WPX Energy Announces Third-Quarter 2012 Results

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WPX Energy Announces Third-Quarter 2012 Results

TULSA, Okla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- WPX Energy (NYS: WPX) today announced its unaudited operating and financial results for the third-quarter of 2012. Recent highlights include:

  • 3Q Bakken oil production increased 66% to 9,600 barrels per day from 5,800 a year ago
  • October Bakken oil production surpassed 10,500 barrels per day
  • WPX on track to hold Bakken acreage by production; initial multi-well pad drilling beginning
  • Natural gas production in the Marcellus Shale rose four-fold to 65 MMcf/d vs. 15 MMcf/d a year ago
  • Liquidity remains strong at $1.7 billion
  • Lower 3Q natural gas production vs. a year ago a result of fewer wells drilled due to capital discipline

FINANCIAL RESULTS


WPX reported an unaudited net loss attributable to WPX Energy of $64 million for third-quarter 2012, or a loss of $0.32 per share on a fully diluted basis, compared with net income of $14 million, or $0.07 per share, in third-quarter 2011.

The decrease in third-quarter 2012 was driven primarily by lower natural gas and NGL commodity prices vs. the 2011 period. Revenues in the 2012 period - not including gas management activities - declined 24 percent vs. third-quarter 2011, driven by significantly lower net realized average prices for natural gas and NGL production.

Third-quarter 2012 results also were impacted by approximately $22 million in net losses on derivatives not designated as hedges, compared with $12 million in net gains in third-quarter 2011.

Excluding unrealized mark-to-market gains (losses), WPX had an adjusted loss from continuing operations of $47 million, or a loss of $0.23 per share on a diluted basis, for third-quarter 2012, compared with adjusted income from continuing operations of $14 million, or $0.07 per share on a diluted basis, for the same period in 2011. A reconciliation is included in the statements that accompany this press release.

For the first nine months of 2012, WPX reported an unaudited net loss attributable to WPX Energy of $117 million, or a loss of $0.59 per share on a diluted basis, compared with net income of $36 million, or $0.18 per share, for the same period in 2011.

In addition to lower net realized average prices for the company's production, results for the first nine months of 2012 were impacted by $117 million in non-cash impairment charges stemming from a decline in forward natural gas prices during the first half of 2012. These charges were recorded in the first and second quarter.

As described in previous quarters this year, WPX's accounting for costs of certain acquired unproved reserves is based on discounted cash flows. As a result, declines in forward commodity prices can drive impairments in the absence of a change in the underlying reserve estimates.

Excluding the impairment charges and unrealized mark-to-market gains (losses), WPX had an adjusted loss from continuing operations of $84 million, or a loss of $0.42 per share on a diluted basis, for the first three quarters of 2012, compared with adjusted income from continuing operations of $55 million, or $0.28 per share on a diluted basis, for the same period in 2011. A reconciliation is included in the statements that accompany this press release.

WPX's adjusted EBITDAX (a non-GAAP measure) for third-quarter 2012 was $230 million, compared with $337 million for the same measure a year ago. A reconciliation is included below.

For the first three quarters of 2012, adjusted EBITDAX was $744 million, compared with $963 million for the same period in 2011. The primary factor affecting 2012 adjusted EBITDAX was a decrease in the company's domestic net realized average prices.

        
EBITDAX (non-GAAP)Third QuarterYTD
2012  20112012  2011
millionsmillionsmillionsmillions
Net income (loss)($61)$16($107)$43
Interest expense$25-$77$97
Provision (benefit) for income taxes($28)$10($71)$30
Depreciation, depletion and amortization$243$239$719$670
Exploration expenses$22 $74 $60 $100
EBITDAX$201 $339 $678 $940
 
Impairments--$117-
Unrealized MTM (gains) losses$31($5)($28)$10
(Income) Loss from discontinued operations($2)$3 ($23)$13
Adjusted EBITDAX$230 $337 $744 $963
 

EBITDAX represents earnings before interest expense, income taxes, depreciation, depletion and amortization and exploration expenses. Adjusted EBITDAX includes adjustments for impairments, unrealized mark-to-market gains (losses) and discontinued operations.

WPX believes that these non-GAAP measures provide useful information regarding its ability to meet future debt service, capital expenditures and working capital requirements.

MANAGEMENT PERSPECTIVE

"Despite a 10-year low for natural gas prices and the fall-off in NGL prices that we saw this year, we have a resilient portfolio and we still expect to achieve more than $1 billion dollars of adjusted EBITDAX with the recent strengthening in natural gas prices," said Ralph Hill, president and CEO.

"Along those lines, we are encouraged by the recent rebound in natural gas prices. At the appropriate time, we can be among the first and fastest to grow gas volumes again given our low-cost, competitive advantage in the Piceance.

"Operationally, we're levered toward a gas price recovery, particularly in the Piceance Basin and in Susquehanna County in the Marcellus Shale. In the Piceance alone, we have more than 10,000 remaining gross 3P locations.

"The pullback in our third-quarter natural gas production is a direct result of our capital discipline and the corresponding change in our rig count this year. As we've demonstrated before, we can redeploy capital and ramp up volumes quickly as higher returns materialize.

"Our quarterly growth in the Bakken was masked by completions that were delayed from the second quarter to the third, but our third-quarter average production of 9,600 barrels per day has already increased 9 percent in October to 10,500 and we expect to reach our planned December monthly exit rate.

"As a clear example of our growing efficiencies in the Bakken, we expect to complete 14 wells in the fourth quarter, compared to 22 wells during the first nine months of the year. The commencement of pad drilling is on schedule and we expect those efficiencies will drive down costs in 2013.

"Overall, lower commodity prices in 2012 have been a challenge, but we've maintained our strong and stable financial condition, we're bullish on our large resource base and we're on target to meet our 2012 production goal of 1,380 million cubic feet equivalent per day.

"WPX has a rich resource potential, a history of efficiency and a capital allocation strategy that is based on rates of return. Combining our strong balance sheet with the diversity of our portfolio gives us flexibility on when and where to drill," Hill added.

PRODUCTION

WPX's overall domestic and international production averaged 1,359 MMcfe/d in third-quarter 2012, down 2 percent from a year ago. This planned decrease represents reduced development activity associated with the steps the company announced in early 2012 in response to falling natural gas prices.

Oil production in the Bakken Shale averaged 9,600 barrels per day in the third quarter. This represents a 66 percent increase vs. a year ago.

Overall oil production of 17,900 barrels per day in third-quarter 2012 increased 30 percent vs. third-quarter 2011. Overall third-quarter 2012 NGL production of 28,900 barrels per day was up 1 percent over the prior-year quarter.

Total natural gas production of 1,078 MMcf/d in third-quarter 2012 declined 5 percent vs. third-quarter 2011. The primary driver was lower production in the Piceance, Powder River and San Juan basins in response to decade-low gas prices and the subsequent redeployment of capital to oil assets.

Natural gas production in the Marcellus Shale continued to improve. Third-quarter 2012 volumes of 65 MMcf/d were up more than four-fold vs. a year ago, despite an estimated 30 MMcf/d that was curtailed by infrastructure challenges.

      
Average Daily Production3QYTD
2012   2011 Change2012
Natural gas (MMcf/d)   
Piceance Basin652704-7%685
Marcellus Shale6515333%60
Powder River Basin203233-13%213
San Juan Basin128153-16%130
Other 30   29 3%29
Subtotal (MMcf/d)1,0781,134-5%1,117
 
NGLs (Mbbl/d)
Piceance27.527.21%29.0
Other 1.4   1.3 8%1.2
Subtotal (Mbbl/d)28.928.51%30.2
 
Oil (Mbbl/d)
Bakken Shale9.65.8

66%

8.9
Piceance2.02.1-5%2.5
International6.25.87%6.0
Other 0.1   0.1 NM0.1
Subtotal (Mbbl/d)17.913.830%17.5
 
Total Production (MMcfe/d)1,359   1,388 -2%1,403
 
Figures exclude volumes for discontinued operations in the Barnett Shale and Arkoma Basin.
 

The domestic net realized average price for natural gas, inclusive of hedges, was $3.35 per Mcf in third-quarter 2012, down 21 percent from $4.25 per Mcf a year ago.

The domestic net realized average price for NGL was $24.43 per barrel in third-quarter 2012, down 43 percent from $42.54 per barrel a year ago.

The net realized average price for domestic oil, inclusive of hedges, was $82.31 per barrel in third-quarter 2012, down 3 percent from $84.75 per barrel a year ago.

Compared with the most recent quarter, the domestic net realized average price for natural gas - inclusive of hedges - improved 11 percent in the third quarter.

EXPENSES: KEY PER-UNIT COSTS REMAIN FLAT OR DECREASE EVEN WITH LOWER 3Q PRODUCTION

Through the first three quarters of 2012, overall expenses - including transition costs related to WPX's spin-off - were 9 percent lower than the first three quarters in 2011.

On a per-unit basis, WPX's domestic lease operating expense (LOE) in third-quarter 2012 was $0.51 per Mcfe, which was equal to the same period a year ago.

Domestic gathering, processing and transportation charges decreased 2 percent to $1.04 per Mcfe in third-quarter 2012 vs. $1.06 per Mcfe in third-quarter 2011.

Taxes other than income for domestic operations decreased 36 percent to $0.14 per Mcfe in third-quarter 2012 vs. $0.22 per Mcfe in third-quarter 2011, reflecting lower commodity prices.

Domestic general and administrative expenses (G&A) decreased 4 percent to $0.53 per Mcfe in third-quarter 2012 vs. $0.55 per Mcfe in third-quarter 2011.

Domestic depreciation, depletion and amortization expenses (DD&A) increased 4 percent to $1.98 per Mcfe in third-quarter 2012 vs. $1.90 per Mcfe in third-quarter 2011, reflecting a decline in the 12-month average commodity price used in the calculation of the company's DD&A rate.

CASH AND LIQUIDITY

Net cash provided by operating activities for the first nine months of 2012 was $589 million, including $148 million in the third quarter.

At Sept. 30, 2012, WPX had approximately $240 million in cash and cash equivalents - including $31 million for international operations.

The company's total liquidity at the end of the third quarter was approximately $1.7 billion, including an undrawn $1.5 billion revolving credit agreement.

GUIDANCE FOR PRODUCTION, ADJUSTED EBITDAX AND CAPITAL SPENDING

WPX is re-affirming its 2012 production goal of 1,380 million cubic feet equivalent per day at year-end, which consists of 1.1 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas, 18,100 barrels per day of oil and 29,400 barrels per day of natural gas liquids.

For full-year 2012, WPX expects adjusted EBITDAX of $1 billion to $1.05 billion. WPX's original estimate of $1.175 billion at the beginning of the year assumed the impact of existing hedges and plan commodity prices of $3 NYMEX natural gas, $99 per barrel oil and $51 per barrel NGL.

For the first nine months of 2012, WPX made approximately $1.12 billion of capital investments in its domestic operations, including $320 million in the third quarter. These investments are predominantly in the Bakken Shale, Piceance Basin and Marcellus Shale where the company generates its highest returns.

For full-year 2012, WPX expects $1.45 billion to $1.5 billion of total capital spending, including amounts for land purchases in oil-focused properties that are expected to close prior to year-end.

DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY

For the first nine months of 2012, WPX domestic operations participated in 421 gross (309 net) wells, including 121 gross (93 net) in the third quarter. These figures represent the number of wells that were completed and began commercial delivery of production.

Highlights for the company's operated wells in its core growth areas are provided below. The balance of gross (net) wells is accounted for in non-operated interests, as well as WPX's own properties in the San Juan and Powder River basins.

In the liquids-rich Piceance Basin, WPX completed 204 gross (185 net) wells during the first three quarters of 2012. WPX expects to continue to operate five rigs in this area for the remainder of 2012. WPX is currently nearing total depth on its first horizontal well in the Niobrara formation to explore the Piceance Basin's deeper gas potential.

WPX also continues to improve drilling times in the Piceance, drilling a Valley well in a record 3.8 days. WPX's average drilling time in the Valley for 2012 is approximately nine days per well.

In the Bakken Shale, WPX completed 22 gross (18 net) wells through the first three quarters of the year. WPX expects to complete 14 gross (10 net) wells on its Bakken acreage in the fourth quarter.

The George Evans/Mason infill density science unit was completed during the third quarter as planned. These wells were drilled on WPX's first multi-well pad sites in the area, averaging 26 days per well. All seven wells - four in the Bakken and three in the Three Forks - in the 1,280-acre unit are on production.

During the infill drilling, WPX successfully recovered 372 feet of continuous core through the entire Bakken and Three Forks formations, along with portions of the Lodgepole and Birdbear formations. This is a valuable step in targeting the most geologically productive zones, understanding ways to optimize completion designs and evaluating the feasibility of increasing the number of drilling locations and the company's reserves potential.

WPX has finished converting its rig fleet in the Bakken Shale to five new fit-for-purpose rigs. Going forward, the majority of drilling will be on multi-well pad sites.

In the Marcellus Shale, WPX completed 28 gross (23 net) wells during the first three quarters of 2012. WPX currently has two fit-for-purpose rigs in Susquehanna County.

Efficiencies continue to be reflected in Marcellus drilling times. WPX's new record drilling time in the area is 11.4 days, which was set in the third quarter. The company also has reduced its completion costs in Susquehanna County by 35 percent since the fourth quarter of 2011.

TODAY'S CONFERENCE CALL

WPX management will discuss third-quarter results during a webcast starting at 9:30 a.m. Eastern today. Participants can access the audio and the slides for the event via the homepage at www.wpxenergy.com.

A limited number of phone lines also will be available at (800) 992-7413. The passcode is 3084847.International callers should dial (719) 325-2282 and use the same passcode. A replay will be available on the company's website for one year following the event.

Form 10-Q

WPX plans to file its third-quarter Form 10-Q with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week. Once filed, the document will be available on both the SEC and WPX websites.

About WPX Energy, Inc.

WPX Energy is an exploration and production company focused on developing its significant oil and gas reserves, particularly in the liquids-rich Piceance Basin, the Bakken and Three Forks oil shales and the Marcellus Shale. WPX also has domestic operations in the San Juan and Powder River basins, as well as a 69 percent interest in Apco Oil and Gas International. Go to http://www.wpxenergy.com/investors/subscribe-to-email/ to join our e-mail list.

This press release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this press release that address activities, events or developments that the company expects, believes or anticipates will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the control of the company.Statements regarding future drilling and production are subject to all of the risks and uncertainties normally incident to the exploration for and development and production of oil and gas.These risks include, but are not limited to, the volatility of oil, natural gas and NGL prices; uncertainties inherent in estimating oil, natural gas and NGL reserves; drilling risks; environmental risks; and political or regulatory changes.Investors are cautioned that any such statements are not guarantees of future performance and that actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements.The forward-looking statements in this press release are made as of the date of this press release, even if subsequently made available by WPX Energy on its website or otherwise.WPX Energy does not undertake and expressly disclaims any obligation to update the forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.Investors are urged to consider carefully the disclosure in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, available from us at WPX Energy, Attn:Investor Relations, P.O. Box 21810, Tulsa, Okla., 74102, or from the SEC's website atwww.sec.gov.

Additionally, the SEC requires oil and gas companies, in filings made with the SEC, to disclose proved reserves, which are those quantities of oil and gas, which, by analysis of geoscience and engineering data, can be estimated with reasonable certainty to be economically producible - from a given date forward, from known reservoirs, under existing economic conditions, operating methods, and governmental regulations. The SEC permits the optional disclosure of probable and possible reserves. From time to time, we elect to use "probable" reserves and "possible" reserves, excluding their valuation. The SEC defines "probable" reserves as "those additional reserves that are less certain to be recovered than proved reserves but which, together with proved reserves, are as likely as not to be recovered." The SEC defines"possible" reserves as "those additional reserves that are less certain to be recovered than probable reserves." The Company has applied these definitions in estimating probable and possible reserves. Statements of reserves are only estimates and may not correspond to the ultimate quantities of oil and gas recovered. Any reserve estimates provided in this presentation that are not specifically designated as being estimates of proved reserves may include estimated reserves not necessarily calculated in accordance with, or contemplated by, the SEC's reserves reporting guidelines. Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in our SEC filings that may be accessed through the SEC's website atwww.sec.gov.

The SEC's rules prohibit us from filing resource estimates. Our resource estimations include estimates of hydrocarbon quantities for (i) new areas for which we do not have sufficient information to date to classify as proved, probable or even possible reserves, (ii) other areas to take into account the low level of certainty of recovery of the resources and (iii) uneconomic proved, probable or possible reserves. Resource estimates do not take into account the certainty of resource recovery and are therefore not indicative of the expected future recovery and should not be relied upon. Resource estimates might never be recovered and are contingent on exploration success, technical improvements in drilling access, commerciality and other factors.

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WPX Energy, Inc.
Consolidated
(UNAUDITED)
     
20112012
(Dollars in millions)   1st Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th Qtr Year  1st Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr YTD
                           
Revenues:
Product revenues:
Natural gas sales$408$423$440$423$1,694$357$312$331$1,000
Natural gas liquid sales85107110106408937865236
Oil and condensate sales 52   83   84   93   312  106   122   118   346 
Total product revenues5456136346222,4145565125141,582
Gas management4083373473361,428337