Apache Corp. announced a Canadian gas discovery that tested at31 MMcf/d British Columbia on acreage acquired from Shell Canadalate last year.

“Proved reserves acquired in the Shell Canada transaction weremainly oil, but the major upside lies in gas exploration on nearly300,000 net acres and in the staff of highly motivated technicalpeople who joined Apache,” said Apache President G. Steven Farris.”This is one of the prospects they had developed prior to theacquisition.”

Apache holds a 37% working interest in the Ladyfern areaproducer. Murphy Oil Co. Ltd., the operator, holds 33% and BeauCanada Exploration Ltd. has the remaining 30% working interest.

“Pressure build-up tests are under way to help in determiningthe approximate size of this discovery, but it’s safe to say it hasthe potential to be a very large gas field,” Farris said.”Extensive seismic data that came with the Shell Canada transactionwill aid in the exploration of this area.”

Apache and its partners have under lease more than 25,000 acresin the Ladyfern area and are presently drilling two additionalwildcat wells on separate structures. Apache and partners willbuild an eight-inch-diameter pipeline 15 miles to the Beau Canadapipeline to take Ladyfern gas to Apache’s Hamburg gas plant, whichwas acquired in the Shell Canada acquisition.

“We plan to drill 70 exploration wells in Canada this year,”said Farris. “Our international exploration drilling budget thisyear is 50% larger than last year’s, and it already is paying offwith successes in Canada, Egypt and Poland.”

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