October 3, 2012 / 2:51 PM / 5 years ago

Apache ops back after hurricane, sees big fourth quarter

(Reuters) - Apache Corp (APA.N) said its Gulf of Mexico operations are back on line after being suspended during Hurricane Isaac, and the oil and gas company forecast record production in the fourth quarter.

Still, disruptions from the storm and maintenance at the Houston company’s North Sea operations hurt third-quarter output, and production is forecast to be flat with the prior quarter, Apache said.

Production from North Sea assets has also resumed in full following maintenance completed during the third quarter, the Houston-based company said on Wednesday.

Apache said its worldwide production is at an all-time high of about 800,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd). In 2011 it averaged 737,000 boepd, adjusted for 11,000 boepd of divestitures last year.

“With current production of 800,000 boepd, a substantial backlog of drilling locations and ample cash flow, Apache is on track to report record production in the fourth quarter of 2012,” it said in a press release.

Apache is currently operating 68 rigs in North America, targeting primarily oil and natural gas liquids formations in the Permian and Anadarko basins in Texas and nearby states.

Hurricane Isaac disrupted Gulf of Mexico production for six weeks in August and September, reducing third-quarter oil and gas volumes by about 12,200 boepd in the quarter.

    Also, planned turnarounds in the North Sea and maintenance issues cut third-quarter output by nearly 12,000 boepd.

    Third-quarter volumes are projected to be flat compared with second- quarter volumes of 774,000 boepd. In the year-ago third-quarter, Apache had oil and gas output of 752,000 boepd.

    Analysts at Houston-based energy investment bank Simmons & Co had expected Apache to report third-quarter production of 781,000 boepd.

    Shares of Apache fell 64 cents to $85.91 in morning New York Stock Exchange trading. The stock was outperforming a 2.0 percent decline in SIG oil company index. .EPX

    Reporting By Steve James in New York and Anna Driver in Houston; editing by Theodore d'Afflisio

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