Apache Scores Offshore Australia

Continuing its successful Flag Sandstone exploration program in the Carnarvon Basin offshore Western Australia, Apache Corporation reported its fourth commercial discovery there in the last 12 months and its third discovery worldwide since January 1, 2002.

The Double Island 1 well encountered a 51-foot net oil column in the Lower Cretaceous Flag Sandstone. A wireline test determined the oil's specific gravity to be 51 degrees API. The discovery was not flow-tested, as deliverability of the Flag Sandstone has been well established in several nearby producing fields. It is owned by the Harriet Joint Venture, which Apache operates with a 68.5 percent working interest. Partners are Kufpec with 19.3 percent and Tap Oil with 12.2 percent.

Including the recently developed Simpson Field, which is now producing 18,000 barrels of oil per day from three wells, gross production of the Harriet complex is averaging 22,000 barrels of oil per day, 95 percent of which is from the Flag Sandstone.

Initial oil production from the joint venture's South Plato-Gibson Flag discoveries made last year is expected around midyear at the rate of 10,000 barrels per day. Preliminary plans call for connecting Double Island to the South Plato-Gibson facilities, located just four miles away. The oil will then flow to Apache's processing facilities at the Harriet complex on Varanus Island.

"Double Island is another example of our improved ability to identify smaller Cretaceous Flag accumulations as a result of our recent 3-D seismic coverage and processing techniques in the area," said Regional Vice President Jim Bass. "We expect to drill four more Flag exploration prospects in the area within the next 45 days."