Apache strikes oil in UK North Sea

In a slew of third-quarter reports by oil majors this week, informing on profits and revenues drops, a breath of fresh air/oil? has just come from the North Sea.

Namely Apache Corporation on Friday said it made “significant discoveries” on two exploration wells in the Beryl area of the U.K. North Sea, at the K and Corona wells. According to Apache, the company also drilled two significant development wells in the Beryl area, from which no reserves have been previously booked.

The K and Corona wells are the first exploratory prospects drilled by Apache in the Beryl area. Apache says that each discovery proves a separate geologic concept that helps to de-risk additional drilling locations.

Moreover, Apache announced a large discovery at its Seagull prospect, which lies approximately 50 miles south of the company’s Forties Field, the largest oil field in the U.K. North Sea.

The two discoveries, combined with the Seagull, represent likely net recoverable reserves of 50 million to more than 70 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe), Apache estimates.

The company will carry out appraisal drilling hoping to further define the upside potential beyond 70 MMboe. Apache’s proved reserves in the North Sea at yearend 2014 were approximately 140 MMboe.

“Apache’s exploration program in the high-potential Beryl area is off to an exceptional start. The success of our first two exploration wells at Beryl, combined with the Seagull discovery, could increase our total North Sea proved reserve base by more than 50 percent. Importantly, results obtained from the wells announced today emphasize the quality of our seismic surveys and the accuracy of our geologic model in the Beryl area,” Thomas E. Voytovich, Apache’s executive vice president – International and Offshore and E&P Technology, said.

He said that the Seagull discovery would likely have a longer investment time-horizon as it may require dedicated production facilities, but “it is expected to have a very meaningful impact on Apache’s medium- and long-term production in the region.”

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