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|Stone Energy Corporation Announces Third Quarter 2011 Results|
LAFAYETTE, La., Nov. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --
Stone Energy Corporation (NYSE: SGY) today announced financial and operational results for the third quarter of 2011. Some of the highlights include:
President and Chief Executive Officer David H. Welch stated, "Our strategy is progressing in each of our business units as we have a number of significant projects nearing completion, while others are commencing. We are nearing the objective at our ultra-deep Lighthouse Bayou prospect. Production from our Mary field in West Virginia is scheduled to come on line in November, which should boost Appalachian volumes to 30-40 Mmcfe per day, including liquids. Our first deep water discovery at Pyrenees is due to commence production for the first quarter at a rate of over 60 Mmcfe per day (gross). Production from the LaPosada/La Cantera Deep Gas discovery is expected by the second quarter of 2012. Finally, three wells in our Deep Water portfolio are substantially permitted and poised for drilling in 2012. Production growth in the fourth quarter and in 2012, combined with attractive Gulf Coast oil prices and an undrawn credit facility recently reaffirmed at a $400 million borrowing base, should provide liquidity for the drilling of these attractive projects. Additionally, the proceeds from the pending divestiture of our non-operated working interest at Main Pass 296/311 will be targeted for growth opportunities."
For the third quarter of 2011, Stone reported net income of $51.8 million, or $1.06 per share, on oil and gas revenue of $207.7 million, compared to net income of $19.4 million, or $0.40 per share, on oil and gas revenue of $153.2 million in the third quarter of 2010. Discretionary cash flow totaled $161.2 million during the third quarter of 2011, as compared to $92.5 million during the third quarter of 2010. Please see "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" and the accompanying financial statements for a reconciliation of discretionary cash flow, a non-GAAP financial measure, to net cash flow provided by operating activities.
Net daily production during the third quarter of 2011 averaged 34.2 thousand barrels of oil equivalent (MBoe) per day (205 million cubic feet of gas equivalent (MMcfe) per day), compared with net daily production of 37.8 MBoe (227 MMcfe) per day in the second quarter of 2011, and net daily production of 33.0 MBoe (198 MMcfe) per day in the third quarter of 2010. The gas/oil split for the third quarter of 2011 was approximately 52%/48%.
Prices realized during the third quarter of 2011 averaged $103.51 per barrel of oil and $5.17 per Mcf of natural gas, as compared to the third quarter of 2010 average realized prices of $72.52 per barrel and $5.48 per Mcf. Effective hedging transactions increased the average realized price of natural gas by $0.47 per Mcf in the third quarter of 2011, compared to $0.96 per Mcf in the third quarter of 2010. Effective hedging transactions decreased the average realized price of oil by $2.16 per barrel in the third quarter of 2011, compared to $2.79 per barrel in the third quarter of 2010.
Lease operating expenses during the third quarter of 2011 totaled $47.8 million ($15.21 per Boe or $2.54 per Mcfe), compared to $36.9 million ($12.15 per Boe or $2.03 per Mcfe), in the third quarter of 2010.
Depreciation, depletion and amortization (DD&A) on oil and gas properties for the third quarter of 2011 totaled $63.8 million ($20.30 per Boe or $3.38 per Mcfe), compared to $59.0 million ($19.44 per Boe or $3.24 per Mcfe), in the third quarter of 2010.
Salaries, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses (excluding incentive compensation expense) for the third quarter of 2011 were $7.2 million ($2.28 per Boe or $0.38 per Mcfe) which included $2.6 million in one-time positive adjustments primarily due to an insurance reimbursement, compared to $9.8 million ($3.21 per Boe or $0.54 per Mcfe), in the third quarter of 2010.
The third quarter of 2011 current income tax benefit included $10.6 million of one-time adjustments attributable to prior tax periods, resulting in overpayments. The effective tax rate was not materially impacted as most of the adjustments shifted from current to deferred tax expense, and therefore had minimal impact on net income.
Capital expenditures before acquisitions and capitalized SG&A and interest during the third quarter of 2011 were approximately $162.2 million, which includes $19.0 million of plugging and abandonment expenditures. Additionally, $5.0 million of SG&A expenses and $11.5 million of interest were capitalized during the quarter.
As of September 30, 2011, we had no outstanding borrowings under our bank credit facility and letters of credit totaling $61.1 million had been issued pursuant to the facility. In late October 2011, the bank group reaffirmed the existing borrowing base at $400 million. The borrowing base will not be affected by the pending divestiture of Stone's working interest in Main Pass 296/311.
On October 28, 2011 Stone entered into a definitive agreement to sell its non-operated working interest in the Main Pass 296/311 field to an unrelated third party for approximately $80 million and the assumption by the third party of the associated abandonment obligation. The divestiture will impact current production by approximately 900 boe per day and is expected to close during the fourth quarter. The purchase is subject to preferential rights-to-purchase held by the operator of the properties, and the closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and adjustments. The sale will be accounted for as an adjustment to the full cost pool with no gain or loss recognized.
Business Strategy and Operational Update
Our business strategy is to leverage cash flow generated from existing assets to maintain relatively stable GOM shelf production, profitably grow gas reserves and production in price-advantaged basins such as Appalachia and the Gulf Coast Basin, and profitably grow oil reserves and production in material impact areas such as the deep water GOM and onshore oil.
LaPosada/La Cantera Prospect (Deep Gas). A limited flow test was completed at the LaPosada well. The test results from a 10/64 inch restricted choke indicate the well is expected to produce at a gross daily rate of 20-30 MMcf of gas plus approximately 20 barrels of oil and 36 barrels of natural gas liquids per MMcf of gas. Stone expects to be on production by the second quarter of 2012 and now has an approximate 34.5% working interest in the project after the purchase of a 1.5% working interest from a small partner. The La Cantera #2 well is planned for the second quarter of 2012 and is expected to evaluate the unbooked northern portion of the structure offsetting the initial well. Separately, production from the Deep Gas discovery at South Erath (14% w.i.) is projected to come on line in November at a gross rate of 10-12 MMcfe per day.
Lighthouse Bayou Deep Prospect (Ultra Deep Gas). The Lighthouse Bayou prospect, located in Cameron Parish, is currently at a depth of approximately 24,000 feet and is permitted to drill up to 25,000 feet. Results are expected during the fourth quarter. Stone holds a 25% working interest in the prospect.
Garden Banks 293 - Pyrenees (Deep Water). The project is in its final stages of flow-line and umbilical installation with production expected for the first quarter of 2012 at a gross rate of over 60 MMcfe per day. Stone holds a 30% working interest in Pyrenees.
Mississippi Canyon Block 109/Ship Shoal 113 (Conventional Shelf). Frost Up, the seventh and final well of the platform rig program at Amberjack, is currently being completed with first production anticipated in November. Stone has a 100% working interest in the Amberjack field. The Buzzjet well at Ship Shoal 113 was also successful, with first production expected in November.
Plug & Abandonment Program (Conventional Shelf). Stone has entered into a contract for a Montco 335' lift boat to provide P&A services during 2012. This new vessel was built specifically for P&A operations and should provide cost-saving efficiencies on these P&A projects.
Appalachian Basin (Marcellus Shale Play). In West Virginia, the third-party Caiman pipeline is projected to be tied in during the fourth quarter with volumes from 11 wells in the Mary field. The late December exit rate from Appalachia is projected to be 30-40 MMcfe per day, including liquids. Current projections now call for 25 horizontal wells to be drilled in 2011, utilizing one horizontal rig and one top-hole rig (up from previous guidance of 21-24 wells). Up to 16 wells are expected to be fractured during 2011. Current net production from the Katie area in northeast Pennsylvania and Heather/Buddy area in West Virginia is approximately 15 MMcf per day.
Hatch Point Field - Cane Creek formation (Onshore Oil). Remedial work to dissolve drilling mud blockage was concluded on two of the three Stone wells, with resumption of oil production expected prior to year end. A decision on project development is expected in early 2012. Stone is the operator and has an approximate 75% working interest in the 46,000 acre project (35,000 net).
Eagle Ford shale - Moczygemba #1H (Onshore Oil). This horizontal well was recently put on pump and is flowing approximately 400 Boe per day, after producing at an initial rate of over 800 Boe per day. The drilling of a second well (Jarzembek #1H) began in mid-October and a third well is expected to also be drilled before year end. Stone holds a non-operated 42.5% working interest and approximately 1,600 net acres in this play.
Guidance for the fourth quarter and full year 2011 is shown in the table below. The guidance is subject to all the cautionary statements and limitations described below and under the caption "Forward Looking Statements."
The following table illustrates our derivative positions for 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 as of November 1, 2011:
Stone Energy has planned a conference call for 10:00 a.m. Central Time on Wednesday, November 2, 2011 to discuss the operational and financial results for the third quarter of 2011. Anyone wishing to participate should visit our website at www.StoneEnergy.com for a live web cast or dial 1-877-228-3598 and request the "Stone Energy Call." If you are unable to participate in the original conference call, a replay will be available immediately following the completion of the call on Stone Energy's website. The replay will be available for one month.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
In this press release, we refer to a non-GAAP financial measure we call "discretionary cash flow." Management believes discretionary cash flow is a financial indicator of our company's ability to internally fund capital expenditures and service debt. Management also believes this non-GAAP financial measure of cash flow is useful information to investors because it is widely used by professional research analysts in the valuation, comparison, rating and investment recommendations of companies in the oil and gas exploration and production industry. Discretionary cash flow should not be considered an alternative to net cash provided by operating activities or net income, as defined by GAAP. Please see the "Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measure" for a reconciliation of discretionary cash flow to cash flow provided by operating activities.
Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking and are based upon Stone's current belief as to the outcome and timing of future events. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, that address activities that Stone plans, expects, believes, projects, estimates or anticipates will, should or may occur in the future, including future production of oil and gas, future capital expenditures and drilling of wells and future financial or operating results are forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements herein include the timing and extent of changes in commodity prices for oil and gas, operating risks, liquidity risks, political and regulatory developments and legislation, including developments and legislation relating to our operations in the Gulf of Mexico and Appalachia, and other risk factors and known trends and uncertainties as described in Stone's Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q as filed with the SEC. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties occur, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, Stone's actual results and plans could differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements.
Estimates for Stone's future production volumes are based on assumptions of capital expenditure levels and the assumption that market demand and prices for oil and gas will continue at levels that allow for economic production of these products. The production, transportation and marketing of oil and gas are subject to disruption due to transportation and processing availability, mechanical failure, human error, hurricanes and numerous other factors. Stone's estimates are based on certain other assumptions, such as well performance, which may vary significantly from those assumed. Delays experienced in well permitting could affect the timing of drilling and production. Lease operating expenses, which include major maintenance costs, vary in response to changes in prices of services and materials used in the operation of our properties and the amount of maintenance activity required. Estimates of DD&A rates can vary according to reserve additions, capital expenditures, future development costs, and other factors. Therefore, we can give no assurance that our future production volumes, lease operating expenses or DD&A rates will be as estimated.
Stone Energy is an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana with additional offices in New Orleans, Houston and Morgantown, West Virginia. Our business strategy is to leverage cash flow generated from existing assets to maintain relatively stable GOM shelf production, profitably grow gas reserves and production in price-advantaged basins such as Appalachia and the Gulf Coast Basin, and profitably grow oil reserves and production in material impact areas such as the deep water GOM and onshore oil. For additional information, contact Kenneth H. Beer, Chief Financial Officer, at 337-521-2210 phone, 337-521-9880 fax or via e-mail at CFO@StoneEnergy.com.
SOURCE Stone Energy Corporation