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Forest Oil Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

We, along with the industry, continues to feel the effects of lower natural gas prices this year. Due to this, Forest recorded a ceiling test write-down of $345 million in the second quarter. The write-down was primarily a result of the significant decline in the 12 months trailing natural gas price used in the ceiling test calculation from $3.73 per Mcfe last quarter to $3.15 per Mcfe this quarter. Given the current pricing environment, we expect the ceiling test write-down in the third quarter as well. We also recorded a deferred tax asset valuation allowance of $290 million due primarily to the ceiling test write-down.

As the natural gas environment has remained depressed, our hedge position continues to work in our favor, as we realized a 73% uplift to our unhedged realized price. This translated into $28 million realized gain on our second quarter gas hedges.

We have selectively added to our natural gas hedge position for 2013 by adding 26 million per day of swaps of $3.78. We now have 155 million per day of swaps for the second half of 2012 period at $4.63 and 160 million per day for 2013 at $3.98. A full summary of our hedge position can be found on Page 6 of the press release or in the 10-Q to be filed later.

We have taken the initial steps in improving the company's financial strength and flexibility. The first step was reducing second half capital expenditures to a range of $190 million to $210 million, or about cash flow. This leaves down significantly from the first half front rate and will allow us to align spending more closely with expected cash flow levels by the start of the fourth quarter. Secondly, we will first look to monetize non-reserve-based and noncore assets. These are primarily assets outside our core Panhandle, Eagle Ford and East Texas areas. We hope to have a couple hundred million of asset sales over the next several quarters completed and we'll continue the effort throughout 2013. The process is underway and we will update you once we have something to report.

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