Apache Poised for Next 20 Years' Production in North Sea

NEW YORK Nov 15, 2005 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) -- By Dow Jones Newswires

Apache North Sea Ltd. said Monday it is preparing for another 20 years of production life in the Forties field, one of the richest oil field patches in the North Sea.

In the two years since its parent company, Apache Corp. (APA), bought the property from BP PLC (BP), Apache North Sea has drilled 31 wells, three of which have been dry holes, or wells with insufficient reserves to merit development, Managing Director John Crum said at Bank of America's energy conference, which was broadcast over the Internet.

The company has another 21 wells it plans to drill over the next 12 months, plus an additional 25 "contingent targets" that are likely to merit development.

"A lot of things we're doing out here are evolutionary," he said, including putting production facilities in where needed to sustain that production.

The company now estimates there are five billion barrels of oil equivalent in place within the property, up from the 4.2 billion boe estimate when Apache took over the field.

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