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U.S. energy firm Apache Corp. (APA - Analyst Report) recently reported an oil and gas-condensate discovery on the north flank of the Khalda Ridge producing complex in the Western desert of Egypt.

The Amoun NE-1X well was tested at a combined rate of 3,186 barrels of oil and condensate along with 11 million cubic feet of natural gas per day from two zones in the Jurassic-aged upper and lower Safa formations. This was the first well drilled by Apache among the 270 planned for Egypt this year.
The well was drilled to a total depth of 14,028 feet and encountered 50 feet of oil pay in three Cretaceous Alam el Buieb (AEB-3) sands and 101 feet of pay in the Jurassic Safa sands. The total cost of drilling and completing the well came at $4.2 million.

Apache also drilled 2 wells successfully in Abu Gharadig basin – WD 33-5 well in WD 33 Development Lease and Karama-15 well in the Karama Development Lease.

WD 33-5 was tested at a rate of 2,324 barrels of oil and 600 thousand cubic feet of gas per day from the Abu Roash E reservoir. Its completion cost came in at $3.65 million. Moreover, Karama-15 was tested at 2,136 barrels of oil per day from the Abu Roash G reservoir. The cost of the same was $2.1 million.

With the success of the current exploration and development program in Egypt, Apache is on an expansion path. It looks forward to more such opportunistic programs in 2013 to gain a significant market share in Egypt. We believe such accomplishments will garner profits for Apache in the upcoming quarters.

Apache currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), implying that it is expected to perform in line with the broader U.S. equity market over the next 1 to 3 months.

Meanwhile, there are other energy explorers that offer value and are worth buying now. These include Range Resources Corp. (RRC - Analyst Report) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) as well as Hyperdynamics Corp. and Memorial Production Partners LP (MEMP - Snapshot Report), each with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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