Apache Makes 3rd Exmouth Oil Discovery Offshore W. Australia

Apache reports that its Stickle-1 well has discovered oil within the WA-12-R retention lease in the Exmouth Sub-Basin of the Carnarvon Basin offshore Western Australia. It is Apache's third wildcat discovery in the play within the last 10 months, with an oil column comparable to that of the two earlier discoveries.

Drilled to a measured depth of 5,407 feet, the Stickle-1 encountered an 88-foot oil column in the Pyrenees member of the Cretaceous-age Barrow group. The oil pay was confirmed by logs, pressure readings and wireline oil recovery. Apache will forego the expense of testing the latest discovery, as reservoir characteristics of the Barrow group are well known in the area.

The Stickle-1 is in 640 feet of water approximately 28 miles north of Exmouth, off the Western Australian coast. It is located about three miles east of Apache's Ravensworth oil discovery and 1.7 miles east of the company's Crosby discovery, both of which were drilled last year.

"With the added success of the Stickle-1 to our two discoveries last year, the area has become a significant part of our future plans to grow Australia," said Apache CEO and President G. Steven Farris. "We intend to drill a fourth exploration well, the Harrison-1, along with appraisal wells around Ravensworth, Crosby and Stickle during the remainder of the quarter."

Apache owns a 28.57 percent working interest in the discovery. BHP Billiton, the operator, holds a 71.43 percent working interest.