Reeves County

Reeves County

Haga clic aquí para el español +

Map of Apache's Alpine High acreageIn September 2016, Apache Corporation announced the discovery of a new oil and natural gas resource play in the southwest corner of the Permian Basin called Alpine High. The geographic outline of the play extends over 60 miles and stretches across the southern half of Reeves County, Texas.

Apache is committed to developing the new play safely and responsibly. With world-class technology, best management practices and continued dialogue with the community, Alpine High will be safely developed to produce much needed domestic energy, high-quality jobs and local economic activity while protecting the land, air and water resources of the region.

Apache employs best-in-class management practices in operations. Safety of Apache’s workforce and protection of the environment are top priorities. In addition to meeting all federal and state regulatory requirements, Apache is committed to operating in a socially responsible manner. For example, Apache has worked with the local community to address specific concerns regarding development in the region. As part of this effort, Apache has committed to not pursue development activities within the City of Balmorhea and Balmorhea State Park.

Below is a sample of the key issues Apache is working on in the area. 

Safeguarding groundwater resources

Apache is committed to ensuring the protection of the region’s water resources by utilizing best-in-class technology and best management practices including:

  • Conducting extensive baseline groundwater and surface water testing, as well as background soil sampling,
  • Maintaining robust surface casing programs whereby wells below the usable groundwater reservoirs are cemented and cased to isolate and protect the aquifers from the drilling process,
  • Monitoring and conducting performance evaluations of cement jobs, and
  • Requiring detailed and continuous pressure testing and monitoring of hydraulic fracturing operations.

In October 2016, a month after the discovery was announced, Apache entered into an agreement with the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) to conduct a baseline water quality study of groundwater and surface water in Alpine High. Read the UTA Press release +

Responsible water use

Apache is committed to the preservation and protection of the region’s freshwater resources. As an industry leader in innovative water recycling programs, Apache is committed to utilizing non-potable sources of water to meet operational needs either through recycled water technologies or brackish water. For example, Apache has implemented programs across Texas that rely on non-potable water, such as recycled produced water (water that comes back up the well during flow-back operations), brackish water and municipal wastewater.

Brackish water use coupled with a water recycling program brings numerous benefits. By using a brackish source to meet operational water needs, Apache will not compete with needs for potable water (such as drinking and agriculture), and by recycling water, Apache minimizes the amount that must be transported by truck and Apache was one of the first oil and gas companies to implement an on-site water-recycling program with its Barnhart development in West Texas. Apache is developing similar programs at Alpine High to meet the long-term water needs of the development.

To meet the initial needs of Apache’s program at Alpine High, the company has primarily purchased water from landowners. In 2016, the company also entered into an agreement to purchase water from the Reeves County Water District (RCWD) which it used for one well. The company subsequently terminated the contract and is currently developing and testing an extensive water recycling program to meet the majority of its water needs going forward.

Learn more about Apache’s water recycling efforts:
Fracking without freshwater at a west Texas oilfield, Reuters
Apache fracs Wolfcamp wells without fresh water in dry Barnhart project area, Oil & Gas Journal
More information on Apache’s commitment to water conservation can be found in the company's Sustainability Report here:

Promoting safe drilling and completions (hydraulic fracturing)

Apache has been a strong advocate for the disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing on, and the company is continually looking for ways to reduce the amount of chemicals used.

Apache’s progress toward more environmentally friendly hydraulic fracturing was recognized in a report published by environmental stakeholders from As You Sow, Boston Common Asset Management, Green Century Capital Management and the Investor Environmental Health Network. Apache has been repeatedly recognized as one of the highest performing companies on the group’s scorecard, which evaluates companies on disclosure of chemical use, water and waste management, air emissions, community impacts and management accountability. Click here to see the report.

More information on Apache’s commitment to safe practices and environmental stewardship can be found in the company's Sustainability Report here:

Protecting the dark skies of West Texas

The McDonald Observatory actively works with the oil and gas industry to implement best practices for light pollution mitigation to protect the dark skies of West Texas. Apache is working with the McDonald Observatory to ensure all of its operations are Dark Sky Initiative compliant in the area. This includes using a variety of bulbs, ensuring that all lights are properly aimed away from the skies, and shielding lights when possible.

Read more about oilfield best practices to protect dark skies in the report “Oilfield Lighting Can Coexist With Dark Skies” found on the McDonald Observatory website.

Other Stories about Apache’s Dark Skies Efforts:
CBS 7 Midland – Apache Works to Protect the Dark Skies of West Texas
Midland Reporter Telegram – Operators Take Action to Darken Skies Around McDonald Observatory

Enabling safe roads

Apache is committed to protecting employees and communities on the road. Where possible, Apache consolidates its supply chain to help reduce traffic load, evaluates the driving record of transportation companies before selection, and works to ensure drivers are competent and qualified to operate vehicles safely. Additionally, Apache encourages the use of ride-sharing services by company contractors to and from company locations to reduce vehicles on the road.

As an example of the company’s commitment, Apache helped launch the Permian Road Safety Coalition, a nonprofit organization comprised of industry, state transportation agencies, local governments, community members and other stakeholders invested in addressing road safety issues and impacts on local communities resulting from industrial activities. The coalition serves as a forum for operators, service companies, trucking companies, government and nongovernmental organizations to identify issues and solutions, and work together to address challenges throughout the Permian Basin Region. Coalition members are focused on promoting infrastructure improvements and identifying best practices within the industry, collecting and acting upon vehicle incident data, and raising awareness in communities to further improve road safety.

Click here to find out more about the Permian Road Safety Coalition


Questions regarding Apache’s operations in Reeves County, Texas, can be directed to or by calling Apache’s toll-free Good Neighbor Line at +1 866 705 2400.


Alpine High 2016 Brochure

Click here to download the Alpine High brochure.


Did you know that your Internet Explorer is out of date?

To get the best possible experience using our website we recommend that you upgrade to a newer version or other web browser. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.

Just click on the icons to get to the download page

  • Internet Explorer 7+
  • Firefox 3+
  • Chrome 2.0+