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Apache's stock surges 17% on news of Suriname oil discovery

Apache Corp.'s shares rallied at market open Jan. 7, up about 17% on news that the Houston-based producer, along with partner Total SA, made a significant oil discovery at the Maka Central-1 well offshore Suriname on Block 58.

At the opening bell at 9:30 a.m. ET, Apache shares were up $4.29, or 16.73%, to $29.93 per share. By comparison, the broader S&P 500 was down 0.3% on Jan. 7.

"Continued success on the block, where [Apache] has identified more than 50 prospects within a thermally mature play fairway, could be transformational for a company that has been a laggard since its last major discovery, Alpine High, fell short of expectations amid weak Permian natural gas prices," analysts from Stifel Nicolaus & Co. wrote in a Jan. 7 note to clients.

In early December 2019, Apache's stock price plummeted to an 18-year low after the Houston-based producer said it needed to conduct additional testing to determine if production would be viable at its first exploratory well in Block 58.