PXP Sees Increase in 2Q Revenue

Plains Exploration & Production (PXP) announced 2011 second-quarter financial and operating results.

  • Revenues of $514.8 million and net income of $124.9 million, or $0.87 per diluted share.
  • Adjusted net income of $77.1 million, or $0.54 per diluted share (a non-GAAP measure).
  • Income from operations of $186.1 million.
  • Net cash provided by operating activities of $287.5 million.
  • Operating cash flow of $299.6 million (a non-GAAP measure).
  • Average daily sales volumes of approximately 97.7 thousand barrels of oil equivalent (BOE), a 15% increase compared to second-quarter 2010 or 27% increase pro-forma for the 2010 asset sale.
  • Average daily liquids sales volumes increased 7% compared to second-quarter 2010 or 12% pro-forma for the 2010 asset sale and are expected to increase ratably throughout the rest of the year.
  • Crude oil price realization of 88%.
  • Executed crude oil contracts significantly improving differentials.
  • Total production costs per BOE of $16.09.
  • Gross margin per BOE was $25.31 and cash margin per BOE was $39.92 (a non-GAAP measure).

FINANCIAL SUMMARY

PXP reports second-quarter revenues of $514.8 million and net income of $124.9 million, or $0.87 per diluted share, compared to revenues of $364.6 million and net income of $45.4 million, or $0.32 per diluted share, for the second-quarter 2010. These results include certain items affecting comparability of operating results. These items consist of realized and unrealized gains and losses on our mark-to-market derivative contracts, an unrealized gain on investment, and other items. When considering these items, net income for the second-quarter 2011 was $77.1 million, or $0.54 per diluted share (a non-GAAP measure), compared to $36.9 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, for the second-quarter 2010.

For the first six months of 2011, PXP reports revenues of $945.1 million and net income of $195.9 million, or $1.37 per diluted share, compared to revenues of $748.6 million and net income of $103.9 million, or $0.73 per diluted share, for the same period in 2010. These results include certain items affecting comparability of operating results. These items consist of realized and unrealized gains and losses on our mark-to-market derivative contracts, an unrealized gain on investment, and other items. When considering these items, net income for the first six months of 2011 was $129.6 million, or $0.90 per diluted share (a non-GAAP measure), compared to $80.5 million, or $0.57 per diluted share, for the same period in 2010.

A reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures used in this release to comparable GAAP financial measures is included with the financial tables.

CRUDE OIL MARKETING UPDATE

In August, PXP executed a new marketing contract for its California crude production with ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP - News). Currently PXP sells approximately 65% of its California crude oil to ConocoPhillips. The new contract covers approximately 90% of PXP's California production, extends the dedication from January 1, 2015 to January 1, 2023 and replaces the percent of NYMEX index pricing mechanism with a market-based pricing approach beginning in 2012.

Separately, PXP executed an agreement with a third party purchaser to sell a large portion of its Eagle Ford crude oil using a Light Louisiana Sweet (LLS) based pricing mechanism.

In 2012, using the current market price outlook and the new marketing contracts, PXP currently expects full-year oil price realization to be between 101% - 103% of NYMEX. PXP expects 2012 total company liquids price realization, which includes crude oil and natural gas liquids, to be between 93% - 95% of NYMEX compared to full-year 2011 total company liquids price realization guidance range of 84% - 86%.

MANAGEMENT COMMENT

James C. Flores, Chairman, President and CEO of PXP commented, "Today's announcement underscores the strength of our asset base and the skill of our dedicated employees as we continue to execute our plan to manage volume growth and strong margins. Compared to the second-quarter 2010 our total Company sales volumes increased 15% and liquids sales volumes increased 12%, pro-forma for the 2010 asset sale. In our Eagle Ford area, daily sales volumes are expected to more than double by year-end 2011 as operational momentum builds during the second half of the year. In each of our core asset areas, we remain focused on the execution of the onshore oil drilling and expansion plan and results continue to be positive. With higher crude volumes and stronger crude pricing, the business generated a 41% increase in operating cash flow and a 20% increase in cash margin per BOE over the second-quarter 2010. We expect these trends to continue supported by the accelerated Eagle Ford activity and the recently executed crude oil marketing contracts reflecting premium pricing to NYMEX."

GUIDANCE UPDATE

Due primarily to our accelerated drilling activity in the Eagle Ford and a higher than originally planned rig count in the Haynesville, PXP's Board of Directors approved an increase in 2011 capital spending which is estimated to be approximately $1.5 billion, excluding deepwater spending, up from $1.2 billion.

For the first six months, average daily sales volumes were 92.9 thousand BOE. With higher drilling activity year-to-date than originally planned in the Haynesville and the Eagle Ford, full-year 2011 average daily sales volumes are now expected to be near the upper end of a new guidance range of 97 – 100 thousand BOE per day.

PXP expects its oil price realization for the full-year 2011 to be above the guidance range due to continued strength of California crude oil pricing relative to NYMEX West Texas Intermediate.

PXP expects lease operating expense per BOE, a component of total production cost per BOE, to be at the high end of the $7.90 - $8.30 per BOE full-year 2011 guidance range due to the increased activity in the Eagle Ford.

OPERATIONAL UPDATE

In the Texas Panhandle asset area, PXP has 5 drilling rigs operating in the Granite Wash trend and expects to continue this level of activity through 2011. Second-quarter daily sales volumes averaged approximately 13,620 BOE per day net to PXP, or 52% higher than first-quarter 2011 and 139% higher than the second-quarter 2010. Average daily sales volumes are expected to increase to approximately 17,000 BOE net per day by year-end 2011. During 2010 and early 2011, PXP built 15 production handling facilities and related infrastructure in order to support the rapid growth in sales volumes that PXP is now reporting.

In the Eagle Ford asset area, PXP has 5.5 net drilling rigs operating, up from the 3 net rig program originally planned for 2011. Second-quarter daily sales volumes averaged approximately 2,330 BOE per day net to PXP, an increase of approximately 4% to first-quarter 2011 average daily sales volumes. For the month of July, daily sales volumes averaged approximately 4,400 BOE per day net to PXP; and PXP expects to exit the year above 10,000 BOE net per day for this asset area.

The two most recent initial production test rates are as follows: The Carmody Trust 1H and the Carmody Trust 2H, both located in Karnes County, Texas, achieved an initial production rate of approximately 1,745 gross and 1,396 net BOE per day and 1,904 gross and 1,523 net BOE per day, respectively.

During the first half of this year, PXP built 4 production handling facilities and related infrastructure out of the 12 facilities currently planned through 2012 to support future sales volume growth. Each facility has the capability of supporting multiple wells and construction continues on future production facilities. Timing of right-of-way approvals temporarily slowed construction during the second quarter which slowed the process of connecting completed wells to pipelines. With many of the initial logistics resolved, PXP anticipates a ramp up in sales volumes during the second half of 2011.

In the California asset area, PXP has 3 drilling rigs operating onshore where PXP continues its active development program in the Los Angeles and San Joaquin Basins. Daily sales volumes onshore and offshore averaged 40,500 BOE per day net to PXP, or 7% higher than first-quarter 2011 and slightly higher than the second-quarter 2010. Average daily sales volumes are expected to be above 41,000 BOE net per day by year-end 2011.

In the Haynesville Shale asset area, PXP's primary operator is currently operating 31 rigs and expects to reduce the rig count during the quarter. In addition, PXP expects 15 or more rigs run by other operators on its acreage. Second-quarter daily sales volumes averaged approximately 181.7 million cubic feet equivalent (MMcfe) per day net to PXP, or 12% higher than first-quarter 2011 and 71% higher than second-quarter 2010. The rate of increase in sales volumes is anticipated to slow as the rig count decreases later this year.

In the Wyoming Mowry Shale, PXP drilled and completed its first well in June 2011 and produced high-quality oil in small quantities. PXP drilled its second well and is in the process of completing this well. We will study the results of these initial wells and drill two additional wells in 2012 to further evaluate the project.

In the Gulf of Mexico asset area, the operator of the Lucius discovery, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:APC - News), recently announced the finalization of a unitization agreement with Exxon Mobil Corporation and co-owners to develop the Lucius field. Anadarko will operate the unit which includes portions of Keathley Canyon blocks 874, 875, 918 and 919 in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Following the unitization agreement, the Lucius interest owners entered into an agreement with the Hadrian South co-venturers whereby natural gas produced from the Hadrian South field will be processed through the Lucius facility in return for a production-handling fee and reimbursement for any required facility upgrades.

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