HOUSTON – Apache Corp. reports that hydrocarbon production has begun at its Balboa field, located on East Breaks Block 597 in the Gulf of Mexico. Initial gross flow rates have stabilized at approximately 30 MMcf of natural gas and 1,400 b/d of oil. Apache’s subsidiary is the operator of the field and holds a 50% working interest.
Balboa is located in estimated water depths of 3,350 ft approximately 130 mi south of Galveston, Texas. The field is a one-well development with a six-mile tieback to the Anadarko-operated Boomvang spar on East Breaks 643. The reservoir features oil-bearing sandstones with a natural gas cap. The well has been completed near the crest of the structure to optimize overall hydrocarbon recovery. This completion was designed to initially produce natural gas and liquids with increasing liquids and decreasing gas volumes throughout the life of the field.
“Subsea tieback technology has significantly improved the economics for deepwater developments by lowering the threshold for commercial accumulations,” said John Crum, co-chief operating officer and president–North America. “Through acquisitions completed in 2010, Apache now has both the capability in-house and the portfolio of properties in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico to exploit assets such as Balboa and add shareholder value.”
Apache assumed operatorship of Balboa with the acquisition of Mariner Energy in November 2010. The field commenced production on Dec. 28, 2010.