Apache Northwest will begin drilling the first exploration well in the WA-388-P permit, off the coast of Western Australia, in April 2011.

Apache will drill the well to target the La Rocca prospect in the Intra Mungaroo channel zone.

The well was initially due to be drilled in mid-February, but activity at the well was delayed due to significant cyclone activity in the North West Shelf area.

The WA-388-P permit is situated north of the Pluto, Wheatstone, Gorgon and North West Shelf Project fields, offshore Western Australia.

Under a farm-in agreement signed in 2010, Oilex had farmed out 5.6% of its 14% interest in the permit to Apache.

Apache, as the operator of the WA-388-P permit, will fund 100% of the costs of the first exploration well and, if approved, testing costs up to agreed caps.