Apache achieves first oil from Callater in North Sea

US oil firm Apache said today that its North Sea Callater project had started producing early and under budget.

The Houston-headquartered firm said 19,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day were being pumped from two wells on the field following the completion of a tie-back.

Callater, formerly known as the “K discovery”, is located about 210 miles north-east of Aberdeen, within the Beryl area.

It is thought to hold net reserves of between 25million and 50million barrels of oil equivalent.

The North Sea is one of Apache’s three main stomping grounds, along with North America and Egypt.

Apache entered the basin after buying the Forties field from BP in 2003. It bought the Beryl, Ness, Nevis, Nevis South, Skene and Buckland fields from ExxonMobil in early 2012.

Apache’s North Sea production averaged 56,400 boe per day during the first half of 2017, down from 70,450 a year ago.

First half pre-tax profits totalled £415million, up from a deficit of £505million in 2016.

Revenues jumped 32% to £2.5billion.

Apache chief executive John Christmann said production from international assets would increase during the second half of 2017.

Mr Christmann said the company would be able to cover its full-year capital expenditure through cash flow and money generated by recent sales, rather than having to dip into the balance sheet.

“We expect to end 2017 with more cash, less debt and significantly higher production levels,” he said.

The company had net debts of £5.2billion at June 30, a decrease of £110million from the end of March.

Last month, Apache announced plans to sell its Canadian business in a deal worth about £550million. The transaction is expected to go through this month.

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