Apache Corporation reported encouraging results in its exploratory drilling program in the emerging Whittenburg Basin play in the Texas Panhandle. Five of six initial vertical tests were completed as oil producers in the Canyon Wash interval.
Apache has leased or purchased approximately 96,000 net acres in the Bivins Ranch area, a 200-square-mile block in Hartley, Oldham, Potter and Moore counties, and operates all leases, most with 73.5-percent working interests. The block is immediately south of the prolific Panhandle Dolomite field and north of two 25-well Canyon Wash fields.
The Bivins Ranch acreage play is part of Apache's stepped-up program to explore in underdeveloped areas – beyond existing operations – that can benefit from Apache's technical expertise and financial capacity. Prior to Apache's recent activity, just 21 wells were drilled on the block, which is located about 100 miles west of Apache's Anadarko Basin properties.
"We are very encouraged that our early results support our geological model. We plan to expand our exploratory program using newly acquired 3-D seismic," said Robert Johnston, Apache's Central Region vice president. "Advances in horizontal drilling and multi-stage fracture stimulations have greatly improved the economics of drilling in oil and liquids-rich formations across western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle; the wells we have drilled thus far in the Bivins Ranch area have all the ingredients to suggest that these techniques may generate even greater productivity.
"We are eager to continue to test the acreage, and we plan to commence horizontal development drilling in mid-2012," Johnston said.
Apache's new producing wells in the Bivins Ranch area include:
Apache's initial drilling locations were developed using a 64-square-mile 3-D seismic survey. Apache recently completed a 244-square-mile 3-D survey over the remainder of the acreage with final processing expected in the first quarter. Ten additional wells are scheduled during 2012.
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