The Balboa Field, which is in the Gulf of Mexico's deepwater about 130 miles south of Galveston, TX, ramped up as 2010 drew to a close, Apache Corp. said Thursday.

The field had stabilized gross flow rates of 30 MMcf/d of natural gas and 1,400 b/d of oil, according to the Houston-based producer.

The field, in water depths of 3,350 feet, is located on East Breaks Block 597. An Apache subsidiary operates the field and holds a 50% stake. Operations began Dec. 28. According to Apache, Balboa is a one-well development with a six-mile tieback to the Anadarko Petroleum Corp.-operated Boomvang spar on East Breaks 643. The Boomvang field began production in 2002 (see Daily GPI, June 27, 2002).

The reservoir features oil-bearing sandstones with a natural gas cap, and the well was completed "near the crest of the structure to optimize overall hydrocarbon recovery," said Apache. The completion was designed to initially produce natural gas and liquids with "increasing liquids and decreasing gas volumes" throughout the life of the field.

"Subsea tieback technology has significantly improved the economics for deepwater developments by lowering the threshold for commercial accumulations," said Apache's John Crum, co-COO of the North America division. "Through acquisitions completed in 2010, Apache now has both the capability in-house and the portfolio of properties in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico to exploit assets such as Balboa and add shareholder value."

Apache assumed operatorship of Balboa with the acquisition of Mariner Energy Inc. last year (see Daily GPI, Nov. 11, 2010; April 16, 2010). Apache last year also paid Devon Energy Corp. $1.05 billion to acquire properties on the Outer Continental Shelf (see Daily GPI, April 13, 2010).

©Copyright 2011 Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news report may not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, in any form, without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.