In connection with preparation of its financial statements, the company determined that results for the fourth quarter of 2004 will include a $90 million pre-tax impairment charge, or $0.15 per diluted share impact to net income. The charge is related to undeveloped lands in Canada and will not impact the company's reserves or drilling inventory. This charge will be discussed further in Burlington's 2004 Form 10-K.
Burlington expects fourth-quarter production to achieve the midpoint of its previously announced guidance range. Commodity price realizations, including hedging results, are expected to range from $5.80 to $6.00 per thousand cubic feet (Mcfe) for natural gas, $28.50 to $29.50 per barrel for natural gas liquids, and $38.50 to $39.50 per barrel for crude oil. These ranges reflect higher location differentials for North American natural gas and worldwide crude oil compared to benchmark prices, and the timing of oil shipments. Combined operating, administrative and transportation expenses are expected to average from $1.32 to $1.36 per Mcfe. Depletion, depreciation and amortization expense is expected to average from $1.15 to $1.19 per Mcfe.
As previously announced, during 2005 Burlington expects total production of 2,800 to 3,100 million cubic feet of natural gas equivalent per day. In addition, combined operating, administrative and transportation expenses on a unit basis are expected to be essentially in line with 2004 full-year levels. Depletion, depreciation and amortization expense is expected to average from $1.25 to $1.35 per Mcfe, reflecting the impact of the weaker U.S. dollar, new project startups, higher costs and a changing production mix. Burlington will issue full guidance for the first quarter and full year of 2005 in its January 26 earnings announcement.
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