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Berry Petroleum reports 2011 results

Thursday, February 23, 2012
  • Proved oil and gas reserves were estimated at 275 million BOE at December 31, 2011.
  • Berry delivered another year of double digit oil growth in 2011.

Berry Petroleum Company (NYSE:BRY) reported a net loss of $228 million, or $4.21 per diluted share in 2011. Oil and gas revenues were $871 million and discretionary cash flow totaled $462 million with cash provided by operating activities of $456 million.

Net earnings for 2011 were affected by a net non-cash impairment of the Company's natural gas properties in E. Texas, a net non-cash gain on derivative instruments, and other items. In total, these items decreased net earnings by $377 million. Adjusted net earnings were $149 million, or $2.69 per diluted share.

Production for the full year 2011 was 35,687 BOE/D. Oil production increased 14% in 2011 to 24,771 BOE/D and the Company's oil mix increased from 66% of production in 2010 to 70% of production in 2011. Total production volumes were up 9% from 32,666 BOE/D in 2010. Development capital for 2011 was $527 million.

Total Proved Reserves of 275 MMBOE; Pre-Tax PV10 of $5.7 Billion, 95% of value from Berry's three oil basins

Proved oil and gas reserves were estimated at 275 million BOE at December 31, 2011. Proved oil reserves were up a total of 12% to 186 million barrels with oil reserves increasing to 68% of total reserves. Reserve growth was driven by activity in Berry's three oil basins where the Company invested $527 million of development capital and made $158 million of oil acquisitions during 2011. These basins make up 73% of proved reserves with 44% in California, 21% in the Permian basin and 8% in the Uinta. Natural gas reserves were down 15%, or 16 million BOE, to 89 million BOE. The year-end reserve estimate includes 20 MMBOE of natural gas reserves in E. Texas that were reclassified from proved to probable due to current low natural gas prices and the assumption that these reserves will not be developed within five years of the date they were originally recorded as proved. Excluding this revision, the company added a total of 36 million BOE of proved reserves after production of 13 million BOE, replacing approximately 275% of 2011 production. At year-end 2011, the Company's proved reserve mix includes 186 million barrels of oil, condensate and natural gas liquids, and 534 billion cubic feet of natural gas, or 68% oil and 32% natural gas. Proved developed reserves increased to 53% of total reserves from 49% in 2010. Berry's pre-tax PV10 increased to $5.7 billion, a 50% increase from the year-end 2010 value of $3.8 billion, with 95% of the value coming from Berry's oil assets. The Company's after tax PV10 at year-end 2011 was $4.0 billion compared to $2.8 billion at year-end 2010.

Robert Heinemann, president and chief executive officer said, 'Berry delivered another year of double digit oil growth in 2011. Investing our 2011 capital in our three oil basins provided oil growth of 14% during the year. While we were impacted by regulatory delays that slowed the pace of development in the diatomite, our portfolio of high return oil assets allowed us to accelerate the growth of our next generation steam floods and Permian assets and begin to appraise our large resource base in the Uinta. Our operating margin grew to $45 per BOE in 2011 from $36 per BOE in 2010 driven by oil production which increased from 66% of production in 2010 to 70% of production in 2011. Our investment in 2011 also delivered solid oil reserve growth. Proved oil reserves increased 29 million BOE in 2011 after oil production of 9 million BOE and our pre-tax PV10 increased 50% over the same period."

Fourth Quarter 2011 - Adjusted Earnings of $0.76 per share, Production of 35,790 BOE/D and Discretionary Cash Flow of $134 million

For the fourth quarter of 2011 the Company reported a net loss of $415 million, or $7.62 per diluted share. The fourth quarter earnings included a non-cash impairment of the Company's E. Texas natural gas assets, a non-cash loss on derivative instruments, and other items that decreased earnings by $457 million. Adjusted net earnings were $42 million or $0.76 per diluted share. Discretionary cash flow during the fourth quarter was $134 million with an operating margin of $48 per BOE.

Production in the fourth quarter of 2011 was 35,790 BOE/D, down 3% from the third quarter of 2011. As expected, diatomite production decreased 820 BOE/D during the fourth quarter to 3,000 BOE/D, as a portion of the Company's active wells were off line pending required well testing and regulatory approvals. While Permian production increased from 5,200 BOE/D in the third quarter to 5,600 BOE/D in the fourth quarter, fourth quarter production was impacted by gas plant curtailments which reduced production by approximately 800 BOE/D. Production in the Uinta basin was flat during the quarter at approximately 5,500 BOE/D.

2012 Outlook

Mr. Heinemann commented on Berry's outlook: 'In 2012, we will continue to focus on growing oil production in California, the Permian and Utah which should drive improved margins and cash flow. We plan to invest between $600 - $650 million and grow total production to between 38,000 BOE/D and 39,000 BOE/D. While the mid-point of our guidance reflects eight percent total production growth over 2011, our oil production is expected to grow by nearly 20% in 2012 and our production stream should increase to over 75% oil for the year. We expect our natural gas assets will decline approximately 20% during the year. Growth in our oil assets should allow us to continue growing our margin to approximately $50 per BOE in 2012 at current prices.

This article is for information and discussion purposes only and does not form a recommendation to invest or otherwise. The value of an investment may fall. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser. More

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