US firm Apache says that a dramatic improvement in Egypt’s approvals process has enabled it to start commercial output from two major late-2014 discoveries in double-quick time. But the country’s gas shortage is only intensifying with increasing numbers of fertilizer plants starved of feedstock.

Apache says that the Berenice and Ptah fields are “the largest Apache oil finds in 13 years.” Commercial production from the discoveries, made in November and December respectively, has been brought on in “record time” with development leases approved by Egypt’s oil ministry and state firm Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) “taking only 13 days from submission of the development plan for Berenice and only six days for Ptah,” Apache says. The US firm is the largest oil producer in Egypt with gross output of 200,000 b/d. (CONTINUED - 947 WORDS)