WPX Energy Reports 2012 Results

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WPX Energy Reports 2012 Results

TULSA, Okla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- WPX Energy (NYS: WPX) today announced its unaudited operating and financial results for the fourth quarter and the year ended Dec. 31, 2012. Highlights for full-year 2012 include:

  • 98% growth in Bakken oil production
  • 40% growth in overall oil production
  • 3% growth in overall NGL production
  • 2% growth in overall natural gas production
  • 634 Bcfe of domestic reserves additions


"Our focused growth plan and rate-of-return driven strategy is delivering strong results. Production is up, Bakken well costs are down and continue to improve, and new opportunities like our Niobrara discovery are providing upside potential and future visibility for value creation at WPX," said Ralph Hill, president and CEO.

"For 2012, we maintained the strength of our balance sheet in the face of lower natural gas prices and exceeded our production goal even with ongoing pipeline bottlenecks in the Marcellus.

"For 2013, our diversified portfolio of reserves gives us the opportunity to continue to grow our Bakken production and devote the majority of our capital to oil and liquids resource plays," Hill said.

"We're also committed to continuously improving the cost structure in each of our basins and gaining new efficiencies as we apply our large-scale development expertise.

"Specifically, reduced drilling times positively impact our internal rates of return. Our record drilling times are 3.7 days in the Piceance Valley, 10.8 days in the Marcellus and 25 days in the Bakken.

"Piceance wells originally took 30 days to drill. A decade ago they took 20. We've since reduced that by another 60 percent down to an average of 8 days for our Valley wells. This is an example of the efficiencies we can deliver in our other major operating areas," Hill added.


WPX reported an unaudited net loss attributable to WPX Energy of $223 million for full-year 2012, or a loss of $1.12 per share on a fully-diluted basis, compared with a net loss of $302 million, or a loss of $1.53 per share, in 2011.

The net loss from continuing operations attributable to WPX Energy was $245 million in 2012 vs. $160 million for full-year 2011.

Full-year 2012 results were impacted by a 22 percent decrease in domestic net realized natural gas prices. Higher production volumes - particularly domestic oil - together with lower asset impairments partially offset the impact of lower realized natural gas prices.

Non-cash impairment charges included in continuing operations were $225 million in 2012 related to producing properties and costs of acquired unproved reserves, compared with $367 million in 2011. These charges were primarily driven by declines in forward natural gas prices.

Excluding these charges and unrealized mark-to-market gains (losses), WPX had an adjusted loss from continuing operations of $123 million, or a loss of $0.62 per share on a diluted basis, in 2012 compared with adjusted income from continuing operations of $80 million, or $0.40 per share, in 2011. A reconciliation accompanies this press release.


WPX reported an unaudited net loss attributable to WPX Energy of $106 million for fourth-quarter 2012, or a loss of $0.53 per share on a fully-diluted basis, compared with a net loss of $338 million, or a loss of $1.71 per share, in the same period in 2011.

The net loss from continuing operations attributable to WPX Energy was $105 million in fourth-quarter 2012 vs. $209 million for the fourth quarter of 2011.

Oil revenues increased 56 percent quarter over quarter, but natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL) revenues declined a combined 19 percent. Results of continuing operations were also impacted by non-cash impairment charges of $108 million in fourth-quarter 2012 and $367 million in fourth-quarter 2011.

Excluding these charges and unrealized mark-to-market gains (losses), WPX had an adjusted loss from continuing operations of $39 million, or a loss of $0.20 per share on a diluted basis, for fourth-quarter 2012, compared with adjusted income from continuing operations of $24 million, or $0.12 per share, for the same period in 2011. A reconciliation accompanies this press release.


WPX's adjusted EBITDAX (a non-GAAP measure) for full-year 2012 was $1 billion, compared with approximately $1.3 billion for the same measure in 2011. For fourth-quarter 2012, WPX had adjusted EBITDAX of $256 million, compared with $336 million for the same period in 2011.

The difference in year-over-year adjusted EBITDAX is primarily the result of lower commodity prices in 2012 vs. 2011, partially offset by higher production volumes.

EBITDAX (non-GAAP)   Full Year   Fourth Quarter
2012   2011 2012   2011
millions millions millions millions
Net income (loss) ($211) ($292) ($104) ($335)
Interest expense $102 $117 $25 $20
Provision (benefit) for income taxes ($111) ($74) ($40) ($104)
Depreciation, depletion and amortization $966 $902 $247 $232
Exploration expenses $83 $126 $23 $26
EBITDAX $829 $779 $151 ($161)
Impairments $225 $367 $108 $367
Unrealized MTM (gains) losses ($32) $11 ($4) $1
(Income) Loss from discontinued operations ($22) $142 $1 $129
Adjusted EBITDAX $1,000 $1,299 $256 $336

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.


WPX's overall domestic and international production climbed 4 percent in 2012 to an average of 1,386 MMcfe/d, excluding volumes for discontinued operations in the Barnett Shale and Arkoma Basin which were sold in 2012.

The production increase was led by 40 percent growth in oil production, 3 percent growth in NGL production and 2 percent growth in natural gas production. NGL growth was curbed in late 2012 due to reduced ethane recovery rates.

Average Daily Production   Full Year     4Q  
2012   2011   Change 2012   2011   Change
Natural gas (MMcf/d)    
Piceance Basin 673 679 -1 % 637 686 -7 %
Marcellus Shale 63 15 320 % 71 27 163 %
Powder River Basin 208 226 -8 % 195 229 -15 %
San Juan Basin 132 135 -2 % 138 119 16 %
International 19 20 -5 % 19 21 -10 %
Other   10   10   0 % 10   9   10 %
Subtotal (MMcf/d) 1,105 1,085 2 % 1,070 1,091 -2 %
Oil (Mbbl/d)
Bakken Shale 9.5 4.8 98 % 11.4 6.4 78 %
Piceance 2.3 2.3 0 % 2.0 2.2 -9 %
International 6.0 5.6 7 % 5.8 5.9 -2 %
Other   0.2   0.2   12 % 0.2   0.3   -24 %
Subtotal (Mbbl/d) 18.0 12.9 40 % 19.4 14.8 31 %
NGLs (Mbbl/d)
Piceance 27.5 27.1 1 % 23.1 27.1 -15 %
International 0.5 0.5 0 % 0.5 0.4 25 %
Other   0.9   0.5   80 % 1.4   0.5   180 %
Subtotal (Mbbl/d) 28.9 28.1 3 % 25.0 28.0 -11 %
Total Production (MMcfe/d) 1,386   1,331   4 % 1,336   1,348   -1 %

Oil production in the Bakken Shale increased to an average of 11,400 barrels per day in the fourth quarter. This represents a 78 percent increase vs. the same period a year ago. The company's 2012 exit rate in December was slightly higher, at 11,600 barrels per day or 12,700 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

For the full-year, Bakken oil production increased 98 percent over 2011, growing from an average of 4,800 barrels per day to an average of 9,500 barrels per day.

Piceance production remained nearly flat year-over-year, despite a decrease in drilling and development. However, the basin's total volumes from more than 4,100 wells continue to drive approximately 60 percent of WPX's overall production.

Natural gas production in the Marcellus Shale rose significantly in 2012. Fourth-quarter 2012 volumes of 71 MMcf/d were up 163 percent vs. a year ago. For the full-year, Marcellus production was up 320 percent vs. 2011 despite ongoing reliability issues with a third-party gathering system. At year-end 2012, approximately 30 MMcf/d of Marcellus gas remained curtailed by infrastructure constraints.

WPX's total overall natural gas production increased 2 percent in 2012 to 1,105 MMcf/d, but declined 2 percent in the fourth quarter vs. the same period a year ago reflecting the company's capital discipline in reducing natural gas drilling and completion activity.

Total NGL production increased 3 percent to 28,900 barrels per day in 2012 but declined in the fourth quarter by 11 percent due to reduced ethane recovery.

The domestic net realized average price for natural gas, inclusive of hedges, was $3.38 per Mcf in 2012, down 22 percent from $4.32 per Mcf a year ago.

The net realized average price for domestic oil, inclusive of hedges, was $85.58 per barrel in 2012, up slightly from $85.30 per barrel a year ago.

The domestic net realized average price for NGL was $28.56 per barrel in 2012, down 29 percent from $40.17 per barrel a year ago.


WPX's domestic expenses were approximately 15 percent lower for full-year 2012 than in 2011, primarily driven by lower gas management expenses. The following expenses represent per-unit expenses related to the company's domestic production.

Domestic Expenses   Per-Unit Basis
2012   2011
Lease operating $ 0.52 $ 0.51
Gathering, processing & transportation $ 1.04 $ 1.05
Taxes other than income $ 0.18 $ 0.24
General & administrative $ 0.56 $ 0.57




$ 1.89
* Reflects a decline in the 12-month average commodity price that is
used to calculate the company's DD&A rate. The impact is $31 MM.


At Dec. 31, 2012, WPX had approximately $153 million in cash and cash equivalents - including $35 million for international operations.

The company's total liquidity at the end of the year was approximately $1.65 billion, including an undrawn $1.5 billion revolving credit agreement.


In 2012, WPX participated in 548 gross (367 net) wells in the United States, including 102 gross (53 net) wells in the fourth quarter. This figure represents the number of wells that were completed and began commercial delivery of production. WPX did not have any dry holes in 2012.

Highlights for the company's operated wells in its primary areas are provided below, as well as those for WPX's new opportunities. 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 240 gross (209 net) wells in 2012, including 23 gross (19 net) in the fourth quarter. During 2012, WPX set new record times in the Piceance, drilling a well on its Valley acreage in 3.7 days and a well on its Highlands acreage in 7.7 days.

In the oil-rich Bakken Shale, WPX completed 41 gross (27 net) wells in 2012, including 14 gross (10 net) in the fourth quarter.

WPX continues to improve its drilling and completion costs in the Bakken, particularly with the shift to multi-well development pads. The company's recent Bakken well costs are down 10 to 20 percent through fewer drilling days and completion efficiencies.

With the benefit of pad drilling, WPX drilled a recent well in 2013 - the Blackhawk 1-12 HW - in 25 days, which is the company's record in the basin.

In the Marcellus Shale, WPX completed 54 gross (33 net) wells in 2012, including 11 gross (9 net) in the fourth quarter. The majority of this activity took place in Susquehanna County. At year-end, 25 gross wells were awaiting completion and nine wells were awaiting pipeline connection.

Since the third quarter, WPX has shaved another half-day off its record drilling time in the Marcellus. The company's new best time is 10.8 days, which was achieved in January 2013.

Also in 2013, on Jan. 22 WPX announced a natural gas discovery in western Colorado's Niobrara formation that was drilled, cored and completed in 2012.

The Niobrara discovery well has registered an average production rate of 10.6 million cubic feet per day over its first 60 days, despite being substantially choked back.

WPX has the lease rights to approximately 180,000 net acres of the Niobrara/Mancos shale play in western Colorado. Over time, the Niobrara discovery has the potential to more than double the company's proved, probable and possible (3P) reserves.


Yesterday, WPX announced that its domestic proved reserves at Dec. 31, 2012, were nearly 4.5 trillion cubic feet equivalent based on 2012 commodity price averages. The company added 634 Bcfe of proved domestic reserves in 2012 through drilling.

Including international reserves of 159 billion cubic feet equivalent, WPX had total proved reserves of 4.65 Tcfe.

WPX's press release about its 2012 proved reserves is available at www.wpxenergy.com, including an alternate scenario whereby 2012 domestic proved reserves were 19 percent higher at 5,339 Bcfe using 2011 SEC pricing.


WPX management will discuss its 2012 results and 2013 outlook during a webcast starting at 10 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 (866) 510-0676. International callers should dial (617) 597-5361. The participant passcode for both lines is 69817966. A replay will be available on WPX's website for one year following the event.

Form 10-K

WPX plans to file its 2012 Form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission later today. 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.aspx 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 at www.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 at www.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.

WPX Energy, Inc.
2011 2012
(Dollars in millions)   1st Qtr   2nd Qtr   3rd Qtr   4th Qtr   Year   1st Qtr   2nd Qtr   3rd Qtr   4th Qtr   YTD
Product revenues:
Natural gas sales $ 408 $ 423 $ 440 $ 423 $ 1,694 $ 357 $ 312 $ 331 $ 364 $ 1,364
Oil and condensate sales 52 83 84 93 312 106 122 118 145 491
Natural gas liquid sales   85       107       110       106       408     93       78       65       63       299  
Total product revenues 545
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