* Company finds 48 tcf gas field in northern British
* Test well in field most prolific ever
* No rush to develop while prices low
* One of several high-potential regions for company
* Shares rise 1.3 pct
CALGARY, Alberta, June 15 Apache Corp
has made what it believes may be one of the world's largest
shale-gas discoveries in a remote corner of northeastern British
Columbia, a massive field containing as much as 48 trillion
cubic feet of recoverable natural gas.
The company has drilled three wells into its holdings in the
Liard Basin in British Columbia, just south of where the
province's northern border meets the borders of the Yukon and
Northwest Territories. Those wells tapped into a massive
shale-gas reservoir that alone could supply U.S. needs for
almost two years.
"This is probably the best shale gas reservoir in the
world," John Bedingfield, the company's vice president of
worldwide exploration, said at a company presentation on
Only one of the three wells drilled in the region was
treated with the multiple-stage hydraulic fracturing process
that has been key to unlocking North America' prolific shale-gas
reserves. That well, which was "fracked" six times, delivered
21.3 million cubic feet of gas per day over its first thirty
days of production, which Apache said was the most prolific
shale-gas test well ever drilled.
Shale gas discoveries have transformed North America's
natural-gas industry. The massive fields have created a surplus
of the fuel that has driven prices down to 10-year lows and
sparked the creation of a nascent liquefied natural gas industry
as producers look to tap high-paying markets in Asia and
Apache owns 430,000 acres of exploration lands surrounding
its new find and its wells have already been connected to
pipelines in the region.
However the field could also supply an LNG export facility
the company and partners Encana Corp and EOG Resources
Inc are planning to build at Kitimat on British Columbia's
Bedingfield said the company will not rush to develop the
field while gas prices remain low but called the field "a huge
resource for the future."
The find was one of several the company detailed for
investors on Thursday. Along with its Liard field, the company
said its 580,000 acres of land in the Mississipian Lime field in
Kansas and Nebraska could contain as much as 2 billion barrels
of oil while its holding in Montana's Williston Basin may hold
another 1 billion barrels.
As well, it's targeting as much as 1.3 billion barrels of
oil in Alaska's Cook Inlet and 1.4 billion barrels from its
holding off the shore of Kenya. It will drill in both regions
later this year.
Apache said its holdings in western Oklahoma and the Texas
panhandle could also hold another 5.4 billion barrels of oil
equivalent while the Permian Basin in west Texas and New Mexico
hold 3.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
Analysts said Apache, a company that has often focused on
growing by acquisition, will now focus on building production by
drilling its existing properties worldwide.
"Apache has typically ... been viewed as an M&A driven
company," said Rob Cordray, an analyst at Guggenheim Securities.
"But this shows a tremendous amount of organic growth potential.
There's a huge drilling inventory for these guys."
Apache shares were up $1.09, 1.3 percent, at $87.10 by early
afternoon in New York.