Texas energy company says worker slaying isolated

HOUSTON (AP) — Texas-based energy company Apache Corp. said it believes the killing of one of its supervisors in the western Egyptian desert in a carjacking was an isolated incident.

Spokesman Bill Mintz wouldn't elaborate Tuesday on how the Houston company made this assessment. He said the slaying was a police matter and that the company was cooperating with investigators.

Security officials in Egypt said the Apache worker's body was found Friday in a car on a road outside Cairo. The man had been shot to death as he was driving last Wednesday in the desert between Qarun and Karama, southwest of Cairo.

Mintz said the victim had worked for Apache for many years, including several years on a rotational assignment in the field in Egypt, and described him as a supervisor in Apache's oil and gas production operations. The company has an extensive presence in Egypt.

He also declined to identify the man.

"Out of respect for the privacy of the family, we do not currently plan to release the name of the employee," Mintz said in an email Monday evening.

Apache has about 140 workers from the U.S. or other nations working in Egypt but most of its 9,000-member workforce there is comprised of Egyptians employed by two joint ventures, Qarun Petroleum Co. and Khalda Petroleum Co., he said.

"We have been working very closely with the Apache team in Egypt to help them cope during this difficult time," Mintz said.

He declined to say if the worker was travelling with a security detail or in a convoy, saying "robust security polices and protocols" were in place for Apache workers and their families but to go into detail about them could interfere with their effectiveness.

The Houston firm has been active in Egypt since 1994, has a large oil and gas operation in Egypt's western desert. It is one of the largest energy companies working in the nation, producing 198,000 barrels of oil and 912 million cubic feet of natural gas per day last year. Its holdings in Egypt cover nearly 10 million acres.

Foreign oil and gas companies work there under production-sharing contracts with the Egyptian government.