Tickers in this Article: APA, OXY, PQ, UNT
Apache Corporation (NYSE:APA) estimates that oil and gas production will increase to over one million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day by 2016, and hopes to generate this growth primarily off the company's extensive footprint in the United States.

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Production Growth
Apache reported average production of 769,000 BOE per day in the first quarter of 2012, and has built up large positions in various conventional and unconventional resource plays in the U.S. The company plans to focus on oil and liquids opportunities in the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico and the Anadarko Basin in the Central or Midcontinent area. Apache expects production from the onshore U.S. to represent 41% of the company's total production by 2016, up from only 21% in 2011.

SEE: Oil And Gas Industry Primer

Permian Basin
Apache has 1.6 million net acres under lease in the Permian Basin and reported production of 101,000 BOEs per day from its operations here in April 2012. This makes the company one of the largest producers in the Permian Basin, second only to Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY), which reported production of just over 200,000 barrels per day in 2011.

Apache has steadily ramped up development here over the last few years and plans to spend $1.9 billion in capital here in 2012, up from only $400 million in 2010. The company plans development of a number of different oil and gas plays over the next five years, including the Cline Shale, Wolfcamp Shale, Spraberry, Bone Spring and Yeso.

Apache estimates that Permian Basin production per share will grow at a compound annual rate of 13% from 2011 to 2016.

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Central Area
The Central region will be the fastest growing region for Apache, with the company estimating 24% compound annual growth in production per share from the 2012 exit rate to 2016.

Apache has 1.1 million net acres under lease here and reported production of 59,000 BOE per day in April 2012. The company will have an average of 25 rigs working in the second half of 2012 and will drill 240 wells during the year. Apache is targeting multiple formations here from 2012 to 2016 including the Granite Wash, Marmaton, Cleveland, Canyon Wash and Tonkawa plays.

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Other U.S. Regions
Apache has also established new positions in several other onshore plays in the United States. The company has 580,000 net acres prospective for the Mississippi Lime and other formations in Kansas and Nebraska and 300,000 net acres prospective for the Bakken and Three Forks in Montana.

Petroquest Energy (NYSE:PQ) is also active in the Mississippi Lime and recently has started drilling or completing its first three wells here. The company expects to report results by the end of the second quarter of 2012.

Unit Corporation (NYSE:UNT) recently entered the Mississippi Lime through the acquisition of 60,000 net acres. The company recently finished completion operations on its first well and plans to drill up to three more wells here in 2012.

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The Bottom Line
Apache has a laser-like focus on oil and liquids and has built up a huge inventory of these opportunities in the onshore U.S. The company plans to harvest these plays to grow the company over the next five years.

At the time of writing, Eric Fox did not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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