Apache Corporation reported first-quarter net income of $1.02 billion, or $3.03 per diluted common share, the company's second consecutive quarter with earnings over $1 billion and a 108-percent increase from earnings of $492 million or $1.47 per share in the prior-year period. Excluding the non-cash impact of foreign currency fluctuations on deferred tax balances, Apache's first-quarter adjusted earnings were a record $2.99 per share, up from $1.48 per share in the prior-year period.
First-quarter production increased 4 percent from the year-earlier period to 557,631 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day, driven by higher oil output in the United States, the North Sea and Egypt.
Cash from operations before changes in operating assets and liabilities* totaled $1.8 billion, compared with $1.2 billion in the prior-year period.
"Apache delivered strong financial results for the first quarter and -- just as important -- significant exploration results in each of our 'ACE' core growth areas of Australia, Canada and Egypt," said G. Steven Farris, Apache's president and chief executive officer. "These successes -- and the substantial inventory of wells we plan to drill in each area during 2008 -- will fuel the long-term reserve and production growth of the company.
"We expect production to accelerate into the second half of 2008 with increased activity in the United States, Argentina and Canada along with first production through the Salam gas plant expansion project in Egypt," Farris said.
Apache's discoveries included the Brulimar-1, Julimar Southeast-1 and the Halyard-1 in Australia; the Hydra-1X in Egypt, and three wells in the Muskwa Shale in the Ootla area of British Columbia.
The three horizontal wells in the Ootla area test-flowed at rates of 8.8 million cubic feet (MMcf), 6.1 MMcf and 5.3 MMcf of gas per day; the wells are on production and flowing through Apache's Missile gas plant. Apache and its partner EnCana have amassed 417,000 gross acres -- the largest acreage position in the emerging play.
In Egypt, Apache received approval to build a third gas-processing train with capacity of 100 MMcf per day. "We now project that our inventory of development projects will add 135,000 boe per day net to Apache's interests by the end of 2012," Farris said.
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