Triton has provided the following summary information from its annual independent reserve evaluation completed by AJM Petroleum Consultants for all of the Corporation's properties effective December 31, 2008 (the "AJM Report"). These estimates were prepared in accordance with National Instrument 51-101 Standards of Disclosure for Oil and Gas Activities (NI 51-101). Triton anticipates releasing its audited year-end financial statements on or about April 22, 2009.
Triton has a Reserves Committee comprised of a majority of independent board members, which reviews the qualifications and appointment of the independent reserve evaluators. The Reserves Committee also reviews the process for providing information to the evaluators and meets with the independent evaluators to discuss the procedures used in the independent report, to review major property assessments and to discuss any areas of risk. The AJM Report was reviewed by Triton's Reserves Committee and subsequently accepted by the Corporation's Board of Directors on March 5, 2009.
In the near term, petroleum and natural gas prices are expected to remain at or near their current multi-year lows, reflecting the broadening impact of the deep world economic recession. Petroleum and natural gas producers in Alberta are also feeling the effects of the new royalty regime that came into effect January 1, 2009. As a result, cash flows in 2009 are expected to be significantly lower than last year.
Earlier this week, the Alberta government provided some much needed aid to the petroleum and natural gas industry in Alberta when it announced some new incentives to help industry participants during these very difficult economic times. Two of these new incentives are intended to assist petroleum and natural gas explorers, namely a new well incentive program and a drilling royalty credit for new wells. Wells brought on production after April 1, 2009 will pay a five percent royalty for the first twelve months, subject to certain limits, and a drilling credit of $200 per meter drilled can be earned and applied to Alberta Crown royalties, also subject to certain limits. More details of these new incentives can be found on the Alberta government website.
Triton is currently reviewing its capital expenditure plans for the remainder of 2009 in light of these new incentives. There are two obvious potential benefits for Triton resulting from these new incentives. Firstly, the five percent royalty rate for wells placed on production after April 1, 2009 will improve economics for several wells that Triton has completed but not yet placed on production. Secondly, exploiting the $200 per meter drilling credit would have a positive impact on the Corporation's cash flow in the second half of 2009 by reducing future royalties. The magnitude of the impact has not yet been determined.
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