The following are excerpts from the "Message To Shareholders" in Canadian Superior's 2004 Third Quarter Report which will be available for review on the Company's website.
MESSAGE TO SHAREHOLDERS
First Nine Months 2004 Operating Results - Solid Western Canadian Cash Flow And Production - "High Impact" Opportunities Offshore Nova Scotia - "World-Class" Acreage Position Offshore Trinidad And Tobago
During the first nine months of 2004, our management and professional staff have worked very hard to deliver shareholders a growth strategy based on our continued development of solid Western Canadian cash flow and production focusing on our Drumheller area and several high impact opportunities we have in Western Canada at East Ladyfern, Windfall, Altares and Umbach, not to mention our recent success with our Coal Bed Methane ("CBM") production. This has been combined with "High Impact" opportunities offshore Nova Scotia where we have one of the largest acreage positions and our "World-Class" holdings offshore Trinidad where a minimum of 5 wells are planned for drilling during the next 12 to 36 months. We are well positioned for sustained growth through the remainder of 2004, in 2005 and beyond. At the same time, we have applied sound business principles in prudently managing our balance sheet in order to be well positioned to continue to pursue our Offshore Nova Scotia and Trinidad Projects which provide "home run" opportunities for shareholders, as we continue to grow in Western Canada.
Also, as will be highlighted further in this report, 2004 has been a busy year for us off the East Coast of Canada. We and our former partner El Paso Oil and Gas Canada, Inc. drilled the "Mariner" I- 85 exploration well. In the third Quarter, we released the results of an independent petrophysical evaluation of the "Mariner" I-85 exploration well completed by Al Lye & Associates, Inc. of Calgary, Alberta to analyze the well for hydrocarbon potential. Mr. Lye is a well known recognized expert in the field of well log analysis, evaluation and interpretation. In his independent assessment, 24.6 m (80.7 feet) of Net Pay was assigned to the "Mariner" I-85 well from his well log analysis. Further, in the report, it is stated that 4 (four) zones warranted flow testing in the well "based on the gas indications, calculated saturation and porosity values, and the pressure potential at the depth of these formations". Reserve Estimates were also addressed in the report. Although the "Mariner" I-85 well was not flow tested, the report states, "Potential reserve estimations can be generated based on well log data, and maps based on seismic interpretation" and has resulted in potential recoverable gas reserve estimates between 211 bcf and 632 bcf on this one "Mariner" structure on which the "Mariner" I-85 well was drilled and evaluated.
In the third Quarter, we acquired El Paso Corporation's ("El Paso") offshore Nova Scotia exploration and production assets and have been working hard (at the engineering, permitting, procurement, wellsite surveys, rig selection, etc.) to prepare for further drilling at "Mariner", targeted for early next year, subject to drilling rig availability. At this point, we are well along in discussions with potential partners for "Mariner" and in rig negotiations and we will have more to say on this shortly.
Steady progress is also being made in Trinidad and Tobago. We see offshore Trinidad as a great exploration and development fit for Canadian Superior. Offshore Trinidad is a "World-Class" basin with multiple large exploration and development opportunities, as well as well developed, and developing LNG facilities and capacity, and ready access to international markets. When you align this with the stable fiscal and legal regime that is present in Trinidad and Tobago, you have a fair win-win situation for all those involved; and the Government and people are very knowledgeable and supportive of the oil and gas industry and aggressive explorers like Canadian Superior. We now have the detailed 3-D seismic data in hand for our Block 5 (c), which we have named "Intrepid". "Intrepid" was the code name of a famous Canadian spy during World War II, and some historians have argued he was one of the most important factors in the Allies winning the war. The famous Canadian spy's name was William Stephenson. The name "Intrepid" in Webster's Dictionary is defined as "outstandingly courageous" or "fearless". We feel the name is very appropriate given the challenges we face daily in the oil and gas business, and given that at this time of year, during Remembrance Day, we honor those Canadians and Allies who gave their lives in this name of freedom to win the War. Accordingly, we are excited about the "Intrepid" Block, and the first well of a multi-well drilling program planned for this "world-class" project should commence drilling, subject to Government and regulatory approval, by June 2005 on our "Intrepid" Block 5(c). Rig selection and the finalizing of partner arrangements are currently underway, and subject to our completing the same, we look forward to commencing drilling on this Block.
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
In the third quarter of 2004, we continued to make steady progress in preparing for exploration and development on our offshore Trinidad and Tobago holdings. Trinidad is one of the most coveted oil and gas basins in the world today and we were awarded the right to explore our "Intrepid" Block 5(c) in the Government of Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries' 2003/2004 Offshore Competitive Bid Round earlier this year. "Intrepid" Block 5(c) covers 80,041 gross acres and has significant natural gas exploration and development potential offsetting the large Dolphin gas field operated by British Gas. We have just recently received the detailed 3-D seismic data over the "Intrepid" Block from the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and are reprocessing that data to confirm several drilling locations. Based on detailed seismic, a number of large structural gas prospects have been identified on the "Intrepid" Block with multi-tcf potential. We have signed the Production Sharing Contract, and as per Trinidad and Tobago Government protocol, it is to be executed by the Prime Minister in due course. If everything goes as planned, we expect to announce the Drilling Contractor shortly and be in a position to commence drilling our first offshore Trinidad exploration well, of a planned multi-well program, on "Intrepid" off the East Coast of Trinidad by mid-year 2005.
Also during the third quarter of 2004, in Trinidad and Tobago, we continued to lay the groundwork for commencement of the first phase of operations on our Mayaro/Guayaguayare (M/G) "Tradewinds" project, including the reprocessing of existing seismic data we have in hand and planning for the commencement of 3-D seismic shooting and acquisition operations in 2005, to be followed by drilling operations thereafter. Our "Tradewinds" project is a "World Class" oil project and joint venture with the national oil company, the Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited ("Petrotrin"). This joint venture encompasses two near-shore Blocks (55,000 gross acres) off the east coast of Trinidad where we have the potential to establish significant oil reserves in the heart of a known producing hydrocarbons-bearing structural trend.
As a result of the "Intrepid" Block 5(c) acquisition and our Mayaro/Guayaguayare (M/G) "Tradewinds" Joint Venture, Canadian Superior plans to drill at least five new wells over the next 12 to 36 months offshore Trinidad and Tobago. Also, in Trinidad, we are well along in discussions with potential partners and rig negotiations and we will have more to say on this shortly.
OFFSHORE NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA
Further drilling is planned by Canadian Superior offshore Nova Scotia off the East Coast of Canada by early 2005. To better position the Corporation in this regard, in the third quarter of 2004, Canadian Superior acquired El Paso Corporation's ("El Paso") offshore Nova Scotia assets as part of El Paso's overall oil and gas exploration and production exit from Canada. The acquisition included El Paso's interests in the "Marquis" Blocks (EL 2401 & 2402), and in the "Mariner" Block (EL 2409) offshore Nova Scotia and in the "Mariner" I-85 well, all of El Paso's seismic data, all shared geophysical, geotechnical and environmental data, all "Marquis" L-35/L-35A well data, all "Mariner" I-85 well data, all related inventory and extensive tax pools.
During the third quarter of 2004, offshore Nova Scotia, we have continued actively preparing for further drilling. Based on front end geological and geophysical analysis completed over the past several months, two new prospective locations have been identified for drilling on our "Mariner" block. Drilling engineering, procurement and permitting activities to progress this additional drilling on our "Mariner" Project are all well underway. The two new proposed locations can be seen on our maps in this report. Wellsite survey work was completed at these sites in the third quarter of 2004, as was the securing of the most critical long lead item for the well by purchasing the 10 3/4 inch and 9 7/8 inch casing, for the next "Mariner" well. The pipe was particularly critical to continue with our critical path planned for spudding the next well, and as indicated above we are in the final stages of securing a drilling rig for this project.
OTHER EAST COAST CANADA, OFFSHORE NOVA SCOTIA HOLDINGS
Canadian Superior has emerged as one of the largest acreage holders Offshore Nova Scotia with interests in six exploration licences totaling 1,293,946 (100% owned) acres and we are one of the few operators involved in the three main play types in the basin.
In addition to Canadian Superior's "Mariner" exploration project targeting Cretaceous gas bearing sands, we continue to work on our Abenaki Reef "Marquis" project and our "Mayflower" deepwater project. Our "Marquis Project" lands encompass two exploration licences with approximately 112,000 contiguous acres located in shallow water depths close to the existing Sable Offshore Energy Project producing infrastructure. The "Marquis Project" lands are located approximately 20 kilometers (12 miles) northwest of Sable Island and approximately 25 kilometers (16 miles) northeast of EnCana's Deep Panuke Abenaki reef natural gas discovery. During 2002 the first "Marquis" exploration well, L-35/L-35A, was drilled and confirmed the presence of a porous Abenaki reef reservoir in three separate zones within the Abenaki reef complex. Additional seismic data to provide detailed geophysical data that can now be tied to measured well bore data obtained through the drilling of the "Marquis" L-35/L-35A exploration well will be obtained in due course and should allow us to identify optimal future drilling locations on the Abenaki Reef up-dip from our 2002 "Marquis" L-35/L-35A well.
Canadian Superior's 100 % owned "Mariner", "Marauder", "Marconi" and "Marquis" Prospects comprise approximately 584,000 acres and are located in close proximity to Sable Island and the producing and non-producing ExxonMobil fields in the area.
Canadian Superior's "Mayflower" deepwater project exploration licence covers approximately 710,000 (100% owned) acres and is located approximately 460 kilometers (285 miles) east of Boston. Mapping to date indicates the presence of five sizeable deepwater prospects within the "Mayflower" block. These large prospects are structural and are typically formed by mobile salt tectonics. Prospect sizes range from 50 to 200 square kilometers (19 to 77 square miles) in size and are located in 1,300 to 2,500 meter (4,265 - 8,200 feet) water depths. We currently plan to proceed with a high resolution seismic program over the "Mayflower" block to further define targeted structures to enable future drilling.
We also have several other exciting Cretaceous prospects acquired in November 2003 on our new "Marauder" and "Marconi" exploration lands covering 370,881 additional 100 % owned acres offshore Nova Scotia. These exploration licences were targeted for acquisition based on analysis of recently shot proprietary seismic data and in-house geological evaluations. "Marauder", encompassing 312,037 (100% owned) acres, directly offsets three Significant Discovery Licences (Uniacke, Citnalta and Arcadia). "Marauder" has four seismically defined prospects, two of which lie on trend with and are related to the Uniacke and Citnalta significant discoveries. These provide Canadian Superior with additional attractive prospects in this proven area. "Marconi" (EL 2416), encompassing 58,844 (100% owned) acres, has a seismically defined tilted fault / anticlinal prospect similar to other Sable area fields such as Glenelg and Alma.
In addition to working hard on the "high impact" opportunities we have offshore Nova Scotia and our "world-class" holdings offshore Trinidad and Tobago, during the third quarter of 2004, we have worked hard in Western Canada continuing to develop Western Canadian cash flow and production focusing on developing our Drumheller Alberta core area and several high impact drilling opportunities. We are pleased to report that our stepped up exploration and development program in 2004 is continuing to pay off with success in Western Canada and our current November 2004 production at approximately 2,700 boe/d.
In Western Canada, we have continued our successful drilling 2004 campaign in the Drumheller area. Following up on the five wells that were drilled in the second quarter of 2004, nine wells were drilled in the third quarter; with eight out of the nine being successful. Six were successful gas wells (four on production, one waiting on tie -in, and one suspended) and two were successful oil wells (one on production and one waiting on tie -in). One of the producing gas wells has been dually completed for conventional gas and for Coal Bed Methane (CBM). Of the nine wells, eight are 100% working interest wells that are operated by Canadian Superior.
The focus in the fourth quarter will continue to be the Drumheller area. Our Corporation acreage holdings in Drumheller continue to increase, and as of September 30th, 2004, Canadian Superior holds 181,675 gross acres in that area. The Corporation plans to drill another eight operated wells into various gas / oil zones within the Cretaceous section. Also, Canadian Superior is participating in a nine well Coal Bed Methane (CBM) program with a well known CBM player in the area. This program, which started in mid-October, should be completed within the fourth quarter. We intend to use this fourth quarter program as a staging ground for future development of the extensive CBM potential that exists over our acreage base within the Drumheller area. As the Drumheller area coal bed potential develops, we are considering aggressive development of our coal bed methane rights. Recent sales prices for Drumheller area lands with coal bed methane potential has exceeded $250,000 per section (approximately $390 per acre). We have approximately 108 net sections (69,120 acres) in the Drumheller area with potential for coal bed methane production.
In addition, we are also undertaking a major 3-D seismic program within the Drumheller area. The 46 square kilometer program is currently being shot over lands that are largely controlled by Canadian Superior and ten to fifteen new drilling locations are expected to be added to our large Drumheller area drilling prospect inventory generated from the 3-D Program.
In Western Canada, we expect to drill approximately 40 wells over the next 12 months, primarily in Drumheller and on high impact plays as discussed further below.
Western Canadian High Impact Opportunities
Planning is underway for several high impact wells that will be drilled over the next 12 months in a number of focused explorations areas. In East Ladyfern, we currently hold 24 contiguous sections of land in this area and we are continuing to focus on developing this high impact Slave Point play in the East Ladyfern area. During the first quarter of 2004, one well was successfully completed on this play and 61 square kilometers (24 square miles) of 3-D seismic was shot in the East Ladyfern area last winter. Based on this encouraging 3-D seismic program, multiple new locations have been identified for drilling. Wellsite surveys were completed during 2004 and drilling operations are expected to commence after freeze-up this year. A multiple well program is expected to follow. East Ladyfern pipeline routes have been surveyed and plans have already been submitted to government agencies. This year, the first new well should spud shortly after freeze-up later in 2004. An additional 2-D seismic program is also under consideration to further define prospects, and may be shot in the area to assess the planned expansion of the play.
Canadian Superior also holds operated high working interests in a number of other Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan properties that are primarily in winter access areas. These other areas total an aggregate of 102,304 gross acres (83,084 net acres) in Alberta and 15,243 gross acres (11,766 net acres) in British Columbia. The main operated areas in Alberta are Windfall, Boundary Lake and Bison. In British Columbia, the main operated areas are Altares, Umbach and Parkland, all of which are considered to be potential high impact areas.
The Windfall / Pine Creek area in the West Central Alberta region is a focused area for the Corporation. Canadian Superior has participated in several land sales in the area and is preparing to spud a well during this winter drilling season with a Jurassic / Early Cretaceous target. The Corporation will also participate in a non-operated well in the area for the same target. At the same time, the Corporation plans to re-enter an existing producing well to complete a second highly prospective zone and enhance overall production in the area.
Canadian Superior continues to be active in Altares and the Parkland area of NEBC, and the Venus, Botha and Chinchaga areas of Northern Alberta. These areas are currently under evaluation and review and will be ranked within the existing drilling portfolio. Our Saskatchewan properties and the Bison area of Alberta are considered mature and non-core properties and they may be divested.
We are pleased to report that average daily production for the first nine months of 2004 increased to 2,501 boe/d, up 15 percent from 2,166 boe/d for the first nine months of 2003. However, there was a 13 percent production decline in the third quarter of 2004 compared to the same quarter in 2003, due to reduced drilling activity in response to prudent balance sheet management that required other capital and expense considerations to be addressed. However, higher commodity prices resulted in increased cash flow and compensated for this short-term production decline during the third quarter of 2003. As noted above, as a result of our recent drilling success, our current production as of early November 2004 increased to 2,700 boe/d and further increases are expected.
Also, we are pleased to report that oil and gas revenues increased 20 percent to $27.7 million in the first nine months of 2004 as compared to $23.0 million in the first nine months of 2003. Third quarter revenues showed an increase of 2 percent to $9.3 million over the $9.1 million for the same period in 2003.
Cash flow from operations was also up, up 48% for the first nine months of 2004 to $14.3 million and third quarter cash flow increased by 5 percent to $4.5 million for the quarter.
The Corporation posted a loss of $2.3 million for the third quarter of 2004. These losses were due primarily to non-cash expenses including the expensing of stock options, as stock based compensation, of $0.8 million for the third quarter and $1.7 million for the nine month period in 2004, coupled with non-cash depletion, depreciation and accretion expenses of $6.2 and $16.4 million for the third quarter and year to date, respectively. As a result of these non-operating expenses that are the result of new accounting policy total losses in the first nine months were $3.3 million.
Our undeveloped land acreage in Western Canada at the end of the third quarter was approximately 177,171 gross acres (151,154 net acres) with an average working interest of 85%. During the balance of 2004, we intend to actively add to our large undeveloped land holdings, with a particular focus on the Drumheller area.
Canadian Superior is also one of the largest landholders Offshore Nova Scotia, where Canadian Superior currently holds high working interests (100%) in six licences covering an aggregate of 1,293,946 acres.
In Trinidad and Tobago, Canadian Superior's Mayaro/Guayaguayare (M/G) "Tradewinds" joint venture lands cover 55,000 gross acres and our "Intrepid" Block 5(c), awarded in the second quarter 2004, added an additional 80,041 gross acres. Total acreage is now 135,041 gross acres, resulting in Canadian Superior becoming one of the largest strategic landholders in Trinidad and Tobago.
RECENT CORPORATE DEVELOPMENTS
Late during the second Quarter of 2004, Canadian Superior expanded its management team with the adding of 5 individuals hired from El Paso Oil and Gas Canada, Inc. Unfortunately, 2 of these individuals, Harvey Klingensmith and Dave Purcell hired as C.O.O. and C.F.O., respectively, did not work out as expected. Mr. Klingensmith was to assist me with my work load, following my serious near fatal traffic accident last year, and I have now resumed his duties, and Mr. Ross A. Jones has joined Canadian Superior as our new Chief Financial Officer ("C.F.O."). Mr. Jones is well known to us having worked for us at Canadian 88 Energy Corp and he has 24 years of extensive financial experience and is a Certified Management Accountant. He has worked in a senior financial capacity in a number of public and private companies and is a "team player" and has a very good understanding of Canadian Superior and the oil and gas business. As for the other individuals who joined us from El Paso, we are pleased to report that these talented professionals, headed-up by Mel Marshall, our Vice President, Exploration (formerly El Paso's Manager of Exploration), are also "team players" doing an excellent job along side the other members of our strong technical and operating team, which has just reported great success and have kicked-off our fall drilling program as outlined in our November 1, 2004 Press Release. Nine wells were drilled in the third quarter; with eight out of the nine being successful, an 89% success rate. The focus in the fourth quarter will continue to be our Drumheller core area, while taking advantage of several high impact opportunities in East Ladyfern, Windfall, Altares and Umbach.
We are also pleased to report that Ms. Carla O'Neil has joined Canadian Superior as Office Manager. Ms. O'Neil has extensive experience in this regard. Carla joins Canadian Superior having been until very recently at UBS Energy Canada Ltd. Also due to the high level of Company activity in Western Canada, Canadian Superior has further enhanced its technical team with the hiring of Mr. Frits Van Dyl as Senior Geologist. Mr. Van Dyl is well known and has over 20 years of oil and gas experience.
We also report that Mr. Rod Erskine, former president of El Paso Production Co., a subsidiary of El Paso Corporation, has been unable to continue as a Director with Canadian Superior. Mr. Erskine has recently expanded his own new private venture, Erskine Energy LLC, and can no longer dedicate the time required by these Board activities. We wish Mr. Erskine well in his new venture.
At the same time, we are very pleased to report that Mr. Alex Squires (C.F.A.), who is a well known oil and gas financial analyst and businessman from Toronto and who has previously worked for such firms as the Royal Bank and is knowledgeable on Canadian Superior and has the time to devote to our Company, has accepted an appointment to our Board of Directors, and we are glad to have him. Mr. Squires is a very talented and financially knowledgeable individual and has joined Canadian Superior's Board of Directors and will be assuming the role of Chairman of Canadian Superior's Audit Committee. Mr. Squires has over 33 years of financial and business experience and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. He is a past director of the Toronto Society of Financial Analysts, a past president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Investment Analysts ("CAPIA") and has served on the board of the New York based, National Association of Petroleum Investment Analysts ("NAPIA"). He is currently a managing partner with Brant Securities Limited ("Brant") and a Director at Brant. We know that Alex will make a significant contribution as an experienced independent Director.
We also wish to provide you with an update on the class action lawsuits initiated against Canadian Superior and a number of its senior officers and directors that resulted from the drilling of the "Mariner" well earlier this year, although U.S. investors are very familiar with this unfortunate type of "lawyer driven" activity, which in the opinion of one of our many supporters are that of "shakedown artists", it is a relatively new type of activity in Canada. As reported to you in our first Quarter 2004 Report to shareholders, we were of the opinion that these multiple lawsuits filed in the U.S. would be consolidated into one lawsuit by the U.S. Federal Court. We are pleased to report that this has been the case and our U.S. lawyers have now filed for a complete dismissal of this case. We have also been advised by our lawyers that 3 similar "copy-cat" actions filed in Canada, which in our opinion have been spawned in Canada as a result of the U.S. Actions and certain inaccurate media reports, are in various stages, and we are pleased to report, that we have been advised by our lawyers, as of last week, that one of these 3 actions will not be proceeding, in our opinion, for lack of merit. Action to dismiss the other 2 claims, like those being taken in the U.S., will be forthcoming in due course.
Canadian Superior is of the opinion that these frivolous and malicious claims are without merit, and that they are self-serving "lawyer driven" actions designed to "shakedown" our Company and our legitimate shareholders and insurance companies. We do not intend to allow this to be the case! The lawyers and "shareholders" responsible for these claims, allege to directly represent less than 100,000 shares of our total shareholder base of about 108,000,000 shares outstanding. These actions are indeed unfortunate, and Canadian Superior intends to seek damages and full recourse against all those responsible for these activities. We will keep you further appraised on developments in this regard.
CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Canadian Superior is a strong advocate of direct corporate involvement in communities contributing to, or affected by, its activities. We believe that direct community involvement enhances our ability to properly achieve common goals. Significant efforts are exerted to ensure that we have a responsible and responsive corporate presence. We conduct regular discussions with community representatives and stakeholders and we take care to ensure that planned activities are fully explained. Our attitude of direct involvement with local communities is consistently supported by sponsorship of community programs.
In Western Canada, Canadian Superior has been a sponsor of urban and rural communities, charitable organizations and sponsorships including cancer research in Alberta, the Calgary Chinook Scout Foundation, the Rockyview General Hospital, STARS and the Alberta Cancer Foundation. The Corporation is also a major sponsor of the Calgary Stampede and 4H on Parade, the latter being one of the largest rural youth agricultural shows in North America. We intend to actively continue with support for community and charitable programs and initiatives and we encourage our staff and management to do the same.
In Nova Scotia, Canadian Superior's contributions have included supporting education and training, as well as to oil and gas related research and development activities, for students enrolled in undergraduate education programs in Nova Scotia. We have provided Education, Training, and Research and Development funds to Dalhousie University, St. Francis Xavier University, the University College of Cape Breton and the Nova Scotia Community College.
Given our recent success in Trinidad and Tobago, we intend to support local communities and programs consistent with achieving our objectives in Trinidad and Tobago.
In summary, we look forward to continuing to actively support programs related to the communities and stakeholders that support our corporate objectives and growth strategies.
OUTLOOK - 2004 and Beyond
Accordingly, given the above mentioned achievements of the Corporation, the next several months will be very exciting for Canadian Superior and our shareholders. With the continued support of our shareholders and the solid growth platforms we have developed that underpin Canadian Superior, we are very confident that 2004 and beyond presents us with a very exciting future. We intend to continue to prudently manage our balance sheet while we remain focused on growing solid Western Canadian cash flow and production combined with exploration and development of our "World Class Home Run" opportunities offshore Nova Scotia and in Trinidad. We are also pleased to report that our achievements have been recognized, as noted in several recent analytical reports highlighting "Buy" ratings, including a recent report in the United States by C.K. Cooper Research Update, October 27, 2004, and in Canada by Mason Placements Canada / Schachter Asset Management Inc. Report, October 14, 2004 and a recent report by Acumen Capital Partners, November 2004.
Accordingly, we are confident that we will achieve several "Home Runs" for our shareholders in the future and beyond. We are confident that our continued hard work, along with your support, will result in continued success for our Company.
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