ExxonMobil and Apache Announce Program to Expand Exploration and Development in Western Canada

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ExxonMobil and Apache Announce Program to Expand Exploration and Development in Western Canada

May 5, 2005 at 12:00 AM EDT
ExxonMobil and Apache Announce Program to Expand Exploration and Development in Western CanadaHOUSTON, May 5, 2005 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Exxon Mobil Corporation and Apache Corporation (NYSE, Nasdaq: APA) today said they have signed an agreement to expand their successful exploration and development activities in the Western Canadian province of Alberta, building on a broader program announced in 2004. This work, like the previously announced program, will capitalize on each company's strengths.

ExxonMobil's subsidiary, ExxonMobil Canada Energy, will farm out its interest in approximately 650,000 acres of additional undeveloped property interests to Apache Canada Ltd over and above the more than 370,000 acres conveyed in 2004. Under the new agreement Apache also will test additional horizons on approximately 140,000 acres of the property conveyed in 2004. Apache will have access to 1,234 sections under the new agreement.

Under the agreement announced today, Apache will drill and operate 145 new wells in both shallow and deep zones over a 36-month period with upside potential for further drilling. ExxonMobil Canada will retain a 37.5 percent lessor royalty on fee lands, while on Crown leasehold it will retain 35 percent of its original working interest for any production resulting from the drilling program.

"This agreement will enable our companies to more closely work together to develop a larger portfolio of exploration acreage in Western Canada," said Morris Foster, president, ExxonMobil Production Company. "It allows us to create more shareholder value from these assets by taking advantage of the relative strengths of both companies to increase both the near-term and long- term value of these prospects."

"Apache is pleased to have the opportunity to expand our relationship with ExxonMobil in Canada. This latest extension allows Apache to add almost 800,000 acres to our existing 6.9 million acres on which to explore in one of the most prolific natural gas basins in North America," said G. Steven Farris, Apache chief executive officer, president and chief operating officer. "For ExxonMobil, it assures that a significant amount of its acreage will be evaluated with the drill bit."

In May 2004, the two companies announced a program of transfers and joint- venture activity aimed at increasing the realized value of their respective portfolios across a broad range of prospective and mature properties. These properties are located in West Texas, onshore Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico Continental Shelf, as well as Western Canada.

Under that agreement, ExxonMobil gained deep gas rights to certain Apache properties in the Gulf of Mexico and onshore Louisiana, while Apache gained access to ExxonMobil properties in Western Canada, the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico.

Since the final agreement was signed in August 2004, Apache has drilled 86 wells and completed 73 wells with tested capacity of 52 million cubic feet per day. The wells will be brought on production over the coming months as pipeline and processing capacity is available.

ExxonMobil is the largest crude oil producer in Canada, is a leading natural gas producer, and holds the largest resource position in Canada through its wholly owned affiliate, ExxonMobil Canada, and its majority-owned affiliate, Imperial Oil (ExxonMobil interest, 69.6 percent).

Apache Corporation is a large oil and gas independent, with core operations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom North Sea, Australia and Egypt.

This release contains certain "forward-looking statements" as defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, without limitation, expectations, beliefs, plans and objectives regarding the potential transactions and ventures discussed in this release. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements are the availability of needed personnel and equipment for the future exploration and development, fluctuations in oil and gas prices, and general economic conditions.

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