Antrim Energy Inc. (TSX:AEN) (AIM:AEY) reported its financial and operational results for the three months ended March 31, 2008.
In the first quarter, Antrim successfully drilled the Antrim-operated well 21/28a-9 on the Fyne Field in the UK Central North Sea. The multi-lateral drilling program encountered significant oil columns in each leg, with the final sidetrack 21/28a-9y now cased to be used as a future production well.
With the successful results from the initial Fyne drilling program, further appraisal drilling and development can be accelerated using the Transocean Prospect semi-submersible drilling rig under contract to Antrim in June 2008. Further appraisal drilling activity is also planned for the Causeway development. Our growth through the drill bit, and drive to bring new reserves to production as quickly as possible, means we are well positioned to transform our assets into a source of growing cash flow for our shareholders.
Antrim anticipates funding its growth, where possible, with pre-development debt facilities and upon field development approval, senior field development debt facilities. In the first quarter of 2008, Antrim announced it had agreed terms for an initial $50 million working capital facility to be available for pre-development costs associated with the Causeway property.
In Argentina, quarterly production remained stable while significant additional drilling and infrastructure development work continued in Tierra del Fuego. Cash flow from operations increased in the three months ended March 31, 2008 to $1.4 million from $0.8 million in the first quarter of 2007.
In the first quarter of 2008, Antrim changed its reporting currency from Canadian to US dollars. All comparative financial information has been translated and restated as if the US dollar had been used as the Company's reporting currency.
Net production to Antrim in the first quarter of 2008 was 1,503 boepd compared to 1,502 boepd for the comparable period in 2007 and 1,553 boepd in the fourth quarter of 2007. Gas plant construction and remediation in Tierra del Fuego produced some variation in production rates with corporate production reaching as high as 2,000 boepd in January, 2008. Average net oil production in the three month period ended March 31, 2008 was 657 bopd compared to 683 bopd for the comparable period in 2007. Oil prices averaged $44.42 per barrel in the three month period ended March 31, 2008 compared to $42.90 per barrel for the comparable period in 2007.
Average net gas production in the three month period ended March 31, 2008 was 4.7 mmcf/d compared to 4.5 mmcf/d for the comparable period in 2007. Sales gas prices in Argentina averaged $1.00 per mcf in the first quarter of 2008 compared to $1.24 per mcf for the comparable period in 2007. Gas prices decreased as a greater proportion of gas production in the period was delivered to the Tierra del Fuego residential market. The price received for gas is expected to increase significantly following completion of the tie-in to the San Martin pipeline.
Antrim had cash flow from operations of $1,438,905 ($0.01 per share) in the first quarter of 2008 compared to $795,346 ($0.01 per share) for the comparable period in 2007. Net loss in the first quarter of 2008 was $807,720 ($0.01 per share) compared to a net loss of $1,083,540 ($0.01 per share) for the comparable period in 2007. Net loss decreased due to increased net revenue, after royalties and export taxes, higher interest income on greater cash balances and foreign exchange gains in the period, offset to a lesser degree by increased general and administrative costs, stock based compensation expense and higher depletion costs.
At March 31, 2008, Antrim had working capital of $70,349,563 (December 31, 2007 - $88,923,886), unrestricted cash of $71,183,830 (December 31, 2007 - $98,794,077) and no debt. Restricted cash at March 31, 2008 of $21,870,849 relates to US dollar and Pound Sterling denominated standby letters of credit issued with respect to the Company's 2008 drilling program in the UK North Sea. Accounts payable and accrued liabilities increased to $28,707,403 at March 31, 2008 primarily as a result of the UK drilling program.
In the United Kingdom, drilling commenced in March 2008 on the Fyne Field. A second rig contract has been signed which will provide Antrim with the Transocean Prospect semi-submersible drilling rig for a minimum of 80 days scheduled to begin in June 2008. The rig rate is approximately $300,000 per day. The drilling contract will allow Antrim to accelerate appraisal activity on the Company's existing properties in the Northern and Central North Sea and is also expected to provide Antrim with the flexibility to add additional drilling opportunities to its 2008 program.
A field development plan (FDP) is currently being prepared. Further Causeway drilling is planned for 2008 including at least one pressure support well. Facility construction is also planned for 2008 on approval of the FDP.
In March 2008, Antrim announced that it had agreed terms for a $50 million working capital facility to be available for pre-development costs associated with the Causeway property. The working capital facility is subject to satisfactory due diligence, execution of full documentation and achievement of all conditions precedent. To date, no amounts have been drawn on this facility. Upon approval of the FDP, the facility is expected to be replaced with a $150 million senior secured field development facility and $40 million contingent cost overrun facility.
Cash flow from operations in Argentina is expected to be reinvested in Argentina during the year. In Tierra del Fuego, 16 wells are expected to be drilled in 2008 and additional 3D seismic is also planned. Pipeline and facility expansion for increased oil and gas production continue. Construction of a new gas pipeline, tie-in to the San Martin pipeline and installation of additional compression facilities is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2008. Upon completion, gross gas processing capacity is expected to increase to approximately 40 mmcf per day at which time previous gas discoveries can be placed on production.
In October 2007, Antrim was awarded an exploration license for the Tres Nidos Sur Block immediately adjacent to and north of the Medianera Block in the Neuquen Basin. In 2008, Antrim plans to coordinate exploration and development of the Tres Nidos Sur Block with the Medianera Block. Antrim expects to acquire 50 km2 of 3D seismic in the year and, up to six wells are planned to be drilled on the two blocks, subject to rig availability.
OVERVIEW OF OPERATIONS
United Kingdom - Block 211/22a South East and Block 211/23d ("Causeway")
Antrim intends to follow-up its 2007 Causeway drilling program with additional appraisal/development drilling in 2008. Antrim has contracted AGR Peak Well Management of Aberdeen and the semi-submersible drilling rig the Transocean Prospect for the drilling program. Antrim has operatorship and a 65.5% working interest in the Causeway Blocks 211/22a South East and 211/23d.
Preparation of a Field Development Plan (FDP) to be submitted to the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (DBERR) is proceeding. Facility construction is planned on approval of the FDP.
United Kingdom - Block 21/28a ("Fyne and Dandy")
In April 2008, Antrim completed drilling operations on the Antrim-operated well 21/28a-9 on the Fyne Field in the UK Central North Sea. The multilateral 21/28a-9 well was drilled as planned with three legs, one pilot hole and two sidetracks into the Eocene Tay Sandstone. All three holes encountered significant oil columns. As originally designed, the final sidetrack 21/28a-9y has been cased to be used as a future production well.
Full analysis of the log and test data from 21/28a-9y has led to an upward revision of the net oil pay thickness from the previously reported 52 ft True Vertical Depth (TVD) net oil pay and 35 ft net gas pay to 65 ft net oil pay and 30 ft net gas pay. As designed, the well was drilled at a 60 degree angle resulting in wellbore measured thicknesses of 120 ft net oil pay and 47 ft net gas pay. The oil and gas pay intervals in Fyne are separate with the gas pay confined to the Upper Tay Formation and the oil pay contained within several sandstones in the Middle and Lower Tay Formations.
Logging and testing results indicate that the Tay sandstones penetrated in all three legs of the well are very porous (average 33%) and highly permeable. Oil recovered from the reservoir from a Modular Formation Dynamics Test was analyzed and shown to have an API of 25 degrees with a viscosity very similar to the viscosity of Tay Formation oil from the producing fields in the proximity of Fyne. Test data indicates potential production rates of between 3,000 and 4,500 bopd, in line with the test results from the Fyne discovery well (21/28a-2) drilled in 1986. Internal estimates indicate that there is sufficient gas in the Upper Tay to provide artificial lift for oil production from the Middle and Lower Tay sandstones.
The Fyne drilling operation and results from the drilling and logging program were at the upper end of Antrim's pre-drill expectations of reservoir quality, reservoir thickness and reservoir continuity. The well location was based on high quality 3D seismic acquired in 2007 over the entire block. A number of other drilling prospects on the block have been identified from the 3D seismic.
At year-end 2007, the Fyne and Dandy license as a whole was determined to hold 131 million barrels of oil in place or 21 million barrels of recoverable oil (Antrim net 98 million barrels and 16 million barrels respectively). The reservoir information collected from this operation will be supplied to independent engineering evaluator McDaniel & Associates to produce an updated reserve report on the field.
Antrim expects to accelerate the Fyne appraisal and development using the Transocean Prospect which is scheduled to begin a multi-well drilling program for Antrim in June of this year. Two additional wells are planned on the field before the company submits an application to DBERR for development approval. The Fyne Field is on trend with several other Tay fields in the area, including the Guillemot, Pict and Saxon developments. Oil from the Fyne field, similar to adjacent fields, is likely to be produced through a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) system and Antrim is actively searching for a suitable vessel. Fyne is also situated approximately 20 kilometers from existing infrastructure which provides production services for several fields in the area.
Assuming FDP approval is granted in 2009, first production is targeted for as early as 2010. Antrim is operator of the license and holds a 75% working interest in the block. Antrim acquired its interest in the block in November 2006 and has agreed to pay the seller of the block an additional $10 million on approval of a FDP.
United Kingdom - Block 211/22a North West ("Kerloch")
In late 2007, Antrim participated in drilling the non-operated Kerloch prospect in Block 211/22a North West. The well, approximately 10 km northwest of Causeway, discovered a 116 foot thick oil column in the Ness Formation. The Kerloch well was not tested and was suspended to allow for potential re-entry and future use. Further technical evaluation of the prospect will be undertaken in 2008. Antrim holds a 21% working interest in Block 211/22a North West.
Argentina - Tierra del Fuego, Austral Basin
In September 2007, Antrim announced the start of its planned two-year drilling program in Tierra del Fuego. To date, Antrim has participated in drilling 12 wells on the concessions. Six wells have targeted the Los Patos oil pool discovered in 2006. Of these wells, three wells have been completed and placed on production with a further two wells awaiting tie in or completion. One well had mechanical problems and could not be salvaged. An additional four wells have been drilled targeting gas in the Los Patos, Los Flamencos, and San Luis fields. Gas development, including additional treatment and compression facilities, is being undertaken in anticipation of completion later this year of improved gas transportation capacity from the concessions. The remaining two wells of the 12 wells drilled to date target continued development of the Las Violetas oil field.
Installation of a pipeline that will connect the Las Violetas license to the San Martin pipeline and an expansion of gas processing facilities are in progress. Construction of the new gas pipeline, tie-in to the San Martin pipeline and installation of additional compression facilities is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2008. Upon completion, gross gas processing capacity is expected to increase to approximately 40 mmcf per day at which time previous gas discoveries can be placed on production. Antrim's working interest in the Tierra del Fuego licenses is 25.78%.
Net production to Antrim from the Tierra del Fuego licenses in the first quarter of 2008 was 1,162 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) compared to 1,155 boepd for the comparable period in 2007. Net oil production in the first quarter of 2008 was 316 bopd compared to 335 bopd for the comparable period in 2007. Gas and natural gas liquids (NGL) production in the first quarter of 2008 was 4.7 mmcf/d and 67 barrels per day, respectively. Gas and NGL production for the comparable period in 2007 was 4.5 mmcf/d and 71 barrels per day, respectively.
Argentina - Medianera and Tres Nidos Sur, Neuquen Basin
Net production to Antrim from the Medianera license in the first quarter of 2008 was 61 bopd compared to 25 bopd for the comparable period in 2007. Antrim is planning a multi-well follow-up drilling program on the license in 2008. Antrim has a 70.0% working interest in the Medianera and Tres Nidos Sur licenses. Under the terms of the Tres Nidos Sur license, Antrim must acquire a minimum of 50 km2 of 3D seismic in 2008 and drill an exploration well in 2009.
Argentina - North West Basin
On the Capricorn license, the second of two wells drilled under a previously announced farmout agreement is currently being evaluated with results expected in the second quarter of 2008.
Net production to Antrim from the Puesto Guardian license in the first quarter of 2008 was 280 bopd compared to 323 bopd for the comparable period in 2007. Antrim has a 40% working interest in the Puesto Guardian license.
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