Antrim Energy Reports Third Quarter Results
Antrim Energy reported its financial and operational results for the three and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2007.
In the third quarter, Antrim successfully completed its planned three well Causeway drilling program on schedule and under budget. Cost savings on the initial program allowed Antrim to add a fourth well to the drilling program, accelerating Antrim's development of the Causeway property. The 2007 Causeway drilling program is now complete, with plans underway for submission of a Field Development Plan in the first quarter of 2008.
Other planned drilling activity in the UK North Sea remains on schedule. Drilling of the non-operated Kerloch prospect, on Block 211/22a North West, is scheduled to commence later this month. Following the acquisition of 3D seismic over the Fyne and Dandy oil fields in June 2007, Antrim has signed a drilling rig contract for a well to be drilled on the Fyne field early in the first quarter of 2008.
In Argentina, drilling has recommenced on the Tierra del Fuego licenses. At least two years of additional drilling is planned on the licenses following the Company's successful 2006 drilling program and acquisition of new 3D seismic completed in the first quarter of 2007. Initial drilling results show success on both the Tierra del Fuego and Medianera licenses.
Cash flow from operations, excluding foreign exchange losses primarily attributed to deposits established for drilling operations in the UK North Sea, increased in the nine months ended September 30, 2007 to $4.6 million from $3.8 million in 2006 on higher oil and gas production in Argentina.
Net production to Antrim in the first three quarters of 2007 was 1,542 boepd compared to 1,047 boepd for the comparable period in 2006. Average net oil production in the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2007 was 598 and 648 bopd, respectively, compared to 583 and 523 bopd, respectively, for the comparable periods in 2006. Oil prices, after export taxes in Tierra del Fuego, averaged in the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2007 $46.43 and $43.74 per barrel, respectively, compared to $58.47 and $54.53 per barrel, respectively, for the comparable periods in 2006. Oil production from both the Puesto Guardian and Tierra del Fuego licenses is sold with reference to the price of West Texas Intermediate ("WTI") crude oil less a quality discount. Domestic oil sales are subject to a mandated discount, which increases as the price of WTI crude oil increases. Oil exports are subject to an export tax introduced in the fourth quarter of 2006 and passed into law in January 2007.
Antrim had cash flow from operations, excluding foreign exchange losses primarily related to drilling activity in the UK North Sea, of $4,621,041 ($0.05 per share) in the first three quarters of 2007 compared to $3,792,009 ($0.06 per share) for the comparable period in 2006. Cash outflow from operations, after foreign exchange losses, in the first three quarters of 2007 was $519,335 ($0.01 per share) compared to cash flow from operations of $3,132,473 ($0.05 per share) for the comparable period in 2006. Net loss in the first three quarters of 2007 was $7,293,700 ($0.07 per share) compared to a net income of $2,100,193 ($0.03 per share) for the comparable period in 2006. Net loss increased due to foreign exchange losses related to the Company's 2007 capital expenditure program and to a lesser degree increased general and administrative costs, stock based compensation expense and higher depletion costs.
At September 30, 2007, Antrim had working capital of $48,552,512 (December 31, 2006 - $55,391,981) including cash and restricted cash of $97,118,283 (December 31, 2006 - $53,714,443) and no debt. Restricted cash at September 30, 2007 of $46,876,586 relates to US dollar and Pound Sterling denominated standby letters of credit issued with respect to the Company's 2007 drilling program in the UK North Sea. Accounts payable and accrued liabilities increased to $54,246,648 at September 30, 2007 primarily as a result of the UK drilling program.
At September 30, 2007 the Company had completed its planned three well Causeway drilling program. Following cost savings on the initial drilling program, a fourth well, originally scheduled to be drilled in 2008 as part of a larger development program, was subsequently added to the 2007 drilling program to accelerate Antrim's development of the Causeway structure. To fund appraisal drilling in 2008 of Antrim's UK North Sea properties, Antrim announced in October 2007 an offering on a bought deal basis of 8,300,000 common shares at a price of $6.05 per common share for gross proceeds of $50,215,000. An over-allotment option was also granted to the underwriters to issue an additional 1,245,000 common shares at a price of $6.05 per share. The financing is expected to close on November 15, 2007.
Overview of Operations:
United Kingdom - Block 211/22a South East and Block 211/23d ("Causeway")
In May 2007, Antrim began drilling the first of three wells designed to evaluate the potential of the central Causeway fault compartment and appraise a previous discovery on the southwestern flank of the structure. A fourth well, originally scheduled to be drilled in 2008 as part of a larger development program, was subsequently added to the 2007 drilling program to accelerate Antrim's development of the Causeway structure.
In October 2007, Antrim announced the completion of the 2007 Causeway drilling program. In total, Antrim drilled five wells on the Causeway structure in 2006 and 2007.
Other wells on the Causeway structure have tested 8,100 bopd (suspended in 1992) and 5,500 bopd (abandoned in 1984). Cumulative test rates from the structure now exceed 35,000 bopd with an expected additional 6,000 - 7,000 bopd from the untested 22a-7a well. Antrim has operatorship and a 65.5% working interest in the Causeway Blocks 211/22a South East and 211/23d.
Antrim intends to submit a Field Development Plan ("FDP") to the Department of Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform in the first quarter of 2008. Further Causeway development drilling is planned for 2008 to include at least one additional producer and a further two pressure support wells. Facility construction is also planned for 2008 on approval of the FDP.
United Kingdom - Block 211/22a North West ("Kerloch")
In November 2007, Antrim plans to participate in drilling the non-operated Kerloch prospect in Block 211/22a North West. The well will target the oil prone Jurassic Brent Sandstones adjacent to the Cormorant oil field and related infrastructure. The proposed location is approximately 10 km northwest of the Causeway 211/23d-17z well drilled by Antrim in mid-2006. Antrim holds a 21% working interest in Block 211/22a North West.
United Kingdom - Block 21/28a ("Fyne and Dandy")
On October 31, 2007, Antrim announced that it had signed a drilling rig contract for a well to be drilled on the Fyne field early in the first quarter of 2008. Antrim acquired a 75% working interest in Block 21/28a in the Central North Sea in November 2006. The block contains the undeveloped Fyne and Dandy oil fields, which have been delineated with eight wells drilled from 1971 to 1998. Antrim is operator of the license and in June 2007 completed the acquisition of 70-km2 3D seismic. The cost of the license acquisition in 2006 was US$8 million. Antrim has agreed to pay the seller an additional US$10 million on approval of a FDP.
United Kingdom - Other Developments
Antrim and its joint venture partners have relinquished their interests in Blocks 42/21 and 42/22 in the United Kingdom Southern Gas Basin based on a technical evaluation by the joint venture ownership group. Antrim held a 17.5% working interest in the two blocks.
Argentina - Tierra del Fuego
In September 2007, Antrim announced the start of its planned two-year drilling program in Tierra del Fuego. The initial phase of the drilling program, backed by a two-year drilling contract, is focusing on the Los Patos field. Nine drilling locations have already been built and the construction of additional locations continues.
To date, three wells have been drilled on the concessions confirming the extension of the Los Patos oil pool discovered in the 2006-drilling program. The first two wells, completed in September and October 2007, encountered net oil pay in the Springhill formation of 10 and 11 meters, respectively. Production rates up to 600 bopd were recorded during swab testing with stabilized rates at between 50 and 75 bopd. Fracture stimulation of the wells is planned. Logging of the third well, drilled in early November, is currently underway, to be followed by production testing.
An expansion of gas processing facilities and installation of a pipeline that will connect the Las Violetas license to the San Martin pipeline is in progress. The expansion of gas processing facilities, including the installation of new dehydration and refrigeration equipment, is projected to be fully operational by December 2007. Completion of this work is expected to increase gross gas processing capacity to 33 million cubic feet per day (mmcf/d). Construction of a new pipeline and subsequent tie-in to the San Martin pipeline is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2008 at which time gross gas processing capacity is expected to increase to approximately 40 mmcf/d. Additional compression facilities required for the pipeline are also under construction. 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 three quarters of 2007 was 1,218 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) compared to 701 boepd for the comparable period in 2006. Net oil production in the first three quarters of 2007 was 324 bopd compared to 185 bopd for the comparable period in 2006. Gas and natural gas liquids ("NGL") production in the first three quarters of 2007 was 5.0 mmcf/d and 67 barrels per day, respectively. Gas and NGL production for the comparable periods in 2006 was 2.8 mmcf/d and 50 barrels per day, respectively.
Argentina - Medianera and Tres Nidos Sur
In August 2007, Antrim announced initial results from two wells drilled in May and June, 2007 on the Medianera license. Pressure measurements indicate a new field discovery in the northern portion of the block. The M-3001 well was perforated in the upper Quintuco zone and swab tested 93 bopd with 30 barrels of water per day from 12 meters of net pay. An additional 5 meters of net pay was encountered in the Lower Quintuco formation, which tested gas at rates up to 3 mmcf/d. Additional completion work is planned at M-3001 to isolate the water-bearing zone.
The second well, M-3002, encountered 14 meters of net oil pay in virgin pressure reservoir in the Upper and Lower Quintuco formation. Following completion and fracture stimulation in October, M-3002 is producing 90 bopd with a watercut of 10%.
Antrim has a 70.0% working interest in the Medianera license. Net production to Antrim from the Medianera license in the first three quarters of 2007 was 31 bopd.
In October 2007, Antrim announced that it had been awarded an exploration license for the Tres Nidos Sur block immediately adjacent to and north of the Medianera license. The acquisition of this license (Antrim 70%) will allow the Company to extend the geological trend proven successful by the recent M-3001 and M-3002 wells on the Medianera license.
Argentina - North West Basin
In October 2007, drilling commenced on the first of two exploratory wells on the Capricorn license in northern Argentina. The wells are expected to be drilled back-to-back in the fourth quarter. Antrim has a 50% working interest in the license, subject to the terms of a farm-out agreement entered into in October 2006 with respect to a portion of its interest in the license. Under the agreement, Antrim will retain a 37.5% working interest in the wells by paying 25% of the drilling costs.
In 2006, 330 km2 of 3D seismic was acquired over the Puesto Guardian license in northern Argentina. The new seismic has been processed and interpretative work is in progress. Antrim intends to use the newly acquired seismic to support a drilling program in 2008, subject to rig availability. Antrim has a 40% working interest in the Puesto Guardian license.
Net production to Antrim from the Puesto Guardian license in the first three quarters of 2007 was 293 bopd compared to 328 bopd for the comparable period in 2006.
Argentina - Other Developments
Effective October 17, 2007, the Argentina government announced an approximately eight-fold increase in the annual land rental or "canon" payable on exploitation and exploration licenses. It is anticipated that after relinquishment of a portion of Antrim's exploitation acreage, the annual rental on exploitation licenses will increase from approximately $100,000 per annum to approximately $700,000 per annum. With respect to exploration acreage, after taking into account current drilling activity on the Capricorn license and the relinquishment of approximately 75% of the license, management believes that the increased rental cost to Antrim in 2007 will be approximately $100,000. Should drilling be unsuccessful, Antrim would relinquish its remaining interest in the Capricorn license to avoid any further rental costs in 2008.
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- Production Resumes at Causeway, Cormorant East Fields (Oct 25)