Apache Makes Three Discoveries Offshore Australia

Apache Corporation announced three new Flag Sandstone oil discoveries in the Carnarvon Basin offshore Western Australia. Apache has announced six discoveries worldwide thus far in 2002.

The Victoria-1, Pedirka-1 and Little Sandy-1 discoveries were not tested, as deliverability of the Flag Sandstone has been well established in several Apache producing fields nearby.

The discoveries will be tied into existing infrastructure within four miles of the discoveries and transported to Apache's processing facilities at the Harriet Complex on Varanus Island. Initial production is expected by early next year.

Regional Vice President Jim Bass said Apache's successful Flag program, dubbed the "string of pearls," has had seven commercial discoveries since the current program began last year. Apache found approximately 20 million barrels of Flag reserves last year.

The wells are 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.

Gross production from the Harriet Complex is averaging 20,000 barrels of oil per day, 95 percent of which is from the Flag Sandstone.

"Using Amplitude versus Offset technology with a twist developed in-house, we've been able to reinterpret 3-D seismic data to pinpoint oil accumulations in the area, which previously had been difficult to detect," Bass said. "These tend to be smaller reservoirs, but when you find enough of them, they add up."

Apache has budgeted to drill four more Flag exploratory wells this year.