Apache reported that the Phiops-5 appraisal well in Egypt’s Western Desert tested 8,279 barrels of oil and 0.4 million cubic feet (MMcf) of natural gas per day from the Cretaceous Alam El Buieb (AEB) formation — one of the highest test rates ever measured in the Western Desert.

Phiops is the largest of five fields discovered by Apache and its joint venture partner, Khalda Petroleum Company, in the Faghur Basin of the Western Desert since 2006. This emerging Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous oil play in the extreme southwest part of the Western Desert will be further explored through additional wildcat drilling and acquisition of 180,000 acres (740 square kilometers) of new three-dimensional seismic data.

A new pipeline from Phiops to the Khepri-Sethos facilities is expected to be completed in July. New high-pressure pumps and additional storage at Kalabsha and Khepri-Sethos are expected to increase production capacity in the Kalabsha area from about 4,000 barrels per day to approximately 20,000 barrels per day in early 2010.

Phiops Field is located in the South Umbarka concession approximately 2.5 miles (4 km) northwest of Apache’s Kalabsha field. Phiops-5 was tested through perforated intervals totaling 72 feet within a 374-foot hydrocarbon column containing 242 feet of net pay across the AEB 3E and 3G units.

The Phiops-1X discovery, drilled in late 2008, encountered 173 feet of oil pay in the AEB formation. It was completed earlier this year as an oil producer in the Jurassic Safa formation after testing 2,278 barrels of oil and 5.16 MMcf of gas per day. Apache currently is drilling two additional wells at Phiops with three more planned for 2009.