Apache Corp. adding jobs in Tulsa amid regional boom
BY ROD WALTON World Staff Writer
Saturday, December 15, 2012
12/15/12 at 4:31 AM
Read more energy stories that impact Tulsa.
Apache Corp., with its major regional expansion centered around its Tulsa office, has added 49 jobs locally and may hire another 49 people within a year, a company official said.
The Houston-based oil and gas producer's update on employment comes on the heels of Samson Resources Co. announcing the layoff of 70 people at its Tulsa headquarters and close to 120 companywide.
Apache moves about 80,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day out of its Tulsa-based central region, which includes Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle.
"If anything, it's going to continue ramping up," said Rob Johnston, Apache's vice president for the central region. "It's an amazing time to be in the oil and gas business. It's the renaissance of oil and gas."
The company has increased its Tulsa workforce to 172 and has added another 105 to total 230 people scattered among its five field offices in the region. Apache says it spent $1 billion on central region operations this year and plans to increase that to $1.5 billion in 2013.
"We currently have 24 openings in Tulsa, ranging from geologists, engineers and land men to techs and clerks," Johnston said. "We expect to add another 25 new positions in mid-2013, most of which will be located in the Tulsa office."
Apache produces about 800,000 boes per day from its 10 regions nationally and internationally, but the two sections getting the "lion's share of capital" are the central region and the Permian Basin, Johnston said. The central region includes drilling operations on properties in the Granite Wash, Marmaton, Cleveland and Tonkawa plays.
Early this year, Apache paid $2.85 billion to buy Cordillera Energy Partners III LLC and its 254,000 acres in the liquids-rich Anadarko Basin of Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. The move doubled Apache's acreage in the area and helped push its production mix from 25 percent oil and natural gas liquids to 40 percent.
"Onshore U.S. is the domain of the independent operators," Johnston said. "We drill so many more wells than the majors."
One interesting find for Apache is the Canyon Wash play north of Amarillo, Texas. The company has gone old-school by drilling 13 vertical wells there, averaging about 1,000 barrels per day and hitting only one dry hole, Johnston said.
"By the end of next year we hope to be up to 50 percent liquids," he said.
Many companies, once heavily into natural gas because of the shale play revolution in production, are trying to shift toward oil and other liquids due to low gas prices. Samson has struggled with that shift and was forced into layoffs - acknowledged this week by company officials - one year after its acquisition by New York equity firm KKR & Co.
Apache has operated in the Anadarko Basin for 50 years. The recent combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has opened untapped reservoirs in the basin's mature fields.
The company has operations in six countries. In the U.S. it is considered one of the largest independents - companies focused on one stream of the oil and gas chain, whether it be exploration and production, pipelines and processing, or refining and marketing.
Original Print Headline: Pumped up
Rod Walton 918-581-8457
Apache Corp. pumper Russell King of Elk City works in Washita County on Hostetter No. 1-23, the company's first horizontal well in the Granite Wash play of western Oklahoma. Courtesy