Apache plans more oil work in Australia

Sept. 30, 2011 at 5:57 AM
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HOUSTON, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- U.S. energy company Apache Corp. announced plans to develop the Balnaves oil field off the coast of Australia, where production could reach 30,000 bpd.

Apache announced its subsidiary Apache Julimar was going ahead with production at the field off the coast of Western Australia. The field could reach peak production of 30,000 barrels per day and has a gross estimated resource of 17 million barrels of oil and 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Apache Region Vice President Thomas Maher said this was the company's third operation in Australia since 2007. With those prospects in place, he said in a statement, "Balnaves will add to our position as one of Australia's leading oil producers."

Apache described the project as a $438 million development. Development is scheduled for 2014.

The announcement follows the approval by the Australian government of Western Australia's Wheatstone natural gas project for U.S. supermajor Chevron.

The Wheatstone project consists of facilities that could produce nearly 9 million tons of liquefied natural gas per year, making it one of Australia's largest natural gas projects. Production is expected to start in 2016.

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