Apache’s holdings in Australia are focused offshore Western Australia in the Carnarvon basin, where we have operated since acquiring the gas processing facilities on Varanus Island and adjacent producing properties in 1993, in the Exmouth basin and in the Browse basin. Production operations are located in the Carnarvon and Exmouth basins. In total, Apache controls approximately 8.8 million gross acres in Australia through 35 exploration permits, 16 production licenses, and 10 retention leases. Approximately 90 percent of our acreage is undeveloped.
During 2012, the region had net production of 29,000 barrels per day (Bpd) of oil and 214 million cubic feet per day (MMcfd) of natural gas, contributing 9 percent of Apache’s worldwide production revenue, 8 percent of worldwide production and 12 percent of year-end estimated proved reserves. Production compared to the prior year was 7 percent lower primarily as a result of natural decline in the Pyrenees and Van Gogh oil fields. Offsetting production declines was a full year of production from the Reindeer field. This gas is processed through the Devil Creek Gas Plant, which came online in December 2011. This plant is Western Australia’s third domestic natural gas processing hub and the first new hub to be constructed in more than 15 years.
The region is a key component of Apache’s exploration program. During 2012, we participated in drilling 15 offshore wells, of which 10 were exploration or appraisal wells. This compares to nine wells drilled in 2011. Over the past decade, the region’s exploration activity has established a significant pipeline of projects that are expected to contribute to production growth as they are brought onstream in the coming years.