Apache, Western Geophysical Join to Form Technology Alliance

Article excerpt

HOUSTON (JR) -- Apache Corp. and Western Geophysical have entered into a technology alliance to jointly design, conduct and process seismic surveys on Apache acreage around the world, while applying Western's research and development (R&D) capabilities to seismic problem-solving.

Apache President and Chief Operating Officer G. Steven Farris and Western Geophysical President Richard C. White have signed an informal agreement forging a much closer working relationship between the two companies.

"This goes much deeper than simply hiring a contractor to do a job for us," says Farris. "Under the alliance, we're forming Apache- Western employee teams to work on all aspects of a seismic operation, and through Western's $50 million R&D program, we'll have direct access to new technology and geoscience expertise heretofore available only to the majors through their in-house operations."

"This is an ideal situation as far as Western Geophysical is concerned," White says. "Relationships count. The better we get to know Apache and where they operate, the better we'll be able to perform for them, which should translate into more business for Western Geophysical."

The first project to be undertaken by the alliance is a comprehensive analysis of acquisition and processing parameters in Egypt's Western Desert, where Apache has extensive operations and is the largest leaseholder in the country, with interests in 28 million acres.

"The quality of existing 3-D seismic data in Egypt is average to poor in some areas where a basalt layer makes it difficult to `see' beneath the surface," according to Mike Fleming, area geophysicist for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, who is coordinating the project for Western Geophysical. …