Apache Stock Jumps On Suriname JV

(Zacks, 24.Dec.2019) — Shares of Apache Corporation rallied more than 17% in yesterday’s trading, hitting an all-time high among the S&P 500 components, after the energy explorer teamed up with Total S.A. in Suriname. With a view to explore and develop Block 58 offshore Suriname, Apache has entered into a joint venture (JV) with French company Total. Notably, both companies will own 50% of the working interest in Block 58.

Block 58 covering 1.4 million acres in water depths is located near ExxonMobil and Hess’ Stabroek block in Guyana, which is South America’s newest oil giant.  The field seems to be a unique, large-scale oil resource opportunity.

The deal with Total is particularly pleasing for Apache as it shortly follows an update by the company on an exploratory oil well in Block 58, which had earlier left investors disgruntled and pulled down the stock price.

Details of the Joint Venture

Per the venture, the first three exploration wells in the Suriname prospect along with Maka Central-1 well will be operated by Apache. Thereafter, the operatorship will be delegated to Total.

This one of the world’s leading independent energy company will reportedly receive a number of considerations in exchange for the transfer of 50% working interest. The firm is expected to earn $5 billion of cash carry on its first $7.5 billion of appraisal plus development outlay and will be reimbursed 25% of the costs incurred over and above that amount.

Further, this Houston-based entity will be reimbursed 50% of its spending on block 58 for the moment. Investors should know that in 2015, Apache signed a production contract with Suriname’s state oil company Staatsolie for the offshore lease.

The deal with Total, which secured customary approvals from Suriname, is anticipated to close within a day or two. The partnership will be authorized to explore the entire block through mid-2026 without acreage relinquishments. For Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) Apache, the pact with Total, which is one of the top five publicly traded global integrated oil and gas players, will enhance its portfolio with the latter’s extensive offshore expertise and global footprint. In other words, the former sees the latter as an ideal partner for a block of such magnitude.  As a matter of fact, both companies will be able to expand their operations in the Guyana-Suriname Basin.

By Zacks Equity Research

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