Located along Chile's border with Argentina, the two blocks add 1 million acres adjacent to Apache's 714,000 acres and extensive exploration and production operations on the Argentinean side of the island. Current net production from the Argentina blocks is 4,200 barrels of liquid hydrocarbons and 113 million cubic feet of gas per day.
Apache will operate both of the Chilean blocks with a 50-percent interest in Lenga and a 100-percent interest in Rusfin. Empresa Nacional del Petroleo (ENAP), Chile's national oil company, will hold the remaining interest in the Lenga Block. The Rusfin Block comprises 865,735 exploration acres and the Lenga Block totals 337,402 exploration acres. Apache has committed to acquire 232 square miles (600 square kilometers) of three-dimensional seismic and drill two exploration wells, for a combined investment of US $18.3 million during the first phase of the exploration period.
"Apache's entry into Chile adds to our drilling opportunities with 1 million acres in a known hydrocarbon province in a stable governmental and economic regime," said G. Steven Farris, Apache's president and chief executive officer. "Given the proximity to our Tierra del Fuego operations, these blocks represent a natural extension of our expanding exploration and production operations and knowledge base.
"We welcome the opportunity to work in Chile, and we hope to become a meaningful contributor to the nation's energy supply over time," Farris said.
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