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Helix Energy Solutions' CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Stocks in this article: HLX

As we previously signaled, our Contracting Services revenue declined in Q4 due in part to the transfer of the well enhancer to West Africa. However, we expect contracting service revenue to return to Q3 levels in the first quarter of 2012.

In addition to the good operating results, we continue to generate a significant amount of cash flow with $166 million of EBITDA in Q4.

Moving to Slides 6 and 7, quarter four’s EPS is $0.16. However, backing out the impairment charges and other items noted in our press release, our Q4 EPS would have been $0.66. Much of the impairment’s related to declining economics and natural gas fields.

Utilization remained high in our well intervention business at 98%. However, accounting convention required us to defer the mobilization revenues for the well enhancer until Q1 of this year. We did achieve 100% utilization for our two reel pipelay asset; albeit that no profit contribution. The outlook for the Contracting Services business is definitely looking up.

Given that both our production and reserves are now more heavily weighted to oil, we’re transitioning our reporting format to speak in terms of barrels of oil equivalence versus cubic feet of gas equivalent. Our Oil and Gas production in the fourth quarter averaged 24,000 barrels of oil equivalent, up from 21,000 barrels of oil equivalent in Q3.

Quarter three’s production was impacted by tropical storm activity and production from our Phoenix field continues to outperform our expectations.

Again, much of our oil production is sold at Louisiana light sweet prices, which is at a significant premium to the West Texas intermediate prices. We sold our oil production at an average price of nearly $111 a barrel in Q4.

The entire – for the entire year, our oil and gas production amounted to 8.7 million barrels equivalent or in bcfe equivalent 52.2 bcfe. Tony?

Tony Tripodo

Yes, continuing on Slide 7, from a balance sheet and cash flow perspective, quarter four was very good for Helix. Our cash balances increased by $171 million, from $375 million at the end of Q3, to $546 million at year-end.

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