Discoveries in Australia, Egypt Launch Apache's 2008 Exploration Program
The Hydra-1X exploration well in Egypt's Western Desert test-flowed
41.6 million cubic feet (MMcf) of natural gas and 1,313 barrels of
condensate per day from the Jurassic Lower Safa formation. The
discovery, which is located in a sparsely drilled area in Apache's
100-percent-interest Shushan "C" Concession, logged 178 feet of net pay
in the Lower Safa -- one of the thickest Lower Safa pay zones
identified since Apache's 2003 discovery at Qasr -- as well as 45 feet
of probable gas-condensate pay in the Jurassic Alam El Bueib (AEB) Unit
6 sand and 30 feet of probable oil pay in the Lower Cretaceous AEB
-- The Brulimar-1 discovery on Australia's Northwest Shelf encountered 113
feet of net pay in the Upper Triassic Mungaroo sandstone. Brulimar-1 is
the fourth consecutive exploration success in the Apache-operated
WA-356-P block; Apache owns a 65-percent interest in the block in a
joint venture with Kufpec.
"Although the accumulation is not as large as Qasr, the Hydra-1X penetrated the same Lower Safa sandstone that we discovered 25 miles away at Qasr -- the largest field we've ever discovered, with estimated proved reserves of 2.3 trillion cubic feet of gas and 80.4 million barrels of condensate," said G. Steven Farris, Apache's president and chief executive officer. The latest discovery extends the known Lower Safa production trend across Apache acreage an additional nine miles north of the Kahraman B-22 Lower Safa discovery, which flowed 16 MMcf of natural gas and 480 barrels of condensate per day after a fracture stimulation when it was tested in October 2006.
"The Brulimar-1 is also a significant discovery because it continues to validate our use of advanced geophysical techniques to identify specific stratigraphic targets and accurately predict reservoir thickness before we drill a well," Farris said.
"With the most extensive inventory of quality exploration prospects in our 53-year history, each of our core growth areas of Australia, Canada and Egypt have a significant exploration drilling program planned for 2008," he said. "It's nice to ride out of the chute with two meaningful discoveries in Egypt and Australia in the first month of the year."
In Egypt, Apache plans to drill 282 wells in 2008, including 40 exploration wells that will target Jurassic formations with gas and condensate potential near the recent Hydra, Qasr and Jade discoveries; oil potential farther southwest near Apache's Neith, Heqet and Buchis development leases; new Bahariya and Abu Roash oil fields in the Abu Gharadig Basin; and Apache's newest acreage in Egypt -- a 50-percent interest in 10.5 million acres on concessions farmed in from Tharwa Petroleum.
In Australia, Apache is planning to drill 52 wells, including 32 exploration wells, in 2008. The schedule includes four additional exploration wells on the Julimar-Brunello trend and Apache's first exploration program in the Gippsland Basin off the coast of the southeastern state of Victoria -- Australia's most prolific oil province with a variety of play types. The first of Apache's eight wells, the Wasabi-1, is scheduled to spud around Feb. 1.
Apache Corporation is a large independent oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom North Sea, Egypt, Australia and Argentina.
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 2006 Form 10-K and on our Web site. 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.