Apache Gushes After Venture With Total Finds Significant Oil Offshore Suriname

The find, in a block measured at 1.4 million acres, also offers significant potential beyond the current discovery, says Apache's CEO.
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Apache  (APA) - Get Report shares gushed after the Houston energy explorer and partner Total  (TOT) - Get Report said they found significant oil offshore Suriname.

Shares of Apache at last check were up 20% at $30.81. American depositary receipts of Total, the French energy producer and distributor, were off 0.7% at $56.12.

Each company has a 50% working interest in the find. The companies said in late December that they had formed the joint venture offshore Suriname, on the northeast coast of South America.

The drilling and imaging the companies have done "confirms our geologic model with oil and condensate in shallower zones and oil in deeper zones," Apache President and CEO John Christmann said in a statement. 

"Preliminary formation evaluation data indicates the potential for prolific oil wells," he added.

The discovery was made via the Maka Central-1 well drilled on Block 58. The block, which includes 1.4 million acres, also offers significant potential beyond the current discovery, Christmann said.

Bloomberg reported that investors have been closely watching Apache's efforts in Suriname since its head of exploration left the company last year. 

Apache shares dropped sharply in early December after a company update on Suriname was unclear about whether the initiative would be commercially viable, Bloomberg reported.

The Guyana-Suriname basin is the oil industry’s hottest emerging exploration region since investors have become less enthused about U.S. shale-based energy and as demand for new discoveries is rising, the news service said.

Apache also operates in the U.S., Egypt and the U.K.

Apache shares have bounced off their 52-week low of $18.33 set in early December. They traded as high as $38 last April.