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Apache (NASDAQ:APA)
Q2 2020 Earnings Call
Jul 30, 2020, 11:00 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:


Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Apache Corporation second-quarter 2020 earnings announcement webcast. [Operator instructions] I would now introduce your host for today's conference call, Mr. Gary Clark, vice president, investor relations. You may begin.

Gary Clark -- Vice President, Investor Relations

Good morning, and thank you for joining us on Apache Corporation's second-quarter financial and operational results conference call. We will begin the call with an overview by CEO and president, John Christmann; Steve Riney, executive vice president and CFO, will then summarize our second-quarter financial performance. Clay Bretches, executive vice president of operations; and Dave Pursell, executive vice president, development, will also be available on the call to answer questions. Our prepared remarks will be approximately 15 minutes in length with the remainder of the hour allotted for Q&A.

In conjunction with yesterday's press release, I hope you've had the opportunity to review our second-quarter financial and operational supplement, which can be found on our investor relations website at investor.apachecorp.com. Please note that we may discuss certain non-GAAP financial measures. A reconciliation of the differences between these non-GAAP financial measures and the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures can be found in the supplemental information provided on our website. Consistent with previous reporting practices, adjusted production numbers cited in today's call are adjusted to exclude noncontrolling interest in Egypt and Egypt tax barrels.

Finally, I'd like to remind everyone that today's discussions will contain forward-looking estimates and assumptions based on our current views and reasonable expectations. However, a number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from what we discuss today. A full disclaimer is located with the supplemental information on our website. And with that, I will turn the call over to John.

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Good morning, and thank you for joining us. For the last several months, the world and the global E&P industry have been facing one of the most challenging environments in recent history. Apache is responding with decisive actions designed to protect our people, our assets, our investors and the communities in which we operate. And I want to take this opportunity to thank the many Apache employees and contractors for their hard work and dedication in these tough times.

In my prepared remarks this morning, I will discuss the progress we made during the second quarter and review our key objectives and capital priorities going forward. I'd like to begin with a brief update on our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Apache moved quickly to implement a wide range of fit-for-purpose protocols to ensure a safe and productive work environment in both our onshore and offshore operations. Thankfully, we have experienced a relatively small number of COVID-19 cases and have incurred no material operational disruptions beyond our intentional production curtailments.

We are prepared to maintain our current work model for as long as necessary. Since the onset of the pandemic, we have been listening and responding to the specific needs of the communities in which we work and live. Apache has donated PPE and critical medical equipment to hospitals and first responders, as well as, supporting food banks, long distance learning initiatives and shelters for women and children. From an operational and financial perspective, during the second quarter, we executed our planned activity reductions on schedule and delivered upstream capex well below guidance of $230 million.

For the full year, we are now tracking toward the lower end of our capital guidance range of $1 billion to $1.2 billion. The majority of our organizational redesign has been implemented, achieving combined run rate LOE and overhead savings of more than $300 million as planned. Net of severance and restructuring costs, actual cash savings realized in 2020 are estimated to be approximately $225 million. Through these and other actions, we have reduced our free cash flow breakeven oil price to be around $30 per barrel on a forward-looking basis.

This allows us to protect our current financial position and enables positive free cash flow in the current price environment. And in Block 58, offshore Suriname, during the second quarter, we submitted a plan of appraisal for our first discovery mockup, announced our second discovery at Sapakara and spudded our third exploration well, Kwaskwasi, the results of which we announced yesterday in conjunction with our earnings release. We are thrilled with the results from the Kwaskwasi-1 exploration well. This is the best well we've drilled in the basin to date with the highest net pay and the best quality reservoirs.

While we have a lot more work to do, a discovery of this quality and magnitude merits a pace of evaluation that enables the option of accelerated first production. Following Kwaskwasi, the Noble Sam Croft drillship will move to the fourth well in our 2020 exploration program, Keskesi. After which, Apache will transition operatorship of the block to our partner, Total. Turning now to the curtailment program.

We have returned our North Sea and Alpine High volumes to production, along with a portion of curtailed oil volumes in the Permian. We anticipate that several thousand barrels of higher cost Permian oil production may remain offline for the rest of 2020. Apache is currently running one exploratory rig in Suriname, five rigs in Egypt, and one floating rig and one platform rig in the North Sea. We intend to maintain this activity set for the remainder of the year if commodity prices do not deteriorate significantly.

At this time, in the Permian Basin, we have no drilling or completions activity and no plans to complete our DUCs for the remainder of the year. As we look at the second half of 2020 into the long term, our key objectives remain unchanged despite the extreme price volatility. We will budget conservatively and direct free cash flow on a priority basis to debt reduction, maintain a balanced and diversified portfolio, and prioritize investment for long-term returns over production growth. We have spoken frequently about our priority ranking for capital deployment within the portfolio, and our thoughts on this are worth reiterating.

At the top of the list is Suriname, which will continue to receive priority funding for both exploration and appraisal activity. Under the terms of our joint venture, the incremental cost to Apache associated with appraisal, and ultimately, development should be very manageable. Our second priority is Egypt, where the PSC structure offers more stable returns in relatively low and more volatile oil price environments. Following that, we should look to complete our DUCs in the Permian Basin and resume drilling with a second platform rig in the North Sea.

And finally, while our Permian operations have been delivering highly competitive economics within the basin, other areas within our portfolio offer more attractive investment options in a capital-constrained environment. Therefore, we don't envision returning rigs to the Permian Basin unless oil prices recover well into the $50s. We have always stated that our best hedge against price volatility is prudent and responsive management of the capital program. To the extent oil prices are sustained at/or below $50 per barrel WTI, we do not anticipate a material change in our annual capital budget from the current rate of around $1 billion.

For oil prices significantly below $50, capital spending is more likely to be reduced from the $1 billion mark. If oil prices rise above $50, we will be very measured with our capital increases, and the first column, that incremental free cash flow, will be returned to investors initially with debt reduction. I'd like to close by summarizing Apache's approach to managing the unprecedented challenges thus far in 2020. We implemented successful COVID-19 operating protocols and work-from-home procedures, and helped ease the burden of the pandemic on our host communities in numerous ways.

We responded to the sudden price drop by quickly limiting cash outflows to protect our balance sheet. This included a significant reduction in capital, dividends and overhead, and operating costs. These, along with other actions, have enabled us to lower our free cash flow breakeven such that we now have good visibility to debt reduction. Operationally, we have preserved optionality to reactivate our curtailed production, development programs and other investment opportunities when appropriate.

And we have successfully advanced our exploration program in Suriname. Through these and other actions, particularly the successful implementation of our corporate redesign, we entered the second half of 2020 a very focused and streamlined organization. The benefits of our diversified portfolio are more evident now than ever as we flex capital toward our international operations. Together, with our world-class position in Suriname, Apache offers a truly differentiated investment opportunity within an industry that has come under tremendous pressure.

I would like to again thank all of the Apache employees for their commitment, resilience, hard work and flexibility as we successfully navigate these challenging times. And with that, I will turn the call over to Steve Riney.

Steve Riney -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, John. On today's call, I will review second-quarter 2020 results, discuss progress on our cost-saving initiatives and provide commentary on our free cash flow outlook, and debt management efforts. As noted in our news release issued yesterday, under generally accepted accounting principles, Apache reported a second-quarter 2020 consolidated net loss of $386 million or $1.02 per diluted common share. These results include items that are outside of core earnings, the most significant of which are an unrealized loss on derivatives, a tax valuation allowance and asset impairments, partially offset by a gain on the repurchase of outstanding debt.

Excluding these and other smaller items, the adjusted loss was $281 million or $0.74 per share. Adjusted production decreased 7% from the prior quarter, primarily driven by shut-ins and production curtailments of approximately 19,000 BOEs per day at Alpine High. And production curtailments of 10,000 BOEs per day in the North Sea and 6,000 BOEs per day for other operations in the Permian. Partially offsetting this was increased Egypt cost recovery volumes due to the lower oil prices in the quarter.

Apache's second-quarter average realized price on a BOE basis fell 39% from the prior quarter, with oil and NGL prices down materially. International oil price realizations were notably weak as actual price realizations dislocated from the published benchmark price. This discount was driven by unprecedented excess supply on the market resulting in unusual competitive pricing dynamics. Consequently, second-quarter international oil realizations averaged around $5.50 per barrel below the benchmark, which we do not customarily experience.

So far, in the third quarter, Brent pricing has reconnected with the benchmark, and we do not currently anticipate this changing. Turning now to our cost savings initiatives. We entered 2020 with a goal of reducing annualized overhead and LOE costs by at least $150 million. With the price downturn in March, we took quick action to double that goal to at least $300 million.

We have since fully achieved this target and then some. Roughly two-thirds of the targeted savings are coming from overhead reductions and one-third from direct LOE reductions. These are sustainable cost reductions, and they are showing up in multiple places on our financial statements. So let me provide some detail.

Of the roughly $200 million of annualized overhead cash cost reductions, approximately $100 million will show up as reduced capital investment, $20 million will come in the form of reductions in LOE and exploration expense, and approximately $80 million will show up in lower G&A expense. So our underlying G&A expense, which in the recent past typically ran about $100 million per quarter, should now run around $80 million per quarter. During the first quarter of 2020, you will recall we had a nearly $30 million reduction in G&A expense caused by the mark-to-market effect on share-based compensation plans associated with the significant negative movement in our stock price. During the second quarter, this impact partially reversed, generating a $19 million increase in G&A expense.

As a result, second-quarter G&A expense was $94 million. Turning now to LOE. We have eliminated approximately $100 million of direct LOE costs on an annualized basis. In addition to these sustainable LOE reductions, we are also seeing cost reductions associated with production curtailments and deferred workovers, as well as, the deferral of certain other non-essential activities.

While these actions reduce costs in the near term, they are not sustainable and we expect at least a portion of them to return at some point in the future. As we have previously noted, one of our key long-term objectives is debt reduction. Let me share two views on this objective as we look at the second quarter. With respect to long-term debt, we took the opportunity to repurchase bonds at significant discounts when the debt market came under pressure.

In aggregate, during the second quarter, we repurchased $410 million of face-value debt for $263 million, reducing aggregate long-term debt by $147 million. The repurchase debt had an average remaining term of approximately 20 years and, at the purchase price, had an average yield of 9%, making this a very attractive investment. Another view of debt is through the borrowings on our revolver. Between the negative cash flow impacts of the extremely low price environment and the $263 million of bond repurchases, we ended the quarter with $565 million outstanding on the revolver.

With an improving second half price outlook, combined with lower capital investment and reduced operating and overhead costs, we anticipate generating positive free cash flow in the second half and using it to reduce borrowings on the revolver. Before wrapping up, I'd like to note that we did issue third-quarter guidance yesterday in our financial and operational supplement on our website, which covers our outlook for capital investment and production, as well as, a number of expense items. In summary, although it was a very challenging quarter from a price and cash flows perspective, we took significant actions to reduce our cost structure, protect the balance sheet and retain asset value for the future. To the extent WTI oil prices remain above $30 per barrel, we look forward to generating free cash flow in the second half of 2020 and using that to reduce leverage.

And with that, I will turn the call over to the operator for Q&A.

Questions & Answers:


Operator

[Operator instructions] Our first question comes from Doug Leggate with Bank of America.

Doug Leggate -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Sorry, guys, I was on mute. I couldn't get my mute button to go off. I apologize. Good morning, everyone.

John, this is also a great day for your stock. And congratulations on the latest discovery in Suriname. I'm obviously going to focus my two questions on that, if I may. So my first one is your comment in the press release about this deserves perhaps the option of an accelerated first production.

My question is, what influence does Apache have over that? How aligned is Total? And what are the parameters within the contract that could get you to that? And I guess what I'm really aiming for is, would you consider an early production system here? And I've got a follow-up.

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Well, Doug, thank you, first of all. I think in the end, it's just going to boil down to the quality of the well and the rock and the play. When you step back and look, Block 58, 1.4 million acres. To put it in perspective, it's over 250 Gulf of Mexico blocks.

We've now drilled three wells in three different fairways. And I'll use that context to help you understand why you can have three very large fairways. We're going to be moving to another one with Keskesi once we conclude operations. The comments in the press release kind of speak for themselves.

With where we sit, I think that our partner is also excited. We've done some things in the Campanian with this well. We gained -- collected some extra data. We're doing some things with an exploration well that you typically would not do, which helps us gain some insight into what we've got.

And so we'll -- in the end, it's going to boil down to us being aligned with our partner. And of course, aligned with the Staatsolie and the government of Suriname in terms of the pace, and moving it forward. But I think in the end, it's going to be the quality of the rock and the resource potential that's going to drive that.

Doug Leggate -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Pardon my follow-up on this -- that question, John, but Total just don't seem to be communicating the same level of urgency, I guess, as your comment in the press release. So I just wonder if you could help us bridge the gap between the two, given the --

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Well, I think what all my comment says is that it's of a quality that would work at an accelerated pace. I think in their press release today, they stated that there will be an appraisal and exploration program early next year to appraise our discovery. So I'll just leave it at that.

Doug Leggate -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

OK. My follow-up is also on Kwaskwasi, and it's related to the deeper Santonian. Obviously, you did not disclose anything other than hydrocarbon reservoir. The last thing we heard of that expression, it was gas condensate at Haimara and Guyana.

So I'm just wondering if you can address some concerns out there as to what the hydrocarbon type is? Why you didn't release APIs? What do you know about scale? And just any other ways you can characterize that deeper horizon? And I'll leave it there. Thank you.

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Yes, the thing I'll say is if you look at the first two wells, the Santonian has been more oily than the Campanian. So I will tell you, everything looks good here. We are in a position because we had done some additional work in the upper zones and set pipe in the Campanian, that we had a lot of that -- all that information. There is still more that we are collecting here, but we felt like we were at a position with the materiality that we should talk about it.

I'll let Dave give a little more color on the Santonian there.

Dave Pursell -- Executive Vice President, Development

Yes. Thanks, John. So Doug, John talked about some additional testing in the Campanian. So it's important from a timing perspective.

We did some additional deeper investigation-type testing. And it does two things for us. It gives us a composite flow capacity and allows us to see a little deeper in the reservoir than conventional fluid testing allows. So we've -- we're through the Santonian.

We have the conventional wireline logs collected. Based on our experience with the mud logging and the open-hole wireline logging on Maka, Sapakara, and the Campanian in this well, we feel confident that we have oil in significant portion of the Santonian. So we felt like we were fine with releasing. We still have work to do.

We still have to collect fluids and pressures. We have core data to collect and we anticipate doing some of the additional deeper investigation testing on this interval. So I wouldn't read too much into the fact that we don't have -- we didn't release API gravities because we don't have those collected yet.

Doug Leggate -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

I understand. Look, guys, congrats again and I look forward to the next topic. Thanks.

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from Mike Scialla, Stifel.

Mike Scialla -- Stifel Financial Corp. -- Analyst

Yes. Good morning, everybody, and congratulations as well. I was curious on Kwaskwasi, the results there, how those compared to expectations. Was there any indication from your seismic data that this well would have more than double the net pay of the other 2?

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Yeah, Mike. First of all, thank you. I mean, when you look at the seismic, we knew Kwaskwasi was going to be a prolific fairway as the other two were. It boils down a little bit about the depositional environment.

I mean, once again, we're in such a large area and these wells are so far apart that you have to drill them to learn that. So I mean, clearly, it exceeded what would have been pre-drill. But we knew there was that kind of potential. And there is -- the exciting thing about it is is we've got a lot more of this block to explore.

But clearly, very excited about it.

Mike Scialla -- Stifel Financial Corp. -- Analyst

Good. And then, Stephen, you mentioned about prioritizing -- that you want to improve the balance sheet, obviously. I was wondering how you would prioritize options there? Is it really just using free cash flow to pay down debt or any other options you've considered at this point?

Steve Riney -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes. Mike, I think in a more typical environment, you'd see companies selling assets to strengthen the balance sheet to pay down debt. And I think it's clear that in the price environment we're in right now, that just doesn't work. And so for the most part, it is going to be the old-fashioned way of retaining free cash flow, spending a little bit less on capital, which we all ought to be doing.

And that just means it will take some time to get the balance sheet in order unless there's a price spike or some -- there will be the occasional one-off opportunities where you have a chance to do something to reduce debt, similar to what we did in the second quarter with repurchasing some debt at a discount. And we'll take advantage of those from time to time, but I do believe this is just a simple case of prioritizing retaining free cash flow and using it to pay down debt instead of spending it on capital to maybe achieve a different type of growth profile. Clearly, for us, strengthening the balance sheet is going to be much more important than growing production volume. And I think we're now approaching a period where we're going to be able to do that.

We've -- as John mentioned in his prepared remarks, we're now capable of running free cash flow neutral at $30 WTI on a point-forward basis for the rest of this year with the capex budget where it is, with the dividend cut, the overhead cuts, the LOE cuts, some of the other things that we've done. We have no intention of raising the capital budget for this year. And that's what we'll do. And to the extent that oil price exceeds $30 WTI, we'll use any excess free cash flow that that generates to reduce debt.

Mike Scialla -- Stifel Financial Corp. -- Analyst

Very good. Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from Bob Brackett with Bernstein Research.

Bob Brackett -- Bernstein Research -- Analyst

Hi, good morning. I'm intrigued a bit by the comments around doing some things with an exploration well that you wouldn't typically do in the deeper investigation-type testing. Are you performing a mini drill stem test out there? And are there any rates to report?

Dave Pursell -- Executive Vice President, Development

Yes. Bob, this is Dave Pursell. Good try. We -- it's something that would be between -- if you want to call them mini drill stem test, that would be a reasonable characterization.

It's something between a full drill stem test and what you typically would get from a fluid sampling operation. So again, what we're getting from this is composite flow capacity of a -- instead of a point permeability measurement from a core sample, we're getting a composite flow capacity. And then another benefit is some deeper investigation for pressures into the reservoir. So we're still evaluating that data, but that's what we're doing.

And again, we anticipate performing those tests in the Santonian as well.

Bob Brackett -- Bernstein Research -- Analyst

OK. Yes. That's clear. Another question.

Given the thickness of this recent discovery, what drove the sequencing of the overall exploration campaign? And what might that tell us about the fourth well?

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

I mean, I think when you step back and look, as we said, we had multiple fairways. I think there -- and you look at the size and think about this, it's equivalent 250 Gulf from Mexico blocks. So moving across there. A lot of it has to do just with how the -- how things were deposited.

We've got, you know, we've got a full another fairway that we will be testing. So we're anxious to move over and see. But everything looks really good on the seismic. So we're anxious to move on to Keskesi after Kwaskwasi.

Bob Brackett -- Bernstein Research -- Analyst

I appreciate it.

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from Charles Meade with Johnson Rice.

Charles Meade -- Johnson Rice -- Analyst

Good morning, John, to you and your whole team there.

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Good morning, Charles.

Charles Meade -- Johnson Rice -- Analyst

I'm asking another question on the relief, the headline that everyone is focused on, the thickness of the pad that you guys found with this well. I'm curious, is there anything going on with either the dip of these sort of formations or perhaps structurally that's some kind of mitigating factor for that thickness you announced? Or is this more the case where you guys just really found a thick stack of pancakes here?

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

I would just say it's really more depositionally. There's nothing tricky with it. It's -- geology is pretty level out here, so it's very exciting. I think it just goes to the quality in the Cretaceous here, both with the Campanian and the Santonian.

So as we've said, there are other play types that we are still looking forward to testing. The Turonian is a target we had at Maka. There's more to do. We've really -- with the Campanian and Santonian, we're really only fully starting to evaluate two of the play types.

We think there's seven or eight, so there's multiple targets. So a lot of exploration to do. And obviously, we got a lot of appraisal work to do on these first three discoveries.

Charles Meade -- Johnson Rice -- Analyst

Well, John, you anticipated my follow-up question on the Turonian because I remember back, you guys certainly have plenty to say grace over here, but going back to that first well, the Maka well, that you guys had some encouragement with the Turonian. So does -- is that something that we should anticipate you guys are going to -- are you going to maybe test with your next well? Or is that something that's where you found enough in the Campanian and Santonian that that's kind of receded into '21 or beyond?

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Well, maybe just the timing of how we -- if you look, Charles, we're really still moving across one direction across this block with these first four wells. We haven't even started to move the other direction, which would be north and south. So we're going to -- Keskesi obviously moved to the other side of Sapakara. So we'll talk about that with the future exploration wells.

Charles Meade -- Johnson Rice -- Analyst

Got it. Thanks for the color, John.

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from Jeanine Wai with Barclays.

Jeanine Wai -- Barclays Investment Bank -- Analyst

Hi. Good morning, everyone.

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Good morning.

Jeanine Wai -- Barclays Investment Bank -- Analyst

Good morning. I've got two questions on Suriname [Inaudible]. But I guess my first question is just on the reservoir quality. And the second is just on the accelerated first production commentary.

So based on what you've seen so far from the Kwaskwasi well, can you provide a little more color on what makes the reservoir one of the best-quality reservoirs that you've ever seen in the basins? And is it primarily just the net feet of pay? Or are there other characteristics that you can elaborate on?

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

I'd just say, in general, it's better. It's better if you look at the, one, net feet of pay both in the Santonian and in the Campanian are greater than we had in the first two wells combined. So that's one element. But I'll also tell you the quality looks fantastic.

So at this point, that's all we're going to say about it.

Jeanine Wai -- Barclays Investment Bank -- Analyst

OK. I can appreciate that. And then my follow-up question. In terms of the potential for accelerated first production, relative to the current plan, which to our understanding, I think, was something around four development wells and four exploration wells a year.

Is the thought that maybe you could shift some exploration capex, development capex? Or do you envision doing more than the four plus four wells? I know it's still early, but I'm also not sure if there's anything in the PSC that allows for some timing flexibility.

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Yes. I mean, what I would say is I don't know where the four appraisal or four development wells came from. We're drilling four exploration wells this year. Under the terms of our joint venture, us and our partner can each propose four exploration wells, so there could be eight going forward.

What we've stated is there will be both an appraisal program and an exploration program in '21, and we plan to try to get started as early as we can. So clearly, the comment is, with what we've got and some of the things we're doing here, this is of a quality and magnitude that it would warrant trying to look at, could it be accelerated is all we're saying.

Jeanine Wai -- Barclays Investment Bank -- Analyst

OK. Good. Thank you very much.

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from John Freeman with Raymond James.

John Freeman -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Hi, guys.

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Good morning, John.

John Freeman -- Raymond James -- Analyst

So I wanted to focus on the capital allocation. You have been pretty clear about the balance sheet being the first priority and then kind of Suriname, Egypt, North Sea, Permian sort of that order. And the slide that you have got in your presentation sort of lays it out at different kind of price tags, so that the capital gets allocated. And John, you were very clear in your prepared remarks that it's going to take an oil price well over $50 to put a rig back to work in the Permian.

But I guess I'm curious, with sort of where the current strip is, which is just barely above $40, it's kind of right on the line there between if you do anything in the North Sea, if you would potentially draw down DUCs in the Permian, and I guess what I'm going toward is, with this continued success in Suriname and everything you want to do there and what's -- and the continued run in Egypt, if maybe the gap has sort of widened between those two assets versus the other two where maybe at a low price that's just barely above $40, it maybe doesn't make sense maybe to put the capital at those last two relative to the others. Like is there a part of the pie now getting bigger, I guess?

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Yes. John, a really good question. I think the first thing I would say is, in my prepared remarks, I laid out, too, that with where the strip is today, capex probably comes down for a whole in '21. And that's just because of how we prioritize things.

As it relates to the pie, Suriname, the way we structured our joint venture, it really doesn't change how much capital we have to put into Suriname. So clearly, it's just going to boil down to how much capital do we want to spend. And with where the strip sits today, I really think that the capex budget is going to come down because we're going to want to generate some free cash flow that can go toward reducing our debt.

John Freeman -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Great. And then just the last question for me. With this latest result in Suriname and everything you're doing there, just internally relative to how you were thinking about the mix of kind of appraisal and exploration in Suriname next year, does this change that mix? I'm not telling you to give me the actual breakdown because you haven't probably determined that yet, but just does it change your thought process of how that mix would have been prior to this result?

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

It really doesn't because, I mean, we've been -- I think we've -- we understand the potential there. Clearly, there's things we're going to want to try to move forward on an accelerated pace, if we can, but we also have a very large block that we have to continue to explore. And so we're going to want to continue exploring. I think the exploration plays pace will be pretty similar to what it is today.

And then it will just be a function of what we need to do on the appraisal side with our partner.

John Freeman -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Thanks, John. Appreciate it and congrats.

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from Gail Nicholson with Stephens.

Gail Nicholson -- Stephens Inc. -- Analyst

Good morning. Congratulations on another great Suriname well.

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Thanks, Gail, and good morning to you.

Gail Nicholson -- Stephens Inc. -- Analyst

When you guys look at Egypt activity in the second half of the year, could you just talk about any exploration targets that are you guys -- you guys are looking for to tackling?

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

I mean, Gail, we're -- we continue to work Egypt hard. And we've shot a big -- a very large 3D there. We continue to high-grade our inventory. We do have some interesting things that are on the schedule that we're anxious to drill some stratigraphic targets.

And at some point, if they work like we think they could work, then there will be some things to talk about.

Gail Nicholson -- Stephens Inc. -- Analyst

Great. And then, Steve, in the first-quarter call, you talked about a cash flow sensitivity, that for every dollar move in oil was in the rough -- roughly in the $50 million to $60 million range. Is that still a good proxy to use? Or has that improved?

Steve Riney -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

No, that's still a pretty good proxy to use for every dollar around -- probably close to the $60.

Gail Nicholson -- Stephens Inc. -- Analyst

Right. Thank you.

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Thank you, Gail.

Operator

Our next question comes from Arun Jayaram, JP Morgan Chase.

Arun Jayaram -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Yeah. Good morning. John, I was wondering if you could maybe -- maybe as a follow-up to John's question, just give us some thoughts on your plans to delineate the three discoveries you've announced thus far. And thoughts on potentially bringing in additional drilling rig to the theater, call it, next year or beyond.

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Yeah. Arun, I'll just say we have a kind of a procedure through the concessions that we follow. And we have submitted the appraisal plan for Maka. We are working on the appraisal plan for Sapakara.

There will be one that follows Kwaskwasi, and clearly, there's going to be an appraisal program that starts in early '21. And at this point, that's all I'm at liberty to really say, but we look forward to getting to -- get after it.

Arun Jayaram -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Great. Great. And just a follow-up regarding Egypt. You guys have talked about the new licensing areas.

I was wondering if you guys have processed seismic on your legacy position as well, and perhaps a little bit more detail on when you plan to test the stratigraphic trap play concept that I think you've identified in the Ptah and Berenice discoveries back in 2014.

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Yeah. I mean, it's -- really it's Ptah and Berenice that really kicked off this whole effort. Prior to drilling those wells, we'd shot new 3D in 2013. They were on our legacy acreage position called offset.

It really opened our eyes to the fact that we needed to start looking stratigraphically, not just structurally in Egypt. We had found some things that were stratigraphic in nature through some of the wells that we had drilled in the past. But it really had us design the 3D, which we've been shooting and, obviously, we picked up new acreage and are shooting that over a lot of our old legacy as well. So a lot of prospectivity.

We've got some wells that we're pretty excited to drill. And the nice thing about those is their vertical. They're onshore and there are the other wells we're drilling. So we can do them pretty quickly.

It's just a matter of working through all the details and prioritizing. The rig count there, we've also reduced. We're currently at 5. We'd like to spend more there if we could, so.

Arun Jayaram -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Great. Thanks a lot.

Operator

Our next question comes from Scott Hanold with RBC Capital Markets.

Scott Hanold -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

Yeah, thanks. On Suriname, a great discovery, and congratulations, by the way. Does that discovery really say anything about the positioning or your read of the seismic that you have over some of the other fairways like the Maka, for example, i.e., is there the chance that you guys now see the opportunity for like thicker structures in other places? Is there anything unique that you found with that well?

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Yeah. I mean, Scott, good question. I mean, I think what you're learning too and is what we're learning, we've still got work to do. We'll continue to reprocess seismic.

There are some carbonates and some things that make it harder. We're fairly deep here, as you saw with the TD that we announced in this well. So we're going to continue to work that. I mean, it's -- I think what it really points out is just the vast size as you move from these first three wells between them and the size of the block.

So we're going to get smarter with the reprocessing to better understand everything and put it all together. But the good news is we've got a massive hydrocarbon system. It's working, it's oil, and we've got good reservoir in the Santonian and in the Campanian. So we'll learn more as we go and as we really start to drill wells.

We've just drilled three. So with -- we'll learn more as we go.

Scott Hanold -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

And effectively, as far as Keskesi goes in terms of where that was positioned, is there any chance that shifts a little bit as you continue to get closer to that? Or is that -- is the location pretty well set at this point?

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

No. I mean, we -- as we stated, we had, I think, nine wells permitted. We knew we would drill three for sure, likely the fourth was the option we exercised. So there were -- we've got five other locations out there that were picked.

Could be appraisal, could be others, so other exploration targets. But we've stick in with where the original wells were on most of these. I mean, it's Sapakara, we moved over one. So as you go and you learn more, you set yourself up to try to get smarter.

But it's going to take some more work with the seismic to really change the -- some of the interpretation that we did on the front end.

Scott Hanold -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

Understood. Appreciate it. Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from Brian Singer with Goldman Sachs.

Brian Singer -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Thank you, and good morning.

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Good morning, Brian.

Brian Singer -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Sticking with -- sticking with Suriname, how many combined appraisal wells at the three discoveries do you think are needed between moving forward with the codified development plan? And when you think about the appraisal plus the time to get to FID and any government approvals, what's the realistic timing for when we could see early production start-up and a realistic timing if we see more normal -- normal production start-up?

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Well, I mean, I'd say that, number one, we'll determine the number of appraisal wells that we need through the program. So -- and we're working on that. So I really don't have anything to say other than there's going to be a program and obviously, we've got three discoveries to appraise, and there will be contingency wells as we work through those appraisal programs that you'll have with those. Time line, we said normal process, you're probably in the four to five range in terms of years.

Obviously, there's -- there are ways that that could be accelerated, but I'm not ready to comment on anything at this point in terms of putting anything out there. I mean, we're -- it's all fresh. We've got the log. We're working through this with our partner.

We're working on right now the Sapakara appraisal plan. And then we're going to get after the Kwaskwasi appraisal plan following that pretty quickly, so.

Brian Singer -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Great. And then my follow-up is with regard to gas condensate. As you get more data on the gas condensate potential, how are you and your partner considering the potential, if at all, for gas condensate development and economics? And is there any scale benefits from discoveries that you've made, as well as, in the Stabroek block of Guyana for a larger industry partnership?

Dave Pursell -- Executive Vice President, Development

Yes, Brian, this is Dave Pursell. I think it's premature to go down any details on that. But the way I think you could think about it is the oil is going to drive the initial development here. And then gas or gas condensate development is beyond that, kind of a Phase 2, if you will.

And obviously, there'd be some scale benefit in the basin if that were -- were an option. But we're -- there's a long fairway between here and that determination.

Brian Singer -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Makes sense. Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from Richard Tullis with Capital One Securities.

Richard Tullis -- Capital One Securities -- Analyst

Hey. Thanks. Good morning and, John, congratulations on the big discovery. Two quick questions.

With no plans to resume domestic activity until oil prices are considerably higher, what are your current views on potentially monetizing any of the U.S. assets at this point?

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

I mean, I'd just say with the portfolio, we're always working the portfolio. We're always looking at how we improve. When we look at our acreage positions out in the Permian specifically, the good news is we don't have a lot of wells. We have to drill the whole acreage.

In fact, we're -- mostly everything is HBP. So we've been looking at working swaps and things to improve our lateral fit -- in terms of drillable lateral feet. And then I mean, it's -- we're always watching and looking and evaluating the portfolio. I'll just say what we typically do is come back and talk to the market after we've done things rather than just setting out expectations or anything on the front end.

Richard Tullis -- Capital One Securities -- Analyst

All right. Thank you. And then just lastly, I know we've been provided a good bit of information on the thickness of the three discoveries. Any initial thoughts on the aerial extent of any of the three discoveries at this point?

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Thoughts are that -- I mean, it's where -- they're very sizable, but we haven't given any color. And we haven't started to put any acreage size on any of these at this point. And I think it's premature, Rick. It's something we'd come back with after we've done the appraisal programs.

Richard Tullis -- Capital One Securities -- Analyst

OK. That's all for me. Thank you.

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from Neal Dingmann with SunTrust.

Neal Dingmann -- SunTrust Robinson Humphrey -- Analyst

John or Steve, my question is just wondering, with the pace of next year's appraisal plan at Suriname, would that have any impact on your decisions on domestic or international play spending?

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

In the way we structured our joint venture, we've kind of got everything worked in and planned around. I mean, that was the main reason we held on to 100% of this block and really farm down 50% because we are really setting ourselves up for success because we believe there was a tremendous amount of potential and thought very likely we would find ourselves in this position. And so that's how we structured it. So it's really not going to create an incremental capital call that we can't fund at really at any price.

Now you get into second quarter, where we got -- all bets are off, but really in an even sub-$30 world, we will be focused on paying down debt and funding Suriname.

Neal Dingmann -- SunTrust Robinson Humphrey -- Analyst

Got it. And then just last of my -- last question, just on Egypt. I'm just wondering, you mentioned that you'd probably stay the course if pricing stayed around here. Is there -- just kind of wondering if you could talk about any price sensitivity that would cause you to change that?

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

No, Egypt works really well. I mean, and quite frankly, that -- the driver there is how much free cash flow do we think we can spend and invest there. I would like to spend more because we've got a lot of prospectivity there, and it works quite well. So we'll be looking to try to spend more money in Egypt if we possibly can.

Operator

Thank youl. Our next question comes from Leo Mariani with KeyBanc.

Leo Mariani -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Hey. Thanks guys. Just wanted to kind of get a little bit more color around some of the comments you made with respect to capex. I think you guys specifically said that it's $50, that you'd spend at or below the $1 billion as we work your way into next year.

And I just wanted to get a sense, I mean, it seems to me that that level of capital, you're going to see steady production declines in all three of your areas, sort of Egypt, North Sea and then Permian. Just wanted to kind of confirm that with you guys. And then if that is the case, then are you guys just feeling comfortable with that just because of the great initial success in Suriname? Or you just think that the long-term economics in Suriname are going to be so good, you're fine, letting things blow down for a couple of years until this kind of kicks in?

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

No, Leo, I mean, I think the point is we're managing the company for free cash flow and long-term returns. And it's not about production growth. I mean, obviously, we're not spending at a level today that would be maintaining production. We do know from past history that as you go forward with us with our decline rates, some of these conventional assets really start to arrest that decline.

So it would take more in the future, but it's a matter of priorities of how we're managing the company. And I think some of these other assets, some of the things you talked about, they're going to hold up pretty well in -- with underinvestment.

Leo Mariani -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

OK. And I guess just with respect to your third-quarter production guidance here, you guys have the kind of adjusted international production of 135,000 BOE per day and kind of the upstream capex of $190 million. I want to see if you guys could provide those numbers on a kind of fully consolidated basis. So what would those be if we didn't make those kind of downward adjustments for the Egypt noncontrolling interest in midstream and other things?

Steve Riney -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes. Leo, we -- I don't have those numbers to hand. So I'd suggest maybe you call Gary to take a look at the reported volumes. We typically talk about adjusted because those are the ones that have a true economic effect for Apache shareholders, but I understand the desire to know what the reported numbers might be.

So if you want to talk to Gary about that, that would be probably the best source.

Leo Mariani -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

OK. Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from David Deckelbaum with Cowen.

David Deckelbaum -- Cowen and Company -- Analyst

Good morning, guys, and congrats.

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Thank you.

David Deckelbaum -- Cowen and Company -- Analyst

So I'd be curious, you've spoken quite a bit about, obviously, Suriname. You talked about your capital allocation priorities as commodities improve and the emphasis on free cash. There were reports, I guess, earlier in the month or perhaps last month about Apache's potential interest in some other North Sea assets. If we think about Apache just as a portfolio of company now, should we be expecting you to look at opportunistic acquisitions that would increase your free cash per share scale? Or just given the immense resource that might be in front of you, would that be something that would be off the table right now?

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

No. I would just say that, number one, we typically, as a rule, don't comment on rumors and with the -- as we think about portfolio and changes, we typically talk about them after we've done things, right? So if you look at us today, we've always believed in our portfolio. We've believed in diversity. We think we've got strong international assets.

We maintained those at a time when there was push to try to move to more of a pure-play model. And so we've always maintained the balance. We believe in having an exposure to all the commodities and multiple strong legs to the stool that keeps it strong, so.

David Deckelbaum -- Cowen and Company -- Analyst

Appreciate that. And then just the last one for me is you talked about priorities in accelerating appraisal and potentially development, particularly in Block 58. How do you feel now? Or how are you thinking now about exploring in some of the other blocks, namely 53? And if there were some leases that opened up toward the end of the year in more of that southern extension in the basin, would we expect Apache to be present in those?

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Yeah. I mean, when you look at 58, it's a lot to say grace over for us. We're obviously -- it was important to us to structure our joint venture where we could maintain 50% of the profit oil. We're thrilled to have Block 53.

I think directionally, with the way things are moving, it bodes well for 53. So at this point, we've got quite a bit to say grace over in that part of the world, but.

David Deckelbaum -- Cowen and Company -- Analyst

Fair enough. Thank you, guys. Congrats.

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from David Heikkinen with Heikkinen Energy.

David Heikkinen -- Heikkinen Energy -- Analyst

Good morning, and thanks for taking my question, and congratulations on the success in Suriname. Kind of triggered some memories of many DSTs that look for perm, really poor pressure and then boundaries. With that thickness, can you talk about how many DSTs you're running? What are you thinking about as far as detecting boundaries? And are there any analogies that in other basins or the Gulf of Mexico that you could point us to to think about what those results will be as they come in?

Dave Pursell -- Executive Vice President, Development

Yes, Dave. This is Dave Pursell. Good -- thanks for the question. Yes, when I think about a mini DST, the -- probably the most important piece of information, maybe because it's a mini DST, it's the composite flow capacity.

So we're getting that aggregate kind of near wellbore perm across a thicker interval. The deeper reservoir investigation is an added benefit, but we still -- you're still not getting out as far as you would in a true conventional drill stem test. So what this is going to let? And the number of tests we're going to perform is dependent on a lot of factors, on thickness and a number of things. But what the results are really going to allow us to do is be able to be more thoughtful in the appraisal program as we come in and design more traditional drill stem test.

And so it's a really good piece of information that's going to, again, make us smarter during appraisal.

David Heikkinen -- Heikkinen Energy -- Analyst

Yeah. So really, near wellbore probably won't get enough distance to see any boundaries. And that's really setting up for your future DSTs, not anything more than that --

Dave Pursell -- Executive Vice President, Development

Yes, that's probably the -- that's the way to characterize it.

David Heikkinen -- Heikkinen Energy -- Analyst

That's helpful. OK. Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from Paul Cheng with Scotiabank.

Paul Cheng -- Scotiabank -- Analyst

Thank you. Good morning. Two quick questions. One, in Suriname, the discovery seems to be closing up, you should be able to extend the horizontal well and tie it back into one production pop.

Is that what you intend to do or that the reserve is, it seems like, big enough that you may -- any way that you use maybe two FPSO to develop it?

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Yeah. Paul, it's just early. I mean, clearly, the benefit of having these fairways and things is you're going to have all sorts of options. The key is having the resource, oil, and as you work through that, and that's some of the stuff that will go into the planning of how we appraise, and ultimately, make those decisions.

But there's a lot of optionality to how you do it.

Paul Cheng -- Scotiabank -- Analyst

And -- OK. And last question that -- you sort of answered it before, but let me try another way to ask. In Permian, if we're looking at -- given the success in Suriname, you will be extremely busy in the second half of this decade and probably have very good growth. And so when we're looking at something like in your Permian asset, do you consider it still a long-term core portfolio? Or that is not really considered as a long-term core portfolio from what you can see today?

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

No. I mean, we like our assets in the Permian. I think we've always believed it was a key pillar. I think what -- in this price environment today, we've just got places that are going to get capital before that's going to get it.

And I'll just -- I'll leave it at that.

Paul Cheng -- Scotiabank -- Analyst

OK. Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from Jeffrey Campbell with Tuohy Brothers.

Jeffrey Campbell -- Tuohy Brothers -- Analyst

Good morning, and congratulations. I'll jump in on the Suriname success, so congratulations. Real quick question there. I just wanted to confirm who will operate the upcoming fourth exploration well?

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Apache will operate the Keskesi well. After that well is when we've already started transitioning with our partner, Total. And I will say we chose the right partner for a lot of reasons and we're excited to continue working with them, and let them take the reins as operator.

Jeffrey Campbell -- Tuohy Brothers -- Analyst

Right. Well, being a little superstitious. I wouldn't mind seeing you guys drill one more well. So I'm glad to hear that.

The other quick question was just how many Permian DUCs do you actually have right now in the queue?

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Permian DUCs, you got that.

Dave Pursell -- Executive Vice President, Development

Yes, it's about 50 outside of Alpine High.

Jeffrey Campbell -- Tuohy Brothers -- Analyst

OK. Great. Thank you.

Operator

And I'm not showing any further questions at this time. I'd like to turn the call back over to John for any closing remarks.

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Thank you, operator. And thank you to everyone that has dialed in today. To close the call, I'd like to leave you with three key takeaways: First, Apache has responded quickly and aggressively to the volatile price environment thus far in 2020. We are exceeding our cost and capital reduction goals, and we'll continue to relentlessly work these initiatives.

Second, we are laser-focused on free cash flow generation, debt reduction, and investing for long-term returns, not production growth. And lastly, we have a differentiated portfolio that offers attractive investment options in this volatile oil price environment. The long-term future of that portfolio is underpinned by Suriname, where our success rate thus far indicates a very large, high-quality oil resource. We look forward to sharing our progress as we continue to appraise our discoveries and explore for additional oil.

And with that, we will conclude the call.

Operator

[Operator signoff]

Duration: 64 minutes

Call participants:

Gary Clark -- Vice President, Investor Relations

John Christmann -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Steve Riney -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Doug Leggate -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Dave Pursell -- Executive Vice President, Development

Mike Scialla -- Stifel Financial Corp. -- Analyst

Bob Brackett -- Bernstein Research -- Analyst

Charles Meade -- Johnson Rice -- Analyst

Jeanine Wai -- Barclays Investment Bank -- Analyst

John Freeman -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Gail Nicholson -- Stephens Inc. -- Analyst

Arun Jayaram -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Scott Hanold -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

Brian Singer -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Richard Tullis -- Capital One Securities -- Analyst

Neal Dingmann -- SunTrust Robinson Humphrey -- Analyst

Leo Mariani -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

David Deckelbaum -- Cowen and Company -- Analyst

David Heikkinen -- Heikkinen Energy -- Analyst

Paul Cheng -- Scotiabank -- Analyst

Jeffrey Campbell -- Tuohy Brothers -- Analyst

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