Apache plans ‘lower activity’ in 2019

The Forties Alpha platform
The Forties Alpha platform

US oil firm Apache Corporation has said that it is planning “lower activity” across its business in 2019.

The company, who operate a number of North Sea assets, revealed that it has put in place a lower investment budget of £1.8 billion.

But the firm added that despite lower activity it is still projecting a production range of 410 to 440 thousand barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day.

Apache own a controlling share of the North Sea Forties field, with further operating interests in the Beryl, Nevis, Nevis South, Skene and Buckland fields, and a non-operated interests in the Maclure and Nelson fields.

The Houston-headquartered firm also confirmed that 70-75% of the reduced budget will be allocated within its US business.

John J. Christmann, chief executive and president of Apache Corporation, said: “We believe Apache offers a very competitive investment proposition both within the E&P sector and relative to other sectors in the market.

“In a flat oil price environment, we believe we can deliver a combination of sustainable production and operating cash flow growth, strong returns, a stable dividend that currently yields more than 3 percent, and return at least 50 percent of any free cash flow to our shareholders.

“Additionally, Apache offers significant upside value potential through its current 100 percent ownership in Block 58 offshore Suriname, as well as its portfolio of unconventional exploration projects in the Lower 48.”

In December, Apache Corporation revealed the Garten well in the UK North Sea had started producing oil.

The exploration well was successfully drilled 180 miles north-east of Aberdeen in March 2018.

First oil followed less than eight months later, at the end of November.

The well is currently pumping out 13,700 barrels of oil per day and 15.7m cubic feet of gas.

Garten, 100% owned by Apache, is expected to yield more than 10m barrels of oil.