The operator of the West Esh el Mellaha production sharing contract (WEEM-2 PSC), onshore Gulf of Suez, Egypt, has advised the immediate spud of the well to Aminex.

The South Malak 2 exploration well drilling will target the prolific Nubia and Matulla sandstones and is the first of two planned wells in the programme.

Following completion of South Malak 2, the Wadi Kofra 1 well drilling will commence by the end of 2014.

Covering 996km² in the onshore Gulf of Suez region, the WEEM 2 PSC is located adjacent to Lukoil’s WEEM-1 producing oil field and is producing similar formations being targeted by South Malak-2 and Wadi Kofra-1 exploration wells.

Aminex chief executive officer Jay Bhattacherjee said: "As a carried interest partner, the imminent spudding of the South Malak 2 well and further drilling of Wadi Kofra 1 are a positive step in moving the WEEM 2 PSC forward.

"The focus remains on Tanzania where the GSA is awaiting final completion and production is expected in H1 2015."
Aminex, through its 12.5% stake in its associate Aminex Petroleum Egypt (APEL), holds 10% interest in the wells.

APEL holds 80% stake in the WEEM-2 PSC while other APEL shareholders will bear the company’s share of exploration through to initial commercial discovery of oil and gas.