Borsa. This is to produce natural gas from the layers of limestone characterized by low porosity and permeability, utilizing hydraulic fracturing.

Bapetco Chairman Imad Hamdi said the approved budget for this joint project is $23m, while the operations themselves are being conducted by Khalda in cooperation with Bapetco.

He added that the two companies are also drilling vertical wells to collect necessary data for the design of the horizontal wells and hydraulic fracturing methods, with project expenditures amounting to $4m.

Hamdi went on to say that Bapetco’s plans for the current fiscal year include drilling 25 development and 7 exploration wells. They will be linked to production as soon as drilling is completed, according to the approved plan.

He explained that the plan set out by EGPC includes producing 31,000 b/d of crude and 12,000 condensate, in addition to 440 mcf of gas during the fiscal year 2015-2016.

Bapteco is a joint venture between EGPC and Royal Dutch Shell, while Khalda is a joint venture between EGPC and Apache.