Apache Donates $1 Million to University of Oklahoma Petrophysics Program

Jun 14, 2010, 09:28 ET from Apache Corporation

HOUSTON, June 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Apache Corporation (NYSE, Nasdaq: APA) today announced a $1 million donation to support petrophysics research at the University of Oklahoma Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering (MPGE). The donation will support the newly named Apache Petrophysics Research Center, including measurement of petrophysical properties of conventional and unconventional reservoirs such as tight gas sands and gas shales.

"This donation links Apache's continued drive to maximize natural gas resources with the university's research activities," said G. Steven Farris, Apache's chairman and chief executive officer. "Recent drilling and completion advances have transformed North America's energy landscape by opening up vast natural gas resources in conventional and unconventional reservoirs, including shale formations. The research at OU's petrophysics center will help us gain a better understanding of the very-low-permeability formations that have become such an important factor in the North American gas market."

Petrophysics is the study of rocks, pores and fluids and the characterization of fluid flow through permeable media. It integrates data from multiples sources and disciplines.

"This investment will be used to expand the existing measurement capacity within OU's graduate research laboratory and develop new capabilities in micro- to nano-scale imaging of rock fabric, improving fluid flow measurement in ultra-low permeable rock, providing new instrumentation and automating lab data collection and archiving," said Dr. Carl Sondergeld, OU's Associate Dean of MPGE and Curtis Mewbourne Professor.

The Apache investment will also be used to evaluate new methods of measuring cuttings (or very small sample sizes) so that profiles of the physical properties of rock can be described in horizontal wellbores, he said.

The lab's new capabilities will allow Apache to evaluate existing and proposed measurement approaches and obtain an objective and independent assessment of measurements provided by commercial laboratories.  For example, long-term permeability experiments are required for the economic evaluation of ultra-low permeability reservoir rock – a subject of broad interest to producers of gas from shale and tight sands formations.

"The development and fabrication of this measurement capability generates the permeability values Apache needs, and supplies faculty with data for the evaluation of new flow models," said OU's Dr. Sondergeld.

"Apache scientists will be able to evaluate the impact of new research and measurement approaches on economic performance, and OU students will get experience working with Apache's scientists, real data and current problems, and gain first-hand experience in how such information is used in an industry setting," Farris said.

Apache Corporation is an independent oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, Canada, Egypt, the United Kingdom North Sea, Australia and Argentina. Apache posts announcements, updates and investor information, in addition to copies of all recent press releases, on its Web site, www.apachecorp.com.


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