Talisman Energy Sees Growth in First Quarter

Talisman Energy Inc. (NYSE:TLM) (TSX:TLM) reported its first quarter operating and financial results.

Production averaged 436,000 boe/d in the quarter, an increase of 16% over the first quarter of 2003 (excluding Sudan) and 4% growth over the fourth quarter. The comparable numbers for first quarter 2003 were 430,000 boe/d (including Sudan) and 377,000 boe/d (excluding Sudan).

Cash flow was $779 million ($6.09/share) for the quarter, compared to $845 million ($6.52/share) a year ago. Excluding Sudan, the comparable number for 2003 was $769 million ($5.93/share). Net income for the quarter was $223 million ($1.70/share) versus $574 million ($4.38/share) in the first three months of 2003. The comparable number for 2003, excluding the gain on sale and income from Sudan operations, was $234 million ($1.76/share).

A stronger Canadian dollar and lower US natural gas prices lowered Talisman's realized price from $44.86/boe a year ago to $38.32/boe in the first quarter of 2004.

"This is a great start to 2004, with Talisman's volume growth and high oil prices offsetting lower NYMEX gas prices and the stronger Canadian dollar," said Dr. Jim Buckee, President and Chief Executive Officer. "I am very pleased with our production growth and we have more projects and more growth on the way.

"Production reached 450,000 boe/d at one point in March. Although I think it would be premature to revise the guidance number of 415,000-445,000 boe/d for the year, all areas of the Company are performing well. In less than a year, we have replaced the production from Sudan.

"Production in Malaysia/Vietnam is averaging approximately 40,000 boe/d. The South Angsi oilfield development is underway and we are excited about our new acreage in Malaysia. The Greater Angostura development in Trinidad is on schedule for first oil production early in 2005.

"Production in the North Sea is up 11% over the first quarter of last year, our North Tartan development and Tweedsmuir field pre-project developments are on schedule and we have just recently increased our stake in the Flotta Catchment area, adding an average of 5,100 bbls/d this year and 9,000 bbls/d next year.

"Talisman set a new record high for its North American gas production volumes in March, averaging 897 mmcf/d. We have also set a new production record in the Foothills. Gas production in the northeastern United States is currently averaging about 75 mmcf/d and should reach volumes in excess of 90 mmcf/d this quarter.

"Given the continuing strength in commodity prices our outlook for cash flow is now closer to $22/share, compared to earlier guidance of $17-22/share. This assumes a US$32.00/bbl WTI oil price, US$5.75 mcf NYMEX gas price and a C$/US$ exchange rate of $0.76."

Talisman First Quarter Summary

  • North American gas production averaged 897 mmcf/d in March, a record high.
  • Talisman drilled 127 successful natural gas wells in North America.
  • Three very successful wells were drilled in the northeastern United States, testing at a combined rate of 56 mmcf/d.
  • North Sea production averaged 145,000 boe/d, an increase of 11% over the same quarter a year ago.
  • Early in May, Talisman Energy (UK) Limited announced the acquisition of additional working interests in its core Flotta Catchment Area.
  • Successful wells were drilled at Claymore (6,000 bbls/d) and North Leven (4,000 bbls/d) in the North Sea.
  • Production in Malaysia/Vietnam averaged 37,000 boe/d during the quarter.
  • Commissioning of PM-3 facilities in Malaysia/Vietnam continued during the quarter.
  • Three successful sidetracks of the Bunga Tulip discovery made in Block PM-3 in late 2003 were completed.
  • Talisman was awarded a large new block (PM-314) adjacent to the South Angsi oil field in Malaysia.
  • Algerian production averaged 13,000 boe/d during the quarter.
  • In Trinidad, the Angostura oil and gas development is on schedule for production startup in early 2005. Production is expected to be 80,000 bbls/d with Talisman's working interest at 25%.
  • The onshore seismic program in Trinidad was completed in April.
  • The Company renewed its normal course issuer bid in March.