Mariner: 2008 Capex 'Largest in Its History'

Mariner Energy's 2008 capital program is anticipated to be the largest in its history, including approximately 28 exploration wells and 4 development wells. The base operating capital program is $757 million, with significant potential expansion contingent upon drilling success and cash flows. These amounts exclude $42 million of hurricane-related repairs and plugging and abandonment expense with respect to which Mariner plans to submit claims for insurance reimbursement. Also excluded are 2008 acquisitions which have totaled $247 million since January 1, 2008.

Mariner estimates that its full-year 2008 production will range from 130.0 Bcfe to 140.0 Bcfe. This represents an increase of between 30% and 40% over 2007 full-year production of 100.3 Bcfe.

Scott D. Josey elaborated on Mariner's 2008 capital program, stating: "Consistent with Mariner's balanced strategy, our 2008 capital program involves a diverse portfolio of projects ranging from deepwater subsalt exploratory tests to development drilling in West Texas. Depending upon our success, we may have opportunities to increase the size of our capital program, but we believe we have built in sufficient flexibility to allow us to operate within our cash flows and pay down debt, especially in light of planned shelf asset divestitures and expected insurance recoveries during the year."