Egypt’s Western Desert overtook the Gulf of Suez to become Egypt’s key oil province in the first years of this decade. But output peaked at 390,000 b/d in 3Q 2015. It slumped over the subsequent 18 months – the result of sustained under-investment in the wake of the collapse in oil prices in the second half of 2014.

But the rebound in oil prices over the past year has seen key regional producer Apache double capex to $156mn for 1Q 2018 from the low of $78mn plumbed in 3Q...