Canadian oil exploration and development firm, Transglobe Energy Corporation has made a new oil discovery from a test well in its East Ghazalat concession in the Western Desert of Egypt.

The discovery was made at the Safwa NW-1 well, located 2.5 kilometres northwest of Transglobe’s Safwa 1 well, which tested 300 barrels a day (b/d) of oil from the Bahariya formation, according to a company release.

Safwa NW-1 is the company’s fourth well and second discovery in the exploration drilling programme conducted by US operator Vegas Oil & Gas in partnership with Transglobe. The well is currently suspended awaiting a full test.

A fifth well to further appraise the Safwa structure is expected to be drilling in June, approximately 1.7 kilometres northeast of the Safwa NW-1 well.  

The 858 square kilometre East Ghazalat Concession is located in the Abu Gharadiq basin of Egypt’s Western Desert, approximately 250 kilometres west of Cairo.

The concession was awarded to Vegas Oil & Gas in June 2007. The company’s first, three-year exploration period ends in early June.

There are two additional exploration period extensions of two years each. Subject to approval of the Egyptian government, 25 per cent of the original concession will be relinquished prior to entering the respective extension periods.

According to UK oil major, BP Egypt had 4.3 billion barrels in proven crude oil reserves at the end of 2008. Production has been in decline since hitting highs of 950,000 b/d in 1995. The country, however, produced 722,000 b/d in 2008, up 1.3 per cent on 2007 production.

Production comes from four main areas; 50 per cent from the Gulf of Suez in the east, and 27 per cent from the Western desert. The remainder comes from the Eastern desert and the Sinai Peninsula.