HOUSTON, Jan. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Apache Corporation (NYSE, Nasdaq: APA) said today that recent drilling results, approval of three new development leases and expanded natural gas processing facilities in the West Kalabsha area have set the stage for continued growth and investment in Egypt's Western Desert in 2014. Apache operates in Egypt in partnership with Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corporation, which owns a one-third minority interest in Apache's Egypt oil and gas business. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140116/DA47435LOGO) Successful wells included the deepest well drilled in the Western Desert and the first well in a horizontal drilling program targeting tight conventional and unconventional resources. "We currently have 27 drilling rigs in operation – including four drilling horizontal wells – as well as 5 million exploration acres and 2 million development acres in the target-rich, stacked-pay environment of the Western Desert. Apache sees continued opportunity for profitable investment developing Egypt's oil and gas resources," said Thomas M. Maher, Apache's region vice president and general manager in Egypt. "This progress is the result of hard work and collaboration involving the Apache team, the Khalda Petroleum and Qarun Petroleum joint ventures and our partners at the Egyptian General Petroleum Corp. (EGPC) and the Ministry of Petroleum." New field discoveries drive development lease approvals Based on new field discoveries in the North Tarek and Khalda Offset concessions, Apache has applied for two additional development leases expected to be approved in 2014. Three leases recently approved by EGPC and Minister of Petroleum Sherif Ismail brought the number of applications approved during 2013 to 20. The leases approved in 2013 converted 66,000 acres of short-term exploration acreage into 20- to 25-year term development leases. Apache currently has 119 development leases that cover almost 2 million acres.