In the first decade of the new century, Apache built leading acreage and production positions in the Gulf and other operating regions.
In 2001, Apache acquired Repsol’s interests in Egypt’s Western Desert, which brought operating control of the Khalda-area concessions. The 2003 Qasr discovery – a 2-trillion-cubic-foot resource – led to Apache’s “2X” program to double gross operated production from 2005 to 2010. The goal was achieved in June 2010, when output reached 330,000 barrels of oil equivalent (Boe) per day. Development of the Faghur Basin play propelled Apache to the position of largest oil producer in Egypt.
Since it was established in 2001 by Raymond Plank, Fund for Teachers has supported educators' efforts to develop skills, knowledge and confidence that impact student achievement. By trusting teachers to design unique fellowships, Fund for Teachers grants validate teachers' professionalism and leadership. Through 2013, Fund for Teachers has invested $20 million in more than 5,500 teachers, transforming grants into growth for teachers and their students.
In 2002, Raymond Plank passed the title of chief executive officer to G. Steven Farris, who retained the titles of president and chief operating officer. Plank remained the company’s chairman until his retirement in January 2009, 54 years after he established the company with Arnao and Anderson.
In 2003, Apache acquired the Forties Field, the largest field ever discovered in the United Kingdom North Sea from BP. Apache extended the life of the field through significant investment in drilling and new facilities and application of time lapse (“4D”) seismic. BP had projected that decommissioning Forties facilities would begin in 2012. The following year, however, Apache installed the Forties Alpha Satellite Platform (FASP) to accommodate new drilling and add processing capacity.
Beginning in 2003, Apache built 201 schools for girls in Egypt’s remote rural areas who are deprived of educational opportunities due to geographic, social and economic realities and who have little opportunity for a better future. Working through Springboard – Educating the Future, a U.S. nonprofit, and collaborating with Egypt's National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) and the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development, Apache constructed the schools in communities identified by NCCM that have high rates of out-of-school girls. In 2005, Laura Bush, then the U.S. First Lady, visited one of the schools during a goodwill trip to the Middle East.
Apache commenced production from the Zhao Dong block in Bohai Bay, China in August 2003. The production interest was sold to Australia-based ROC Oil Company for $260 million in 2006.
Apache completed the first producing well from the Muskwa shale in the Ootla area of the Horn River Basin of northeast British Columbia during the 2005 winter drilling season. In 2008, three wells test-flowed at daily rates of 8.8 million cubic feet (MMcf), 6.1 MMcf and 5.3 MMcf of gas and confirmed a massive gas resource. Through a joint venture with Encana, Apache advanced techniques for pad drilling and more efficient completions and developed the Debolt water treatment plant that enables the use of non-potable water from underground aquifers instead of surface water.
Beginning in 2005, Apache’s Tree Grant Program has awarded trees to nonprofit organizations in 16 U.S. states to help improve wildlife habitats, restore storm damage, and enhance cities and neighborhoods. The trees go to nonprofit organizations including cities, counties, schools, parks, universities, youth associations, wildlife refuges and community groups. In 2013, the Tree Grant Program planted its 3 millionth tree in Houston’s Memorial Park.
After acquiring a small interest in Argentina through the 2001 Fletcher Challenge transaction, Apache in 2006 purchased Pioneer Natural Resources’ interests in Neuquén and the Austral basins for $675 million and subsequently purchased Pan American Fueguina S.R.L. interests in Tierra del Fuego, gaining operatorship in the Austral basin concessions. Apache was the first operator to obtain government approval to sell natural gas through the Gas Plus program to encourage development of unconventional and tight-sand reservoirs by permitting the gas to be sold above regulated prices.
In 2007, The Julimar field discovery, along with adjacent Brunello discovery, proved new gas sand probability prospecting technology. The 2 trillion cubic feet accumulation led to participation in the Wheatstone LNG project, Apache's first LNG development and largest single capital project with net investment of $4 billion.
The deepwater Geauxpher Field at Garden Banks Block 462 was drilled in 2008 in the Gulf of Mexico and achieved peak production of 111 million cubic feet of natural gas per day from two wells. This project helped lead Apache into the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and developed the relationship with Mariner Energy that subsequently led to the two companies' 2010 merger.
The West Kalabsha C-1X was a critical Jurassic discovery in the Faghur Basin, testing at 4,746 barrels per day and 4.4 million cubic feet per day, and followed shortly thereafter in 2008 by the larger discovery Phiops 1X leading to the westward expansion of Apache in Egypt. Gross production from the Faghur Basin of 50,000 barrels per day propelled Apache Egypt's oil production to new records in 2011. The area has set records for the depth at which commercial oil is produced in the Western Desert.
Upon founder Raymond Plank’s retirement in 2009, Chief Executive Officer G. Steven Farris became chairman.
Apache opened its first compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations in Elk City, Okla., in 2009. The company has built 20 CNG stations for its fleet vehicles and other CNG vehicle owners at locations in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, and about half of its truck fleet is powered by CNG.
The Hostetter #1-23H, drilled in 2009, was Apache's first operated horizontal well in the prolific Granite Wash play. The well was drilled to a depth of 12,500 feet with a 4,000-foot horizontal section and eight separate fracture-stimulation stages. Apache owns a 72-percent working interest in the well. Within 12 months of drilling this well, 90 percent of region's drilling program is horizontal.