Apache Increases Reserves in John Brookes Area

Apache said that as a result of its second appraisal well in the John Brookes field area in the Carnarvon Basin offshore Western Australia, the company has revised upward the total gross recoverable reserves to approximately 800 billion cubic feet (Bcf) from 400 Bcf. A portion of the John Brookes reserves is being dedicated to a new contract to supply 20 million cubic feet (MMcf) of gas per day to Newcrest Mining Ltd over the next 15 years, bringing the total gross reserves dedicated and booked to approximately 350 Bcf at year-end 2003. Apache expects first sales under the contract by the fourth quarter of 2004.

The discovery well, John Brookes-1, was drilled in late 1998 and encountered a 311-foot gross (262-foot net) gas column between 9,115 feet and 9,426 feet in the Cretaceous-age Barrow sandstone group. Two zones were tested, flowing at a combined rate of 54 million cubic feet (MMcf) of gas and 274 barrels of condensate per day. The Thomas Bright-2 appraisal well, drilled in early December 2003, and the Thomas Bright-1, drilled in March 2003, are in the same reservoir with consistent gas-water contacts.

"Over the last two years we have increased our interest to 55 percent from our original 20 percent and taken over operatorship," said Apache President and Chief Executive Officer G. Steven Farris. Santos (BOL) Pty Ltd holds the remaining 45 percent interest.