Drilling of Vesta-1 Well Pushed Back

Apache reports that delays caused by cumulative factors, such as cyclone weather of recent months, well mechanical delays and changing well priorities, have led to several lost weeks in possible drilling time on it's current ENSCO-56 drilling contract which expires in early September. It is now likely that Vesta will remain undrilled on expiration of the drilling contract due to development wells having priority over exploration wells in Apache's remaining wells slots after Muggles. Notwithstanding this situation, the Operator is currently negotiating the services of another jackup to commence in fourth quarter 2004 the drilling of any outstanding wells from the current drilling program schedule.

The Vesta Prospect is a shallow buttress-stratigraphic trap lying west southwest of the Stag Oilfield. The C halosa sand of the Athol Formation is targeted in the trap. Prospect potential ranges in size from 11.5 (mean) to 23.2 (P1o) million barrels of oil recoverable. If drilling is successful the nearby Chamois oil accumulation 2.4 (mean) to 3.9 (P1O) million barrels of oil recoverable could also be included in a development to tie back to the Stag Oil Field. The well is located in permit WA-261-P in the Caranarvon Basin offshore Australia.

Participants in Vesta 1 are Apache as operator with 57.07%; Sun Resources NL 7.78%; Tap Oil Limited 12.65%; Victoria Petroleum NL 12.50%; Arrow Energy 10%.