Orleans Energy Ltd.
TSX : OEX

Orleans Energy Ltd.

January 27, 2010 08:15 ET

Orleans Energy Announces Year-End Corporate Reserves and 2010 Capital Budget and Market Guidance

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Jan. 27, 2010) - Orleans Energy Ltd. ("Orleans" or the "Company") (TSX:OEX) today provided information on its oil and gas reserves as of December 31, 2009, as evaluated by the Company's independent reserve engineering firm, Sproule Associates Limited ("Sproule"). The evaluation of Orleans' petroleum and natural gas reserves was conducted pursuant to National Instrument 51-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Oil and Gas Activities ("NI 51-101") and the Canadian Oil and Gas Evaluation Handbook ("COGEH") reserves definitions.

The Company's 2009 capital activities resulted in the following year-end highlights:

- Notwithstanding the disposition of approximately 2.4 million barrels of oil equivalent ("boe") associated with non-core property dispositions in 2009, Orleans' total proved plus probable oil and gas reserves expanded to approximately 20 million boe, an 11% increase over the 18.0 million boe at December 31, 2008.

- Increased the Company's Montney proved plus probable reserves recognition at Kaybob by 31% to 14.19 million boe, as compared to 10.81 million boe booked at December 31, 2008.

- Executed a strategic capital investment program which resulted in an estimated all-in finding, development and acquisition ("F,D&A") cost of $19.56 per proved plus probable boe. Total F,D&A costs include the change in undiscounted future development costs and approximately $18 million of capital incurred in 2009 associated with the installation of the Kaybob natural gas pipeline project (the "Kaybob K3 Pipeline"), wherein no reserve volumes were assigned with this capital investment. Excluding the Kaybob K3 Pipeline capital expenditure, the Company's estimated proved plus probable F,D&A cost is calculated at $14.06 per boe and $18.10 per proved boe.

- Orleans' production platform is supported by a high-quality, "resource-style" reserves base, weighted 85% natural gas and 15% natural gas liquids and light crude oil, with a reserve life index of 7.5 years (proved) and thirteen years (proved plus probable).



Corporate Reserves Information

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
December 31, 2009 Reserves Summary (Company interest before royalties)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
(December 31, 2009 escalated Natural Crude Oil & Oil
price forecast) Gas NGLs Equivalent
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
(Columns may not add due to rounding) (Bcf) (Mbbls) (Mboe) (6:1)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Proved developed producing 28.409 866.3 5,601.0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Proved developed non-producing 1.757 41.2 334.1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Proved undeveloped 27.486 814.1 5,394.9
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Proved 57.652 1,721.6 11,330.1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Probable 43.369 1,345.0 8,573.2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Proved plus Probable 101.021 3,066.6 19,903.2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
December 31, 2009 Net Present Values ("NPV") Summary (Company interest
before royalties)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
(December 31, 2009 escalated
price forecast) Present value of cash flows before-tax ($000s)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
(Columns may not add due
to rounding) 0% 10% 15% 20%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Proved developed producing $ 143,553 $ 95,353 $ 82,403 $ 72,951
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Proved developed non-producing 5,111 3,337 2,768 2,324
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Proved undeveloped 103,851 43,628 29,081 19,245
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Proved 252,514 142,317 114,252 94,519
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Probable 231,728 91,722 65,732 49,438
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Proved plus Probable $ 484,242 $ 234,039 $ 179,984 $ 143,958
----------------------------------------------------------------------------


A summary of the Company's independent engineer's escalated price forecast assumptions as of December 31, 2009 are as follows:



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
NGLs
WTI Edmonton Edmonton
Cushing Par Price Natural Gas Butanes
Oklahoma 40 Degree API AECO-C Price Plant Gate
Year ($US/bbl) ($Cdn/bbl) ($Cdn/MMbtu) ($Cdn/bbl)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Forecast
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2010 79.17 84.25 5.36 59.65
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2011 84.46 89.99 6.21 63.72
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2012 86.89 92.61 6.44 65.57
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2013 90.20 96.19 7.23 68.11
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2014 92.01 98.13 7.98 69.48
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thereafter Escalation rate of 2%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
NGLs
Edmonton
Pentanes Exchange
Plant Gate Inflation Rate
Year ($Cdn/bbl) Rate(%) ($US/$Cdn)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Forecast
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2010 86.28 2.0 0.92
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2011 92.16 2.0 0.92
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2012 94.84 2.0 0.92
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2013 98.51 2.0 0.92
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2014 100.50 2.0 0.92
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thereafter Escalation rate of 2%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Capital Efficiency

The following highlights the efficiency of Orleans' capital expenditures during 2009 in addition to the comparative fiscal year 2008 and the Company's average over the three-year period of 2007 to 2009:



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Finding, Development & Acquisitions ("FD&A") Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fiscal 2009 Fiscal 2008 2007 - 2009 Average
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
(amounts in $000s
except reserve
units and unit Proved Proved + Proved Proved + Proved Proved +
costs) Probable Probable Probable
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total capital
expenditures(1) $26,328 $26,328 $68,546 $68,546 $140,227 $140,227
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Future capital
- Ending
Period(2) 71,502 111,820 41,746 72,925 71,502 111,820
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Future capital
- Beginning
Period(2) (41,746) (72,925)(20,081) (52,762) (22,277) (34,328)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
All-in total,
Including
change in
future
capital(3) $56,084 $65,223 $90,211 $88,709 $189,452 $217,719
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total reserve
Additions
(mboe) 2,085.4 3,334.0 4,786.6 5,806.0 9,028.3 12,508.4
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
FD&A Cost
($/boe) $26.89 $19.56 $18.85 $15.28 $20.98 $17.41
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notes:
(1) Total capital expenditures for fiscal 2009 are estimated and unaudited
and are net of the capital proceeds associated with the Company's 2009
non-core property disposition program. Total capital expenditures
exclude non-cash capitalized stock-based compensation expense.
(2) Future capital expenditures required to convert proved non-producing
and probable reserves to proved producing.
(3) The aggregate of the exploration and development costs estimated to
be incurred in the most recent financial year and the change during
that year in estimated future development costs generally will not
reflect total finding and development costs related to reserve
additions for that year.


Kaybob Montney Reserves Information

Based on the independent reserves evaluation, 14.19 million boe of proved plus probable reserves (8.56 million boe of proved) have been assigned to Orleans' Montney asset base at Kaybob in West Central Alberta as at December 31, 2009, representing 71% of the Company's year-end reserves booking (76% on a proved basis). This compares to 10.81 million boe of proved plus probable reserves (7.19 million boe of proved) as at December 31, 2008. Net of the Company's estimated 2009 Kaybob area production of approximately 917 thousand boe, this represents a total addition of 4.30 million boe of proved plus probable reserves (2.29 million boe of proved) for the Kaybob property and a reserve replacement of 468% or 4.68 times (proved plus probable). The Montney reserves assignment at Kaybob encompasses 13 gross (10.8 net) sections of land or 46% of the Company's total 28 gross (25.7 net) sections of acreage. Of the 13 sections with reserves assignment, Orleans has an average of 3.3 wells per section of reserves booking. In March 2009, Orleans received down-spacing approval on 25 gross (22.7 net) sections to drill up to five wells per section.

2010 Capital Budget and Market Guidance

Orleans' 2010 capital expenditures budget is approximately $41 million (the "2010 Capital Budget"). The Company intends to internally fund the 2010 Capital Budget with forecasted cash flow from operations and draw downs on its bank credit facility, which is presently drawn approximately $17 million against a borrowing base capacity limit of $53 million.

The 2010 Capital Budget includes the drilling of eleven wells (9.6 net), including six (4.8 net) horizontal wells at Kaybob and three (3.0 net) horizontal locations at Waskahigan, both targeting the Triassic Montney formation. Also included is the drilling of one (1.0 net) vertical exploration well testing another internally-generated Montney prospect and one (0.8 net) horizontal oil well at Gordondale. The drilling and completion expenditure component of Orleans' 2010 Capital Budget is projected at $30 million, with the remaining budgeted funds allocated towards investments in field facilities, seismic programs and undeveloped land expansion.

Based on the 2010 Capital Budget, Orleans' average daily production for 2010 is projected between 4,100 and 4,200 boe per day, weighted 85% natural gas and 15% natural gas liquids and light oil.

With regards to projected cash flow from operations for 2010, utilizing the current forward 2010 strip commodity price assumptions of an AECO gas price of C$5.50 per gigajoule, a West Texas Intermediate ("WTI") oil price of US$77.50 per bbl, and an exchange rate of 1C$ = 0.94US$, cash flow from operations for 2010 is estimated at approximately $28 million or $0.43 per share (basic outstanding). Based on the aforementioned 2010 Capital Budget and cash flow projection, Orleans' year-end 2010 net debt balance is projected to approximate $38 million, as compared to its $53 million borrowing capacity on the Company's extendible, revolving bank credit facility.

As a result of the non-core property dispositions executed in the fourth quarter of 2009, Orleans' property base is now consolidated and focused to West Central Alberta and the Peace River Arch with asset characteristics that are primarily unconventional and "resource style" in nature. The Company possesses: an extensive, operated drilling inventory providing exposure to both natural gas and light oil prospects within a West Central Alberta geographic corridor; access to approximately 59,000 gross acres with high working interest (88%) undeveloped land; a long-life, proved plus probable reserves base of approximately 20 million barrels of oil equivalent with a reserve life index of 13 years, and an operated production base allowing for year-round access.

Orleans anticipates releasing its audited annual financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2009 on or about March 25, 2010.

Orleans Energy Ltd. is a Calgary, Alberta-based crude oil and natural gas company, with common shares trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "OEX". Orleans is a team of dedicated, experienced professionals focused on the creation of shareholder value via acquisition, exploration and development of crude oil and natural gas assets in Alberta, Canada.

The information in this news release contains certain forward-looking statements. These statements relate to future events or our future performance. All statements other than statements of historical fact may be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "seek", "anticipate", "plan", "continue", "estimate", "approximate", "expect", "may", "will", "project", "predict", "potential", "targeting", "intend", "could", "might", "should", "believe", "would" and similar expressions. These statements involve substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties, certain of which are beyond the Company's control, including: the impact of general economic conditions; industry conditions; changes in laws and regulations including the adoption of new environmental laws and regulations and changes in how they are interpreted and enforced; fluctuations in commodity prices and foreign exchange and interest rates; stock market volatility and market valuations; volatility in market prices for oil and natural gas; liabilities inherent in oil and natural gas operations; uncertainties associated with estimating oil and natural gas reserves; competition for, among other things, capital, acquisitions, of reserves, undeveloped lands and skilled personnel; incorrect assessments of the value of acquisitions; changes in income tax laws or changes in tax laws and incentive programs relating to the oil and gas industry ; geological, technical, drilling and processing problems and other difficulties in producing petroleum reserves; and obtaining required approvals of regulatory authorities. The Company's actual results, performance or achievement could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, such forward-looking statements and, accordingly, no assurances can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will transpire or occur or, if any of them do, what benefits that the Company will derive from them. These statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties and may be based on assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated or implied in the forward-looking statements. The Company's forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement.Except as required by law, the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements.

In this news release, reserves and production data are commonly stated in barrels of oil equivalent ("boe") using a six to one conversion ratio when converting thousands of cubic feet of natural gas ("mcf") to barrels of oil ("bbl") and a one to one conversion ratio for natural gas liquids ("NGLs" or "ngls"). Such conversion may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A boe conversion ratio of 6 mcf: 1 bbl is based on energy equivalency conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent a value equivalency at the wellhead.

The term cash flow from operations or operating cash flow contained herein should not be considered as an alternative to, or more meaningful than, cash flow from operating activities as determined in accordance with Canadian generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"). This term does not have a standardized meaning under GAAP and may not be comparable to other companies. Orleans believes that cash flow from operations is a useful supplementary measure as investors may use this information to analyze operating performance, leverage and liquidity. Cash flow from operations, as disclosed within this news release, represents funds from operations before any asset retirement obligation cash expenditures and is expressed before changes in non-cash working capital. Additionally, net debt refers to outstanding bank debt plus working capital deficit (excludes current unrealized amounts pertaining to risk management commodity contracts) plus long-term accounts receivables. Net debt is not a recognized measure under Canadian GAAP.

Contact Information