Apache Corp. cuts expenses, narrows losses to $607 million

A drilling rig sits north of the Davis Mountains Friday, Sept. 16, 2016 in Balmorhea. Houston-based Apache Corporation recently announced the discovery of an estimated 15 billion barrels of oil and gas in the area and plans to drill and use hydraulic fracturing on the 350,000 acres surrounding the town. Apache has leased the mineral rights under the town and nearby state park, but has promised not to drill on or under either. While some residents worry that the drilling could affect the spring at the state park and impact tourism, others are excited for the potential economic boom the oil discovery and drilling could bring. ( Michael Ciaglo / Houston Chronicle )
A drilling rig sits north of the Davis Mountains Friday, Sept. 16, 2016 in Balmorhea. Houston-based Apache Corporation recently announced the discovery of an estimated 15 billion barrels of oil and gas in the area and plans to drill and use hydraulic fracturing on the 350,000 acres surrounding the town. ( Michael Ciaglo / Houston Chronicle )

Houston’s Apache Corp., one of the largest oil and gas companies in the U.S., narrowed losses in the third quarter thanks largely to the increase in oil prices.

Apache reported on Thursday losses of $607 million, 85 percent or $3.5 billion better than losses in the third quarter last year. The company posted $1.60 in losses per share, in comparison to $10.95 in losses per share over the same period last year.

Revenues dipped 6 percent or $88 million to $1.4 billion. Expenses fell dramatically: Apache cut 60 percent or $3.6 billion to end the quarter spending $2.3 billion, largely because it did not have to write down oil reserves.

Oil production fell 7 percent or 20,000 barrels per day to 271,000 barrels per day. Gas production fell 8 percent or 90 million cubic feet per day to 1.1 trillion cubic feet per day. Total production, including natural gas liquids, fell 6 percent or 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to 520,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Apache was upbeat on its future.

The company highlighted its discovery of Alpine High, a new oilfield in the Delaware Basin, the western section of West Texas’s Permian Basin. It said it planned to add three rigs this quarter in the Midland Basin, the Permian’s eastern lobe. And it anticipated 2016 oil and gas production would meet or crest expectations.

Apache chief executive John Christmann said a “transformation” is taking place at the company, with a “strategic focus on organic growth and strong technical capabilities.”

Christmann said Apache would develop Alpine High “in a methodical, efficient and environmentally responsible way.”

“Our economic drilling inventory in the Permian Basin is more extensive today than at any time in the company’s history, and we expect it will continue to grow as we further delineate our vast acreage position in the basin,” Christmann said.

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