Apache Corp. looks beyond U.S., but bets heavy on shale

The U.S. company said it expects to see production from the Permian shale basin increase by about 9 percent.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  Feb. 22, 2018 at 8:54 AM
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Feb. 22 (UPI) -- From the Permian shale basin in Texas, to emerging potential in Egypt, U.S. energy company Apache Corp. said it expects to see an active 2018.

Apache ended 2017 with $1.7 billion in cash on hand, a 21 percent improvement from the year prior. That was supported, however, by about $1.4 billion in the sale of assets, including a divestment from Canada.

Apache departed Canada in mid-2017 after selling off a subsidiary and assets in provinces ranging from Alberta to British Columbia. The exit gave the company a better footing in the United States, the British North Sea and in Egypt.

Apache's net production from Canadian operations was mostly in the form of natural gas. By the end of last year, the company said it estimated global proved reserves at 1.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, down more than 7 percent from 2016. Most of the decline was attributed to the Canadian exit.

President and CEO John J. Christmann IV said his company was able to return to growth in the United States, supported mostly from the Permian shale basin in Texas. While leaving Canada, Apache signed its first deals in Egypt and said it was anticipating more work there in the future.

"It was a year of numerous accomplishments that has set us up for great success in 2018 and beyond," he said in a statement.

After more than two years of testing and research, Apache confirmed a significant discovery on the southern part of the Delaware shale basin in Texas that it dubbed Alpine High. The company said it estimated in-place reserves of around 75 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 3 billion barrels of oil.

Apache said it plans to spend about $3 billion this year, with 70 percent of that targeting the Permian shale. About 16 percent will target Alpine High.

An annual review from the U.S. Energy Information Administration of proved reserves of crude oil and lease condensate, an ultra-light form of oil, found Texas was the clear leader, adding 941 million barrels between 2015 and 2016. Most of it came from the Permian shale basin.

Apache expects 9 percent growth in oil production from the Permian shale this year.

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