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    Apache Narrows Loss, Aims 'High'



Houston-based Apache Corp has narrowed its losses and says it is keen to evaluate a major unconventional gas and oil play in Texas.

by: Mark Smedley

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Apache Narrows Loss, Aims 'High'

US independent Apache has reported a 3Q 2016 net loss of $607mn, less wide than its $4.14bn loss in the same quarter last year. Adjusted for special items, its net loss was $12mn, and it ended the quarter with $1.2bn cash unchanged from end-June 2016.

Net production was 438,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day -- of which 0.93bn ft3/d was gas and 282,215 b/d liquids -- was 10% lower than in 3Q 2015. The total figure excludes Sinopec’s share of its joint venture in Egypt. Three-fifths of net production was in North America, with the rest mostly in Egypt and the North Sea.

Apache announced the discovery in September of a major unconventional play called Alpine High, which it estimated at the time holds 75 trillion ft³ of rich gas and 3bn bbls of oil in the Barnett and Woodford formations of Texas’s Delaware basin. “Our goal over time will be to ensure that we develop Alpine High in a methodical, efficient and environmentally responsible way for the benefit of our shareholders and other stakeholders," said Apache CEO John J. Christmann on November 3.

It has drilled five wells to date, all successes. He said Alpine High is an example of the long-term value Apache seek to create and is a testament to its strategy and focus during the downturn. 

Overall in North America it drilled 35 wells in 3Q 2016, mainly in the US Permian basin, although one in Alberta’s Lower Montney for a cost of just $6.2mn tested 10.6mn ft³/d gas and 2,000 b/d condensate.

Apache made its third consecutive exploration success near the North Sea Beryl oil and gas field with a discovery in two separate fault blocks at the recently drilled Storr prospect. In Egypt, its net production averaged 98,000 boe/d, and it placed nine wells on production during the quarter, achieving a 90% success rate on wells in the first nine months of this year.


Mark Smedley