Wiser Oil Sets 2003 Capital Budget
The Board of Directors of the Company approved an exploration and development budget of $32 million for 2003. Of the total, approximately $16.5 million, or 53%, is allocated to activities in the U.S. with the balance, $15.5 million, earmarked for Canada. The 2003 budget allocates approximately $14.4 million towards development activities, including the anticipated drilling of 30 development wells, $11.5 million towards the drilling of 19 exploratory wells and $6.1 million in land and seismic expenditures. Major focus areas for spending in 2003 include projects in onshore South Texas, the Gulf of Mexico, the Wild River area and the Hayter oil field in southeast Alberta. Approximately 45.6 billion cubic feet equivalent (BCFE) of net unrisked reserves are targeted with the exploratory drilling program.
Assuming risked success from its 2003 capital expenditure program, the Company projects that its net 2003 production will average approximately 69,000 thousand cubic feet equivalent per day (MCFEPD), 57% natural gas, consisting of approximately 39,000 MCF of natural gas and 5,000 barrels of oil and natural gas liquids (NGL's) per day for a total production of 25.2 BCFE. The anticipated entry production rate for 2003 is 62,000 MCFEPD and the forecasted exit production rate for 2003 is 73,600 MCFEPD (26.9 BCFE annualized). The 2003 production forecast represents an approximate 7% increase over estimated 2002 average production of 64,300 MCFEPD, or a total production of 23.5 BCFE.
George K. Hickox, Jr., Wiser Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said: "Our 2003 capital budget is very targeted and was set after a rigorous internal review and allocation process designed to balance our exposure to exploration versus development and U.S. versus Canadian activities. We have an inventory of prospects in South Texas, the Gulf of Mexico and Canada that we believe will add considerable economic reserves and production to Wiser's core operating base. We are encouraged by our success at Wild River and look to this area to make a significant impact on our gas production in this and future years. The budget has the flexibility to reallocate capital to areas like Wild River in Alberta, should the Company see the right opportunities. We exit the year no longer burdened by natural gas commodity hedges that materially curtailed our financial results in 2002. We are hopeful that natural gas prices will continue to stay strong through 2003 and reward our strategy of aggressively spending in 2002 and increasing Wiser's percentage of gas production from 46% in 2000 to approximately 55% in 2003."