Apache Corporation announced today that horizontal wells drilled in the Ootla shale play in Northeast British Columbia test-flowed at rates of 8.8 million cubic feet (MMcf), 6.1 MMcf and 5.3 MMcf of gas per day.
The three wells drilled during the 2008 winter season are producing from the Muskwa shale and flowing through Apache’s Missile gas plant. The Ootla area is in the northeast corner of British Columbia, about 60 miles from Fort Nelson, B.C.
“Although we are still in the early stages of understanding the full scope of this play, these three wells help validate our view that Ootla has the potential to be one of the larger shale gas accumulations in North America,” said G. Steven Farris, Apache’s president and chief executive officer.
Apache began acquiring acreage in the area in 2000, and completed the first producing well from the Muskwa shale during the 2005 winter season. Apache and EnCana have formed an area of mutual interest controlling more than 400,000 acres at the center of the play. Apache’s net interest is 207,000 acres.
Apache performed 18 fracture stimulations in the three horizontal wells, pumping a total of 7.8 million pounds of sand and 280,000 barrels of water into the formation. EnCana has drilled, but not yet completed, two horizontal wells in the area, and is drilling a third well. The two companies have drilled approximately half of the wells drilled in the play to date.
“While it will take significant investment in infrastructure to unlock this play, we estimate the gas resource potential at Ootla could be in the range of 9 to 16 trillion cubic feet net to Apache’s interest,” Farris said.
Apache Corporation is a large oil and gas independent with operations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom North Sea, Egypt, Australia and Argentina.
This news release contains certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 including, without limitation, expectations, beliefs, plans and objectives regarding production and exploration activities. Any matters that are not historical facts are forward-looking and, accordingly, involve estimates, assumptions, risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, risks, uncertainties and other factors discussed in our 2007 Form 10-K and on our Web site. There is no assurance that Apache’s expectations will be realized, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. We assume no duty to update these statements as of any future date.

(Apache Corporation Press Release)