Apache Plans Balnaves Field Development Offshore Western Australia After Appraisal Well Tests 9,076 Barrels of Oil, 13 MMcf of Gas Per Day

Oct 14, 2010, 08:45 ET from Apache Corporation

HOUSTON, Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Apache Corporation (NYSE, Nasdaq: APA) said today that three successful wells appraising the Balnaves-1 discovery in License WA-356-P offshore Western Australia will trigger development planning by subsidiary Apache Julimar Ltd Pty.

Balnaves is an oil accumulation in the Mungaroo formation in a separate reservoir beneath the large gas reservoirs of the Brunello gas field. The recent Balnaves-3 appraisal well test-flowed 9,076 barrels of oil and 13 million cubic feet of natural gas from a 16-foot (5-meter) perforated section, confirming good reservoir deliverability.  

The Balnaves-1 discovery was drilled in 2009 as part of a series of gas exploration and appraisal wells in the Julimar-Brunello complex. Balnaves-1 encountered 64 feet (19.4 meters) of net oil pay in the B20 sand – a light, high-quality oil accumulation at about 10,600 to 10,700 feet (3,230 to 3,260 meters) below sea level. Balnaves-2 was a sidetrack from the discovery, and Balnaves-4 was a sidetrack from Balnaves-3.

"These four wells have demonstrated sufficient potential to enable Apache to start planning development," said Thomas M. Maher, Apache's region vice president and managing director in Australia. "We estimate gross ultimate recoverable oil could be in the range of 14 million to 19 million barrels."

The Julimar and Brunello fields are large gas discoveries that will be developed to provide gas for the Wheatstone liquefied natural gas development operated by Chevron Corp. subsidiary Chevron Australia Pty Ltd. Apache Julimar Pty Ltd will operate the design and construction phases of the WA-356-P upstream part of the Wheatstone project.

Apache Julimar Pty Ltd has a 65-percent interest in offshore license WA-356-P and a 16.25-percent equity interest in the Wheatstone project. KUFPEC Australia (Julimar) Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co. k.s.c., owns the remaining interest in the offshore license and an 8.75-percent interest in the Wheatstone project. These equity interests may be reduced as a consequence of an earlier heads of agreements signed with Korea Gas Corp. for the purchase of LNG from Wheatstone and an equity stake in the project.

Apache's Australia Region is a key contributor to the company's growth. In February, production commenced from the Van Gogh and Pyrenees oil developments. Also, the Reindeer gas discovery is expected to commence production during the second half of 2011 through a new onshore gas processing facility at Devil Creek.

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

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 including, without limitation, expectations, beliefs, plans and objectives regarding production and exploration activities. Any matters that are not historical facts are forward-looking and, accordingly, involve estimates, assumptions, risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, risks, uncertainties and other factors discussed in our most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K, recent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, recent Current Reports on Form 8-K available on our website, http://www.apachecorp.com/, and in our other public filings and press releases. There is no assurance that Apache's expectations will be realized, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. We assume no duty to update these statements as of any future date. However, readers should review carefully reports and documents that Apache files periodically with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


SOURCE Apache Corporation