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Apache Reorganizes, Putting Bigger Focus on Permian

Apache Corp., under pressure to sell or spin off its international portfolio to focus on the U.S. onshore, on Monday said it has reorganized its global operations, with the North American businesses, including Canada, now part of two "super" Permian and Houston regional units.

The Houston Region consolidates operational activities for the Eagle Ford Shale, Anadarko Basin, Texas Panhandle and Canadian properties, with Canada operated from the existing Calgary office. The Permian Region includes the Midland and Central subbasin platform operated from the Midland, TX office, with the Permian's Delaware Basin receiving "separate and individualized management in San Antonio to realize the exceptional potential of these unconventional assets."

"These changes represent a significant step toward streamlining our operations in a way that will greatly enhance our ability to maximize recovery and minimize costs," said CEO John Christmann, who took over in January. "This new structure will enable us to allocate resources and personnel expediently as industry conditions dictate."

About 60% of Apache's spending during the first quarter was directed to the Permian business (see Shale DailyMay 7). Between January and March, more capital expenditures were devoted to North America than anywhere else. Of the total $1.24 billion budget in the first quarter, $787 million was directed to North American onshore projects, with $62 million set aside for the Gulf of Mexico (GOM).

The Tulsa regional office has been closed, with some employees relocated. The new International and Offshore Region consists of the GOM, Egypt and North Sea assets. Other organizational optimization also is underway as part of high-grading the portfolio.

The Houston operator has been downsizing for the past three years in part to repair its balance sheet. It came under more pressure last July when major shareholder Jana Partners LLC pressured the company to sell or or spin off the international businesses to focus only on the United States (see Daily GPIJuly 22, 2014).

As part of the restructuring, Apache is reshuffling its operational leadership.

Timothy J. Sullivan has been appointed to the newly created role of senior vice president (SVP) -- Operations Support based in Houston. In this role, he would support the CEO in operational strategy, capital allocation, market intelligence and marketing. Tom Voytovich is assuming the role of executive vice president -- International and Offshore Region, and is taking over Exploration and Production Technology.

James L. House has been named to the newly created position of SVP of the Houston Region. Grady L. Ables is taking over as region vice president -- Canada Region and president, Apache Canada. Faron J. Thibodeaux is to continue to oversee operations in the Midland and Central basins as SVP -- Permian Region. Steven J. Keenan would oversee the North American Unconventional Resources Technology team, Unconventional Resources New Ventures team and operations in the Delaware Basin as SVP -- Delaware Basin.

In the overseas business, Cory L. Loegering is taking over as vice president -- UK Region and managing director, Apache North Sea. Thomas M. Maher would continue to oversee operations in Egypt as the vice president -- Egypt Region and general manager, Apache Egypt.

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