Petrominerales Ltd.
TSX : PMG

Petrominerales Ltd.

November 13, 2006 01:27 ET

Petrominerales Announces Strong Third Quarter Results

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 13, 2006) - Petrominerales Ltd. (TSX:PMG) ("Petrominerales" or the "Company") is pleased to announce third quarter financial and operating results. The Company's third quarter 2006 interim report, including financial statements and management's discussion and analysis, is available on the Company's website at www.petrominerales.com and filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Financial and Operating Highlights



Financial and Operating Highlights

Three months ended Nine months ended
September 30, % September 30, %
2006 2005 (1) change 2006 (1) 2005 (1) change
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Financial
(US$000s, except
where noted)
Crude oil
revenue 12,818 4,953 159 32,638 12,739 156
Funds flow from
operations (2) 8,202 2,668 207 22,044 6,182 257
Per share -
basic and
diluted ($) (3) 0.09 0.03 200 0.26 0.08 225
Net income 4,252 1,182 260 12,121 1,996 507
Per share -
basic and
diluted ($) (3) 0.04 0.01 300 0.14 0.03 367
Capital
expenditures 21,696 4,216 415 49,748 12,601 295
Total assets 178,570 72,908 145 178,570 72,908 145
Cash and working
capital
(deficit) 28,341 (810) 28,341 (810)
Common shares
outstanding, end
of period (000s)
Basic 95,000 79,000 20 95,000 79,000 20
Diluted 98,090 79,000 24 98,090 79,000 24

Operations

Operating
netback
($/bbl)
Crude oil
revenue 57.57 50.17 15 56.05 44.19 27
Royalties 4.60 4.01 15 4.50 3.54 27
Production
expenses 6.97 7.84 (11) 6.70 7.61 (12)
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Operating
netback 46.00 38.32 20 44.85 33.04 36
Average daily
crude oil
production (bbls) 2,420 1,073 126 2,133 1,056 102
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(1) Amounts in the periods ending on or before June 30, 2006 have been translated and restated in US$ from the previously reported Canadian dollar amounts. See "Change in Accounting Policy" within Management's Discussion and Analysis ("MD&A").

(2) Calculated based on cash flow from operations before changes in non-cash working capital.

(3) Assumed weighted average number of basic and diluted shares totalled 78,999,900 prior to incorporation on April 20, 2006. See "Formation of the Company" within MD&A.

Highlights

(The results throughout this release are expressed in United States dollars, except where noted)

The third quarter results continue to reflect the impact of the Company's drilling and completion at Orito and Neiva and the completion of the initial public offering and TSX listing of Petrominerales Ltd. ("Petrominerales") (TSX:PMG) on June 29, 2006, generating gross proceeds to the Company of Cdn$60 million. The results are highlighted as follows:

- Oil production averaged 2,420 bpd in the third quarter of 2006, a 126 percent increase over the comparative 2005 period.

- Funds flow from operations increased 207 percent to $8.2 million.

- Net income increased 260 percent to $4.3 million.

- Operating netbacks improved 20 percent to $46.00 per barrel.

Operational Update

During the third quarter the activities of Petrominerales, an 80.7 percent owned subsidiary of Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd. (Petrobank"), were focused on continuing development in Orito, implementing our pilot fracture stimulation program in Neiva and preparing for a significant exploration drilling program in the Llanos and Putumayo Basins which will begin during the first quarter of 2007.

Third quarter 2006 production averaged 2,420 bpd compared to 2,612 bpd in the second quarter of 2006 and 1,073 bpd in the third quarter of 2005. The significant increase from the prior year period is mainly due to the success of the Orito-117 and 118 completions at the end of the first quarter of 2006 which proved-up a significant southwest extension to the Orito field. The decrease from the prior quarter is mainly a result of certain wells being taken off production during the period for the re-work and recompletion programs outlined below, and due to natural declines.

Orito

We have now completed drilling three wells in the Orito field since June 2006, the Orito-119 well, the redrill of the Orito-116 location and the Orito-124 well.

The Orito-119 well was completed in the upper Caballos sands using a slim hole drilling design. Due to a lack of pressure integrity behind the production liner, a remedial cement job was attempted on the well. With this poor cement job, we were unable to apply our revised fracture stimulation program to the productive intervals in this well and initial oil production from the well has been limited to approximately 60 bpd. If this well exhibits improving productive capability as it cleans up following completion, we plan to install an electrical submersible pump to optimize the productive capability of the well.

Following the Orito-119 well, the rig drilled the sidetrack of the Orito-116 well, also incorporating our slim-hole drilling design, which reached total depth of 6,525 feet on July 4, 2006. As expected, the sidetrack well encountered a similar high quality series of Caballos sands as in the original 116 well which was our original confirmation of the southwest extension to the field, initially testing at rates of more than 1,000 bpd. Unfortunately, the sidetracked well appears to have experienced a casing collapse, similar to the one which occurred in the original 116 well and has now been abandoned. Based on these two well results and similar issues associated with the Orito-113 recompletion discussed below, Petrominerales will be eliminating slim-hole drilling design from our future development plans.

Following the Orito-116 sidetrack, the rig commenced drilling Orito-124, which reached total depth of 8,134 feet on October 3, 2006. We are in the process of completing the Orito-124 well, in the prolific southwest extension area of the field. Log analysis indicates significant hydrocarbon reserves in the Caballos B, C and D sands. Initial tests of the Caballos "B2" and "B3" reservoirs indicate oil productivity, and we are currently in the process of fracture stimulating these sands. Immediately thereafter we plan to fracture stimulate the C and D sands and put the well on test. The Orito-122 well is now drilling at a depth of 6,600 feet and we expect to reach total depth within the next week. The Orito-122 well is expected to prove the updip extension of the oil zone and more fully define the potential of this undrilled area. A successful well in this region of the field has the potential to further increase our inventory of development drilling locations.

In addition to this recent drilling, we also performed re-completions on the Orito-113 and Orito-115 wells. We re-entered the Orito-113 well in an attempt to recover lost production due to near wellbore damage and the well was also deepened to the Upper Caballos A sand. A slim hole liner was set in the previous open-hole productive interval to facilitate further fracture stimulation and zonal isolation. During our pre-stimulation operations, pressure communication behind the liner was observed, and the subsequent fracture stimulation was postponed. We installed a liner top packer to achieve annular isolation and performed a remedial cement job to allow for a successful fracture stimulation of the Caballos zone in that well. The well is currently cleaning up at rates of approximately 250 bpd. The Orito-115 well was also re-completed with a production liner and a fracture stimulation program. The well was placed back on-line recently, and is currently cleaning up with oil production rates of approximately 80 bpd, well in excess of the well's pre-stimulation potential.

Our second drilling rig, contracted for 16 months, has been further delayed and it is not expected to arrive in Orito before mid December. We are assessing the possibility of moving this rig directly to our Llanos exploration program to avoid high mobilization and demobilization costs associated with moving it into Orito where it would most likely only be capable of drilling one additional development well prior to returning to the Llanos Basin to commence our exploration program. Irrespective of our short-term plans, the rig will ultimately be moved to Orito to accelerate our development drilling program.

Neiva

At Neiva, we completed our initial phase of fracture stimulations involving five test wells in the Honda and Doima-Chicoral reservoirs. The DT-56 (Doima-Chicoral) stimulation was highly successful, increasing gross oil production rates from 86 to 170 bpd. The Honda formation fracture stimulations included the installations of progressive cavity pumps ("PCPs") and initially has resulted in significant increases in production. Based on positive initial results, we plan to drill at least three new Doima-Chicoral wells incorporating our fracture stimulation design into the completions. We will continue to monitor the Honda fracture stimulations and expect to be able to expand this program to more than 50 additional Honda locations at Neiva. We have also recently completed the conversion of two wells to water injectors as part of an initial pilot water flood program in the Honda reservoir. We commenced water injection on November 1st and expect response in the surrounding wells during the first half of 2007.

Exploration

Petrominerales has completed the first phase exploration commitments, which included acquiring 3-D seismic and interpretation of existing data on the first five of our exploration blocks, evaluating key, prospective portions of each block. Beginning in February 2007, we will begin a five-well drilling program to test the initial prospects on each of the Casanare Este, Casimena, Corcel and Las Aguilas blocks, as well as our second test on the Joropo block. In addition, Petrominerales has signed two exploration licenses (Mapache and Castor) covering a significant portion of the original Chicago Technical Evaluation Agreement ("TEA"). The recently signed Mapache block covers 107,705 acres and our proposal includes a first phase commitment to acquire 40 square kilometers of 3-D seismic and to drill two exploration wells, which are scheduled for the first quarter of 2008. The Castor block, which was just approved by the National Hydrocarbon Agency, covers 110,265 acres and our proposal includes the acquisition of an initial 30 square kilometer 3-D seismic survey and drilling one well. Petrominerales has also been evaluating the heavy oil potential of our two TEAs in the southern Llanos Basin, where there is evidence of an extensive heavy oil belt. We have begun negotiations to change the entire Rio Ariari TEA to an exploration block covering slightly more than 600,000 acres. Our proposal includes a first phase work commitment of 100 kilometers of 2-D seismic. We hope to complete negotiations on the Rio Ariari exploration license by the end of the month. We have also submitted a proposal to convert approximately 177,500 acres of the original Chiguiro TEA into an exploration license and we are evaluating our first right of refusal on a third party proposal over another portion of the original TEA area covering approximately 125,000 acres. Petrominerales has a license to use Petrobank's THAI™ technology and is evaluating the technology's applicability to these Llanos Basin heavy oil deposits.

Upon acceptance of these most recent exploration proposals, Petrominerales' exploration land base will total 2.0 million acres in nine exploration blocks and two TEAs.

Outlook

Petrominerales continues to enjoy strong cash flows as a result of increasing production and high world oil prices that coupled with existing financial resources has positioned us to execute our near-term growth strategy. We have guaranteed access to drilling equipment and a balanced inventory of high impact development opportunities and exciting exploration prospects to be drilled over the coming months.

Petrominerales Ltd.

Petrominerales Ltd. is a Latin American-based exploration and production company producing oil through two Incremental Production Contracts in Colombia and has exploration contracts and Technical Evaluation Agreements covering a total of 2.0 million acres in the Llanos and Putumayo Basins. Petrominerales is 80.7% owned by Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd. (TSX/OSLO: PBG).

Certain statements in this release are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Specifically, this press release contains forward-looking statements relating to the timing of capital projects and the results of operations. 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. Such factors include, but are not limited to: general economic, market and business conditions; fluctuations in oil prices; the results of exploration and development of drilling and related activities; 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 Petrominerales that actual results achieved during the forecast period will be the same in whole or in part as those forecast.

Contact Information

  • Petrominerales Ltd.
    John D. Wright
    President and CEO
    (403) 750-4400
    or
    Petrominerales Ltd.
    Corey C. Ruttan
    Vice-President Finance and CFO
    (403) 750-4400
    or
    Petrominerales Ltd.
    Calle 114 No. 9-45,
    Torre B Oficina 1506, Bogota, Colombia
    011 571 629 2701 or (403) 750-4400
    011 571 629 4723 (FAX)