Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd.
TSX : PBG

Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd.

March 12, 2009 03:42 ET

Petrobank Announces Record 2008 Results

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 12, 2009) - Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd. ("Petrobank" or the "Company") (TSX:PBG) is pleased to announce record year-end financial and operating results.

(All references to $ are Canadian dollars unless otherwise noted)

HIGHLIGHTS

(Annual comparisons are 2008 compared to 2007 and quarterly comparisons are fourth quarter 2008 compared to the fourth quarter of 2007)

- Production increased by 181% to 28,742 barrels of oil equivalent per day ("boepd") in 2008 from 10,243 boepd in 2007. Canadian Business Unit ("CBU") production increased by 225% to 17,775 boepd and production from the Latin American Business Unit ("LABU") increased by 130% to 10,967 barrels of oil per day ("bopd") in 2008.

- Fourth quarter average daily production increased by 111% in 2008 to 37,618 boepd from 17,829 boepd in the fourth quarter of 2007. CBU production increased by 170% to 22,274 boepd and production from the LABU increased by 60% to 15,344 bopd.

- Average daily production increased further to 47,897 boepd in February 2009 comprised of 22,000 boepd from the CBU and 25,897 bopd from the LABU.

- CBU operating netbacks increased 37% in 2008 to $67.99/boe and averaged $39.04/boe in the fourth quarter.

- LABU operating netbacks increased 21% in 2008 to $69.61/bbl and averaged $42.45/bbl in the fourth quarter.

- Strong operating netbacks generated 2008 recycle ratios of 2.4 times in the CBU and 2.1 times in the LABU based on "all-in" 2P FD&A costs.

- Funds flow from operations increased by 281% in 2008 to $665.9 million or $7.28 per diluted share.

- Funds flow from operations increased by 59% in the fourth quarter to $147.8 million or $1.63 per diluted share.

- Net income tripled in 2008 to $244.5 million or $2.76 per diluted share.

- Net income decreased by 30% in the fourth quarter to $28.1 million or $0.34 per diluted share.

A full Petrobank operational and reserves update was published on March 5, 2009 and can be found at www.petrobank.com. A full operational update of our 76.5% owned LABU, Petrominerales Ltd., was published on March 1, 2009 and can be found at www.petrominerales.com. Highlights of the March 5, 2009 release include:

- CBU proved plus probable ("2P") reserves increased by 95% to 59.5 million boe at December 31, 2008 and we replaced 2008 production more than 5.5 times.

- CBU proved plus probable plus possible ("3P") reserves increased by 83% to 86.2 million boe with net present value, before tax, discounted at 10% of $2.0 billion.

- Heavy Oil Business Unit ("HBU") 2P reserves increased by 171% to 69.0 million barrels with net present value, before tax, discounted at 8% of $392.8 million.

- HBU 3P reserves plus high estimate contingent recoverable bitumen resources totaled 814.7 million barrels with net present value, before tax, discounted at 8% of $3.6 billion.

- LABU 2P reserves were flat year over year at 36.8 million barrels with net present value, before tax, discounted at 10% of US$1.2 billion.

- LABU 3P reserves increased by 6% to 55.0 million barrels with net present value, before tax, discounted at 10% of US$1.8 billion.

- Petrobank's total company 2P reserves increased by 61% to 156.7 million boe with net present value of $3.0 billion up from $2.1 billion in 2007.

- Petrobank's total company 3P reserves increased by 12% to 205.9 million boe with net present value of $4.2 billion up from $3.2 billion in 2007.

FINANCIAL & OPERATING HIGHLIGHTS

The following table provides a summary of Petrobank's financial and operating results for the three and twelve month periods ended December 31, 2008 and 2007. Consolidated financial statements with Management's Discussion and Analysis ("MD&A") are now available on the Company's website at www.petrobank.com and will also be available on the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com.



Three months ended Years ended
Financial December 31, % December 31, %
($000s, except where noted) 2008 2007 change 2008 2007 change
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Oil and natural gas revenue 206,161 127,308 62 950,068 257,736 269
Funds flow from operations
(1) 147,813 92,733 59 665,933 174,864 281
Per share - basic ($) 1.78 1.20 48 8.09 2.31 250
Per share - diluted ($) 1.63 1.05 55 7.28 2.10 247
Net income 28,083 40,146 (30) 244,482 81,427 200
Per share - basic ($) 0.34 0.52 (35) 2.97 1.08 175
Per share - diluted ($) 0.34 0.45 (24) 2.76 0.99 179
EBITDA (1) 138,529 94,200 47 683,253 180,030 280
Capital expenditures 279,982 136,528 105 909,913 510,264 78
Net debt / (net working
capital) (1) 355,665 (16,068) - 355,665 (16,068) -
Common shares outstanding,
end of year (000s)
Basic 83,525 77,271 8 83,525 77,271 8
Diluted (2) 99,043 90,038 10 99,043 90,038 10
Weighted average common
shares outstanding (000s)
Basic 83,197 76,972 8 82,268 75,552 9
Diluted 83,344 88,494 (6) 90,096 83,800 8
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Operations
CBU operating netback ($/boe
except where noted) (1)(3)
Oil and NGL revenue ($/bbl)
(4) 57.71 80.83 (29) 92.80 75.64 23
Natural gas revenue ($/mcf)
(4) 6.86 6.05 13 8.06 6.35 27
Oil and natural gas revenue
(4) 55.90 72.42 (23) 86.78 62.62 39
Royalties 8.62 5.11 69 10.03 4.86 106
Production expenses 8.24 7.99 3 8.76 8.19 7
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Operating netback (5) 39.04 59.32 (34) 67.99 49.57 37

LABU operating netback ($/bbl)
(1)
Oil revenue (4) 54.93 76.53 (28) 87.15 71.74 21
Royalties 4.68 7.74 (40) 8.46 6.68 27
Production expenses 7.80 7.34 6 9.08 7.37 23
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Operating netback 42.45 61.45 (31) 69.61 57.69 21

Average daily production (3)
CBU - oil and NGL (bbls) 19,841 6,691 197 15,369 3,579 329
CBU - natural gas (mcf) 14,598 9,379 56 14,436 11,379 27
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Total CBU conventional
(boe) 22,274 8,254 170 17,775 5,476 225
LABU - oil (bbls) 15,344 9,575 60 10,967 4,767 130
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Total Company conventional
(boe) 37,618 17,829 111 28,742 10,243 181
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(1) Non-GAAP measure. See "Non-GAAP Measures" within MD&A.
(2) Assumes 8.8 million common shares will be issued upon conversion of the
Company's convertible debentures which were issued in 2007.
(3) Six mcf of natural gas is equivalent to one barrel of oil equivalent
("boe"). HBU bitumen volumes are excluded from average daily production
as Whitesands operations are considered to be in the pre-operating stage
and accordingly are capitalized.
(4) Net of transportation expenses.
(5) Excludes hedging activities.
(6) Calculated using the weighted average basic common shares for the
period.
(7) Calculated using the end of year basic common shares outstanding.
(8) Total Company includes only Petrobank's 76.5% share of the LABU's
reserves at December 31, 2008 and 2007.


DELIVERING PER SHARE GROWTH

Petrobank's exceptional growth in 2008 was achieved almost entirely through the drill bit. With the exception of the Peerless acquisition in January 2008, all the Company's organic production growth was driven by active and highly successful drilling programs. Each of the Canadian and Latin American business units more than doubled production year over year on both an absolute and per share basis. Combined total Company production per share increased by 162% in 2008. On a reserves per share basis, the Company increased total proved reserves by 57%, total proved plus probable reserves by 72%, and total proved plus probable plus possible reserves by 15% in 2008. This performance reflects our commitment to increasing per share value through focused high-impact capital expenditures, and accretive acquisitions.



Three months ended Years ended
Per Share Growth December 31, % December 31, %
($000s, except where noted) 2008 2007 change 2008 2007 change
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Average daily production per million shares by Business Unit (1)
CBU conventional (boe) 268 107 150 216 72 200
LABU - Colombia (bbls) 184 108 70 122 57 114
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Total Company
conventional (boe) 452 215 110 338 129 162
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Total proved reserves per share (2)
CBU (boe) 0.48 0.25 92
LABU - Colombia (bbls) 0.30 0.27 11
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Total Company (boe) (3) 0.72 0.46 57
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Total proved plus probable reserves per share (2)
CBU (boe) 0.71 0.39 82
HBU (bbls) 0.83 0.33 152
LABU - Colombia (bbls) 0.44 0.48 (8)
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Total Company (boe) (3) 1.88 1.09 72
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Total proved plus probable plus possible reserves per share (2)
CBU (boe) 1.03 0.61 69
HBU (bbls) 0.93 1.02 (9)
LABU - Colombia (bbls) 0.66 0.67 (1)
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Total Company (boe) (3) 2.47 2.14 15
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(1) Calculated using the weighted average basic common shares for the
period.
(2) Calculated using the end of year reserves divided by basic common shares
outstanding.
(3) Total Company includes only Petrobank's 76.5% share of the LABU's
reserves at December 31, 2008 and 2007.


STRONG FINANCIAL RESULTS

Petrobank's production growth coupled with high world oil prices during the first three quarters of the year combined to generate record levels of cash flow and net income. Funds flow from operations increased 281% in 2008 to $665.9 million or $7.28 per diluted common share. Net income increased 200% to $244.5 million or $2.76 per diluted common share.

In 2008, our CBU results were driven by ongoing development of our Bakken properties in southeast Saskatchewan and we continued to add to our inventory of opportunities for long-term growth. The acquisition of Peerless Energy Inc. on January 28, 2008 added a combination of existing production and undeveloped land in our CBU's core southeast Saskatchewan area. We also acquired Rocor Resources Inc. on October 2, 2008 which provides us with longer-term natural gas assets within the prolific Montney formation of northeast British Columbia.

Our LABU delivered similarly strong results in 2008, driven by strong production growth at Corcel and progression of our significant exploration campaign, building an inventory of opportunities for further growth.

Despite a significant drop in world oil prices, Petrobank delivered strong results through the fourth quarter, fueled by continued production growth. Fourth quarter production increased by 111% in 2008 to 37,618 boepd from 17,829 boepd in the fourth quarter of 2007. CBU production increased by 170% to 22,274 boepd and production from the LABU increased by 60% to 15,344 bopd. Production continued to increase into 2009 averaging 47,897 boepd in February. Funds flow from operations increased 59% in the fourth quarter to $147.8 million or $1.63 per diluted common share. Net income decreased 30% to $28.1 million or $0.34 per diluted common share.

Petrobank's results benefit from strong operating netbacks, especially in the current commodity price environment. Our operating netbacks are reflective of our high quality light oil production that receives premium pricing, excellent fiscal regimes in Saskatchewan and Colombia, and our low cost operations. CBU operating netbacks increased 37% in 2008 to $67.99/boe and averaged $39.04/boe in the fourth quarter. LABU operating netbacks increased 21% in 2008 to $69.61/bbl and averaged $42.45/bbl in the fourth quarter.

ECONOMIC CLIMATE

The past year was characterized by record oil prices during the first three quarters and then sharp declines as the emerging world recession affected the outlook for world oil demand. At the same time credit markets around the world deteriorated. While this environment is challenging from both a commodity price and credit perspective, we are well positioned with strong operating netbacks, significant production and reserves growth, and the ability to execute a highly flexible capital program in 2009 that can be readily increased or decreased as commodity prices change.

At December 31, 2008, we had $315.2 million of bank debt and we have Canadian credit facilities with a combined borrowing base of $380 million. In addition to this $65 million of available credit capacity, Petrobank had $32.9 million of risk management assets relating to the fair value of our 2009 hedges that could also be monetized to further increase our financial flexibility. In Colombia, Petrominerales has an undrawn credit facility with a US$80 million borrowing base. Petrobank's borrowing capacity is expected to benefit from significant increases in proved developed producing reserves, up 222% to 26.5 million boe in the CBU, and up 56% to 14.2 million barrels in the LABU.

Petrobank is well positioned for success in the current economic environment. We have a strong balance sheet, excellent assets that are providing strong production growth, superior operating netbacks and an exciting inventory of exploration and longer-term development prospects. The current economic environment, while challenging, is opening up opportunities and has resulted in lower costs, and more availability of equipment and services. In 2009, we intend to balance capital spending with existing cash balances, expected future cash flows, and prudent use of our credit facilities to execute our capital plans.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROTECTION

Petrobank's wholly owned subsidiary, Archon Technologies Ltd., has achieved an important milestone with the granting of two new U.S. patents, for previously filed patent applications covering improvements that add novel features to Archon's existing THAI™ (Toe-to-Heel Air Injection) and CAPRI™ technologies. These new patents enable pressure and temperature control in the horizontal producer as well as the co-injection of oxygen and CO2 that combines the benefits of thermal and solvent flooding. In addition, these patents extend the life of our existing intellectual property to 2026. Three other patent applications are pending, covering a "Heel-to-Toe" combustion design, our novel well design and catalyst placement for CAPRI™, and downhole solvent injection. The Archon suite of patents are filed under the Patent Convention Treaty for worldwide coverage. Archon continues to develop additional patentable intellectual property to further enhance and expand the effectiveness of our core THAI™ and CAPRI™ technologies.

Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd.

Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd. is a Calgary-based oil and natural gas exploration and production company with operations in western Canada and Colombia. The Company operates high-impact projects through three business units and a technology subsidiary. The Canadian Business Unit is focused on developing a solid production platform from the Bakken light oil play in southeast Saskatchewan, and exploiting a large undeveloped land base through the application of new technology to large oil and gas resource opportunities. The Latin American Business Unit, operated by Petrobank's 76.5% owned TSX-listed subsidiary, Petrominerales Ltd. (TSX:PMG), is a Latin American-based exploration and production company producing oil in Colombia with 16 exploration blocks covering a total of 1.9 million acres in the Llanos and Putumayo Basins of Colombia and 2.6 million acres in the Ucayali Basin of Peru. Whitesands Insitu Partnership, a partnership between Petrobank and its wholly-owned subsidiary Whitesands Insitu Inc., owns 75 net sections of oil sands leases in Alberta, 36 sections of oil sands licenses in Saskatchewan and operates the Whitesands project which is field-demonstrating Petrobank's patented THAI™ heavy oil recovery process. THAI™ is an evolutionary in-situ combustion technology for the recovery of bitumen and heavy oil that integrates existing proven technologies and provides the opportunity to create a step change in the development of heavy oil resources globally. THAI™ and CAPRI™ are registered trademarks of Archon Technologies Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Petrobank.

Barrels of Oil Equivalent ("boe")

Disclosure provided herein in respect of boe units may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A boe conversion relationship of 6 mcf to 1 bbl is based on an energy equivalency conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent a value equivalency at the well head.

Non-GAAP Measures

This report contains financial terms that are not considered measures under Canadian generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"), such as funds flow from operations, funds flow per share, EBITDA, net debt and operating netback. These measures are commonly utilized in the oil and gas industry and are considered informative for management and shareholders. Specifically, funds flow from operations and funds flow per share reflect cash generated from operating activities before changes in non-cash working capital. Management considers funds flow from operations and funds flow per share important as they help evaluate performance and demonstrate the Company's ability to generate sufficient cash to fund future growth opportunities and repay debt. EBITDA is defined as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, non-controlling interest and non-cash items. Net debt includes bank debt plus accounts payable and accrued liabilities less current assets (excluding future income tax asset) and is used to evaluate the Company's financial leverage. Profitability relative to commodity prices per unit of production is demonstrated by an operating netback. Funds flow from operations, funds flow per share, EBITDA, net debt and operating netbacks may not be comparable to those reported by other companies nor should they be viewed as an alternative to cash flow from operations, net income or other measures of financial performance calculated in accordance with GAAP. The following table shows the reconciliation of funds flow from operations to cash flow from operating activities for the periods noted:




Three months ended December 31, Years ended December 31,
2008 2007 Change 2008 2007 Change
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Funds flow from
operations: Non-GAAP 147,813 92,733 59% 665,933 174,864 281%
Changes in non-cash
working capital 75,853 23,384 224% (12,323) 10,716 -
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Cash flow from
operating
activities: GAAP 223,666 116,117 93% 653,610 185,580 252%
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Forward-Looking Statements

Certain information provided in this press release constitutes forward-looking statements. The words "anticipate", "expect", "project", "estimate", "forecast" and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Specifically, this press release contains forward-looking statements relating to results of operations and the timing of certain projects. The reader is cautioned that assumptions used in the preparation of such information, although considered reasonable at the time of preparation, may prove to be incorrect. Actual results achieved during the forecast period will vary from the information provided herein as a result of numerous known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors. You can find a discussion of those risks and uncertainties in our Canadian securities filings. Such factors include, but are not limited to: general economic, market and business conditions; fluctuations in oil prices; the results of exploration and development drilling, recompletions and related activities; timing and rig availability, outcome of exploration contract negotiations; fluctuation in foreign currency exchange rates; the uncertainty of reserve estimates; changes in environmental and other regulations; risks associated with oil and gas operations; and other factors, many of which are beyond the control of the Company. There is no representation by Petrobank that actual results achieved during the forecast period will be the same in whole or in part as those forecast. Except as may be required by applicable securities laws, Petrobank assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements made herein or otherwise, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Contact Information

  • Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd.
    John D. Wright
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    (403) 750-4400
    or
    Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd.
    Chris J. Bloomer
    Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Heavy Oil
    (403) 750-4400
    or
    Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd.
    Corey C. Ruttan
    Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
    (403) 750-4400
    or
    Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd.
    R. Gregg Smith
    Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Canada
    (403) 750-4400
    or
    Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd.
    Suite 1900, 111 - 5th Avenue S.W.
    Calgary, Alberta T2P 3Y6
    (403) 750-4400
    (403) 266-5794 (FAX)
    Email: ir@petrobank.com
    Website: www.petrobank.com