The largest independent US oil and gas company by market value is taking the controlling stake at a Canadian liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal.
Apache has secured 51% of the equity and capacity at the proposed Kitimat LNG export terminal in British Columbia, which will have capacity of 700 million cubic feet per day and cost an estimated C$3 billion (2 billion) to build.
The investment is based on expectations that there will be a North American natural gas glut for some time due to greater extraction of the plentiful supplies trapped in shale rock.
Kitimat LNG has initial sales agreements with Spain's Gas Natural and Korea Gas, as well as other producers to supply the terminal at Bish Cove, about 405 miles north of Vancouver.
EOG Resources was looking to supply 100 million to 200 million cubic feet per day, according to Kitimat LNG CEO Rosemary Boulton, who told reporters she had lined up buyers for about half of the terminal's capacity.
Kitimat will be seeking additional partners to help fund the construction. Front-end engineering and design would begin in the next few months, with a final investment decision expected next year and first gas expected out of the terminal in 2014, Tim Wall, head of Apache Canada, says.
Asia-Pacific customers would likely take up much of the gas, but the expanded Panama Canal, set to open in 2014, will open up Atlantic markets too.
Houston-based Apache owns gas exploration and development activity in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, including the Horn River Basin where it estimates it has access to a net 10 trillion cubic feet of gas.