Minister of Petroleum, Eng. Sameh Fahmy signed today two agreements between the state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Apache Corporation for exploring in the Western Desert.

The Petroleum Ministry also announced that Apache will invest around $ 55 million to drill 13 wells, according to the two signed deals.

Region Vice President and General Manager of Apache Egypt Companies, Thomas E. Voytovich said that Apache is considering Egypt as a solid element in its future plans due to the growth of domestic gas consumption.

“The corporation considers Egypt as an area of growth, and gas consumption is going to grow a lot,” said Voytovich.

He added that Apache’s gas output from Egypt went in supplying the local market, and the company is looking in investing more than $1 billion a year in Egypt.

“If everything works favorably; the pricing environment, demand, and our success in drilling, I could see that there is room for that (the spending per year) to continue.”

Apache, the largest producer of liquid hydrocarbons and natural gas in Egypt’s Western Desert, already invested $8 billion in the country over a period of 15 years.