USA: Stone Energy Releases Solid Second Quarter Results

USA Stone Energy Releases Solid Second Quarter Results

Stone Energy Corporation announced financial and operational results for the second quarter of 2012 and provided updated guidance.

Some of the highlights include:

– Produced 40.5 MBoe (243 MMcfe) per day during the second quarter of 2012, which represents a 4% increase when compared to the second quarter of 2011. The volumes were impacted by shut-ins due to Tropical Storm Debby and greater than expected third party pipeline downtime and maintenance. Preliminary production for July averaged approximately 42,500 Boe (255 MMcfe) per day.

– Drilled the successful deep gas La Cantera #2 delineation well, extending the known limits of the reservoir.

– Acquired the remaining 25% interest in the deep water Pompano field from Anadarko and began well-work projects during the quarter.

– Submitted the high bid on 26 offshore blocks totaling $35.8 million at the June BOEM lease sale.

– Spudded the Parmer deep water appraisal well in the second quarter, which is expected to reach total depth in the third quarter.

– Drilled 11 wells and completed 19 wells in the condensate rich Mary and Heather fields in the Marcellus shale during the first half of 2012.

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer David Welch stated, “We continue to move forward on several fronts. In deep gas, we followed up the initial discovery well on the La Cantera prospect with a successful second well, which should begin producing in the fourth quarter of 2012. In deep water, we acquired the remaining 25% of the Pompano field, executed our first successful well-work operation in the Pompano field adding over 1,500 barrels of oil per day and spudded the Parmer appraisal well. Also, production from our liquids rich Mary and Heather fields in the Marcellus shale has increased with an additional 11 wells being drilled and 19 wells completed during the first half of the year. Finally, the conventional shelf continues to provide significant cash flows to help fund these operations.

Financial Results

For the second quarter of 2012, Stone reported net income of $30.5 million, or $0.62 per share, on oil and gas revenue of $220.2 million, compared to net income of $57.2 million, or $1.17 per share, on oil and gas revenue of $233.5 million in the second quarter of 2011. Discretionary cash flow totaled $147.1 million during the second quarter of 2012, as compared to $173.1 million during the second quarter of 2011. Please see “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” and the accompanying financial statements for a reconciliation of discretionary cash flow, a non-GAAP financial measure, to net cash flow provided by operating activities.

Net daily production during the second quarter of 2012 averaged 40.5 thousand barrels of oil equivalent (MBoe) per day (243 million cubic feet of gas equivalent (MMcfe) per day), compared with net daily production of 41.0 MBoe (246 MMcfe) per day in the first quarter of 2012, and net daily production of 39.0 MBoe (234 MMcfe) per day in the second quarter of 2011. The production mix for the second quarter of 2012 was 46% oil, 7% natural gas liquids (NGL) and 47% natural gas.

Prices realized during the second quarter of 2012 averaged $107.74 per barrel of oil, $39.00 per barrel of NGLs and $2.70 per Mcf of natural gas. Average realized prices for the second quarter of 2011 were $105.19 per barrel of oil, $67.31 per barrel of NGLs and $4.61 per Mcf of natural gas. Effective hedging transactions increased the average realized price of natural gas by $0.63 per Mcf and increased the average realized price of oil by $1.69 per barrel in the second quarter of 2012.

Lease operating expenses during the second quarter of 2012 totaled $51.6 million ($14.01 per Boe or $2.33 per Mcfe), compared to $45.6 million ($12.84 per Boe or $2.14 per Mcfe), in the second quarter of 2011.

Depreciation, depletion and amortization (DD&A) on oil and gas properties for the second quarter of 2012 totaled $86.4 million ($23.46 per Boe or $3.91 per Mcfe), compared to $71.8 million ($20.21 per Boe or $3.37 per Mcfe), in the second quarter of 2011.

Salaries, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses (excluding incentive compensation expense) for the second quarter of 2012 were $13.1 million ($3.57 per Boe or $0.60 per Mcfe), compared to $10.6 million ($2.99 per Boe or $0.50 per Mcfe), in the second quarter of 2011.

Capital expenditures before capitalized SG&A and interest during the second quarter of 2012 were approximately $208.9 million, which includes $17.9 million of plugging and abandonment expenditures. Additionally, $6.7 million of SG&A expenses and $9.4 million of interest were capitalized during the quarter.

As of June 30, 2012 and July 31, 2012, we had no outstanding borrowings under our bank credit facility and letters of credit totaling $27.1 million had been issued pursuant to the facility, leaving $372.9 million of availability under the facility.

Operational Update

La Cantera (Deep Gas). The second well (Broussard Estates #2) at the La Cantera deep gas field located in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana encountered over 250 feet of productive sand within the Cris R Massive objective, with additional shows above and below this zone. The second well targeted the same prolific pay sands encountered in the 2011 discovery well and was 200 feet high on structure, extending the known limits of the reservoir. Production casing has been set and completion operations will be initiated in the third quarter, with production expected in the fourth quarter utilizing the existing La Cantera processing facilities. Gross production from the first well is approximately 27 MMcf per day and 1,500 Bbl per day of liquids after four months of production. Stone holds an approximate 34.5% working interest in this project.

Pompano field (Deep Water). On June 18, 2012, the remaining 25% interest in the field was acquired from Anadarko for $26.4 million, which included customary closing adjustments to the earlier effective date and the exercise of a preferential right on a portion of Mississippi Canyon 29 by an existing partner. This acquisition added estimated proved reserves in excess of 5.5 million barrels of oil equivalents at June 30, 2012. In addition, successful well work operations on the subsea TB-3 well restored the well to production at 1,700 gross Boe per day. Total production from the Pompano complex is currently 5,700 Boe per day net to Stone.

Lease Sale Results. Stone submitted the apparent high bid (“AHB”) on 26 offshore blocks at the Outer Continental Shelf Sale 216/222 held on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) in New Orleans. Stone’s share of the lease bonuses for the 26 AHBs totaled approximately $35.8 million. The lease acquisitions are expected to add approximately 148,240 gross acres and 81,519 net acres to Stone’s leasehold inventory. The AHBs are subject to a review process by the BOEM before they can be awarded.

Green Canyon 823 – Parmer (Deep Water). The Parmer appraisal well was spud during the second quarter of 2012 and is expected to reach total depth in the third quarter of 2012. After selling down a promoted 15% interest, Stone holds a 35% working interest in the prospect which is operated by Apache.

Walker Ridge 719 – Phinisi (Deep Water). The deep water Phinisi well is currently scheduled in the first quarter of 2013 utilizing the Deepwater Pathfinder Drillship. Stone holds a 20% working interest in the prospect which is operated by ENI.

Lighthouse Bayou Deep Prospect (Ultra Deep Gas). Upon final review, Stone has elected not to participate in the potential deepening of the Lighthouse Bayou prospect below 25,500 feet as the ultra-deep nature of the remaining prospect potential does not fit into the corporate deep gas strategy.

Appalachian Basin (Marcellus Shale). Current net production from the Mary, Heather, Buddy and Katie fields in the Marcellus shale is approximately 45 MMcfe per day. Production increased with the initiation of production from the 6-well Wilson pad at our Mary field in June 2012. Drilling continues in the condensate and NGL rich Mary and Heather fields in West Virginia with a total of 11 horizontal wells drilled year to date. Additionally, Stone has fracture-stimulated 19 wells in its Mary field this year. Stone has drilled a total of 53 horizontal wells in the Marcellus Shale and is currently producing from 28 wells. Production from the 7-well Potts pad is expected to begin during the third quarter of 2012 and from the 6-well Weekly pad and 3-well Maury pad during the fourth quarter of 2012 (all located in the Mary field). Stone expects to drill between 22 and 27 horizontal wells and complete 20 to 26 wells in the Mary and Heather fields during 2012.

Conventional Shelf. The Pounder well was successfully drilled in the Ship Shoal 113 field with production from the well expected to commence during the third quarter.

Press Release, August 03, 2012