The East Beni Suef block lies approximately 100 kilometres south of Cairo and is operated by the Qarun Petroleum Company a joint venture operating company owned by EGPC Apache Sinopec and Dana Petroleum. Production commenced from the Beni Suef field in July 1998 but the field was shut in by 8 January 1999 due to the prevailing low oil price which led to an uneconomic operation. Production recommenced in August 1999. The East Beni Suef fields initially produced at higher rates than anticipated but production began to decline in 2007. Apache has been able to reverse this trend through exploration. Since 2008 it has discovered the Azhar East Tareef West Nile C Fayoum Sohba fields WON C and WON A fields. Apache plans to increase production from the fields through sustained water flooding. If successful it may have to expand the existing production facilities at Beni Suef which presently have a maximum capacity of 4 000 b/d.