Devon Energy reported that combined oil, gas and natural gas liquids production from continuing operations averaged 640 thousand oil-equivalent barrels (Boe) per day in the first quarter of 2008. This was a nine percent increase in production from continuing operations compared with the first quarter of 2007. The production growth was concentrated in onshore fields within the United States and Canada. Devon has increased oil and natural gas production from retained properties for eight consecutive quarters.
Sales of oil, gas and natural gas liquids increased 52 percent to $3.2 billion in the first quarter of 2008. The combined effects of increased oil and gas production and higher oil, gas and natural gas liquids prices led to the increase in sales.
Devon drilled 646 wells in the first quarter of 2008, with an overall success rate of 97 percent. Following are highlights of operations conducted in the first quarter of 2008:
--Devon's net production from the Barnett Shale field in north Texas averaged a record 995 million cubic feet of gas equivalent per day in the first quarter of 2008. This was 36 percent greater than its production in the first quarter of 2007. During April, the company's net Barnett Shale production surpassed one billion cubic feet of gas equivalent per day. This milestone event occurred approximately 21 months ahead of Devon's original target date.
--In east Texas in the Groesbeck area, the company initiated production on three significant horizontal natural gas wells in the first quarter. Initial daily production from the three horizontal wells averaged more than 19 million cubic feet of gas equivalent per well. Devon has 100 percent working interests in two of the wells and 93 percent in the third.
--In the Gulf of Mexico, Devon continued appraisal and development operations on its four significant discoveries in the deepwater Lower Tertiary trend: Cascade, St. Malo, Jack and Kaskida. The company conducted drilling operations on the St. Malo No. 3 and No. 4 wells in the quarter. It also commenced drilling the Jack No. 3 appraisal well. At Cascade, the company is moving forward with development plans and will begin drilling the first of two producing wells later in 2008.
--In April, Devon increased its interest in the Kaskida unit by exercising a preferential right. Devon now has a 26.67 percent working interest in the 51,800-acre Kaskida unit. Kaskida, discovered in 2006, is believed to be the largest of the company's four Lower Tertiary discoveries.
--In Canada, Devon established significant production from its Jackfish oil sands project in Alberta during the first quarter of 2008. First-quarter exit-rate production reached 10,000 barrels per day. Production from the 100 percent-owned Jackfish project is expected to ramp up throughout 2008. A peak rate of 35,000 barrels of oil per day is expected in early 2009.
--Also in Canada, Devon continued an active drilling program in the company's Lloydminster oil play, drilling 121 new wells in the first quarter. The company's production in Lloydminster has increased by 30 percent over the past 12 months to nearly 42,000 Boe per day.
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