Apache Adds Australian Production

Apache Corporation has commenced first production from a new discovery and an additional extension well in the Carnarvon Basin on Australia's Northwest Shelf. The South Simpson-1 discovery brings Apache's worldwide discovery count to 14 this year.

The South Simpson-1 discovery and Tanami-6 extension of the Tanami oil field were brought on line at 5,000 and 2,500 barrels of oil per day, respectively.

The wells are the seventh and eighth successful completions in the company's recent Flag Sandstone program, which targets smaller oil accumulations identified through the use of Amplitude-Versus-Offset seismic technology fine-tuned by Apache geoscientists. Flag wells are characterized by high flow rates and are highly economic to bring on production due to their proximity to existing infrastructure.

The wells are owned by the Harriet Joint Venture, in which Apache, the operator, has a 68.5 percent working interest. Partners are Kufpec with 19.3 percent and Tap Oil with 12.2 percent working interest. Production flows through the joint venture's facilities on Varanus Island with daily rates expected to approach 28,000 barrels per day with the addition of the two newest wells. "We've identified 12 additional Flag prospects and leads and plan to drill two of them prior to year-end," said Jim Bass, Apache's regional vice president for Australia. "Although they are moderate in size, these latest wells bring the total reserves from the Flag program thus far to about 30 million barrels."

In related activity, surface facilities have been constructed and installed for Apache's Victoria platform and Double Island mini-platform. These platforms will support production from 2002 Flag discoveries at Victoria, Pedirka, Little Sandy and Double Island. Initial production from both facilities is currently slated for the end of the year.