Apache prepares for first Cook Inlet oil well

Source: Apache Corporation

Apache Corporation (NYSE, Nasdaq: APA) said today that a drilling rig has arrived in Cook Inlet and will be transported to the company’s first Alaska onshore drilling location near the Native Village of Tyonek on the west side of the inlet. Drilling is expected to begin during the fourth quarter.

Apache will be meeting with village residents on Oct. 10 at noon at the Native Village of Tyonek Tribal Center to discuss drilling operations.

“This is an important step in Apache’s exploration program in Cook Inlet,” said John Hendrix, general manager of Apache’s Alaska operations. “First, we started building a large acreage position in a proven hydrocarbon basin with material oil potential; then, we initiated a 3-D seismic program to image the subsurface. Now, we are preparing to drill our first wells.”

Apache has secured the Patterson-UTI drilling rig which was transported via truck and barge from the Bakken play in North Dakota. About 100 people will be employed by Apache’s contractors and subcontractors during the drilling operation.

Apache’s Cook Inlet leasehold comprises approximately 1 million acres onshore, in tidal areas and offshore leased from private mineral owners, the state of Alaska, and the Alaska Mental Health Trust. The company has acquired approximately 300 square miles of 3-D seismic in the first year of a multi-year seismic program.

Apache’s seismic contractor, SA Exploration, recently logged 1 million hours of work without a lost-time accident.

“Apache is committed to safe and environmentally responsible operations and open communications with all of our stakeholders,” Hendrix said. “At the Oct. 10 meeting, we plan to explain to the village what we will be doing in the months ahead since residents will see an increase in activity in the area.”

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