Apache unsure of extensions for some Egypt acreage


Apache Corp. said it’s unsure whether it will be able to secure long-term extensions for exploration concessions on almost 3 million acres in Egypt that were set to expire at the end of the year.


Egypt has granted six-month extensions for concessions expiring this year, the Houston-based company said in a regulatory filing today. As of the end of 2012, Apache had almost 3 million net undeveloped acres that were to expire at the end of 2013, with more than 285,000 expiring next year and more than 954,000 set to expire in 2015, the filing showed.


“We continue to seek longer term extensions but cannot assure that such extensions can be achieved on an economic basis or otherwise on terms agreeable” to the company and Egypt, Apache said in today’s filing. “There are currently no reserves recorded on this undeveloped acreage and Apache will not make future investments in these areas unless the present concessions are extended.”


Egypt’s military removed the country’s president from power in July. Apache’s operations in the western desert of Egypt haven’t experienced production interruptions, according to today’s filing, and the company has continued to see development lease approvals for its drilling plans.


“Renewing concessions is a normal part of doing business internationally,” Bill Mintz, an Apache spokesman, said in a phone interview. He said the company is discussing the matter with Egypt and remains an active driller in the country. The company plans to continue its exploration program on other concessions, Mintz said.