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Talisman Energy Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

I would like to remind everyone that this conference call is being recorded on Wednesday, August 1, at 11 a.m. Mountain Time.

I will now turn the conference over to Mr. John Manzoni. You may begin your conference.

John A. Manzoni

Thank you, Matthew. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining our call this morning. As usual, I'm joined by the management team who will help to answer your questions after Scott and I have given you an overview of the quarter. I'd also like to welcome today Paul Warwick for the first time, who joined us in mid-May with the responsibility for International Operations (West), and naturally spend much of his time so far getting into the North Sea operations, whereas you saw last week, we've been relatively busy.

As usual, let me start with a word or 2 about commodity prices. Brent prices dipped during the quarter on concerns of slowing economies and slower demand and then recovered again, but we've consistently felt that $90 to $100 Brent is a good range, and we continue to believe that today. In the medium term, we'll have to see how much the potential increases in onshore production in North America adjust the prices [ph], but for now, I see no reason to adjust our base projection.

WTI prices remain low relative to Brent, and we don't see that situation changing much in the near term. North American gas prices are looking marginally stronger as we look forward as a result of gradually improving outlook for storage. A few weeks of hot weather, along with the continued reduction in dry gas activity, has now improved the prospects of not filling up the storage box in North America and hence, the forward curve is creeping upwards.

We still believe not much will happen before October, November and so for this year, we're remaining relatively cautious. But as we move into the fourth quarter, there are a number of increasing number of voices with a more positive tone.

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