Ultra Petroleum Corp. announced that for the third time this year, it is increasing 2007 production guidance. The new production guidance for 2007 is 120.0 billion cubic feet of gas equivalent (Bcfe) increased from the previous guidance of 116.5 Bcfe. This represents a 31% increase over 2006 inclusive of substantial shut-ins during the year and the sale of the Chinese asset. Production guidance for the fourth quarter 2007 is 32.3 Bcfe, which is an increase from the previous 28.8 Bcfe guidance.
"Our new production target for 2007, reflecting a 33% increase on a per share basis over 2006, is evidence of our productivity gains despite fewer rig days in 2007," commented Michael D. Watford, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "And our well costs continue to decrease," Watford added.
Additionally, two executives will be retiring at year-end: Stephen R. Kneller, VP - Exploration, Domestic and Michael G. Patterson, VP - International. Both individuals have played key roles in Ultra's success over the past handful of years.
Mr. Kneller is one of the longest serving employees at Ultra and was extremely influential in the development of the Pinedale Field acreage, including the acquisition of Ultra's original Pinedale and Jonah lease position. He will continue to work with the company in a part-time consulting position.
With the sale of the company's Bohai Bay interest late in the year, Mr. Patterson will be retiring. He leaves behind a distinguished career in international exploration and production and was instrumental to Ultra's success in China.
"Steve's and Mike's wisdom, leadership and knowledge will be missed by everyone at Ultra. I wish to thank both of them for their contributions in shaping Ultra into the premier oil and gas company that it is today," commented Watford. "We are fortunate that Steve will continue on in a limited consulting capacity in order to provide a strong transition for his team and the company," Watford added.
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