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Berry Petroleum Provides Corporate Update

Stocks in this article: BRY

Berry Petroleum Company (NYSE: BRY) today reported an operations update including preliminary 2012 production and reserves data.

The following information is unaudited and preliminary. Final results will be provided in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012.

Average daily production by area is listed in the following table:

 

       

Average Daily Production for the Quarter Ended (BOE/D):

Project Area Dec 31, 2012         Sept 30, 2012         % Change  
California                
SMWSS 13,070 12,720 3 %
Diatomite 3,855 3,500 10 %
NSF 2,130         1,925         11 %
Total California

19,055

18,145 5 %
Permian 7,965 6,860 16 %
Uinta 7,500

5,945

26 %
Gas assets 4,980        

5,335

        -7 %
Total 39,500 36,285 9 %
 
Oil 30,650 27,490 11 %
Gas

8,850

8,795

1

%
 

Operations

Company production averaged 39,500 BOE/D in the fourth quarter of 2012. This was comprised of 78% oil and 22% natural gas. The Company produced an average of 36,400 BOE/D for 2012, which was comprised of 75% oil and 25% natural gas.
 

Diatomite

Diatomite production increased 10% over third quarter levels and averaged 3,855 BOE/D in the fourth quarter of 2012. Production continues to increase as the completions from the 2012 drilling program respond to steam injection and the Company benefits from its real-time surveillance monitoring systems.
 

Uinta

Uinta production averaged 7,500 BOE/D in the fourth quarter of 2012. The Company continued to experience positive results from its commingled Wasatch / Green River vertical drilling program and is focusing on drilling locations with higher working interest.
 

Permian

Permian fourth quarter production averaged 7,965 BOE/D. The Company drilled a number of strong wells in northeastern Ector County and made operational improvements that reduced the back pressure on some of its wells, which provided a near term improvement in its Permian production. Early results from Berry’s appraisal wells in Borden County were inconclusive for commercial quantities of oil. The Company will continue to evaluate this acreage position.
 

New Steam Floods

New Steam Floods production averaged 2,130 BOE/D in the fourth quarter of 2012. New thermal developments at the Company’s McKittrick 21Z and Main Camp properties contributed to the sequential production increase.
 

South Midway-Sunset

Production averaged 13,070 BOE/D from the Company’s legacy assets in the fourth quarter of 2012. Positive steam flood response in several minor projects contributed to relatively flat sequential production.
 

Natural Gas

Production from the Company’s two natural gas assets totaled 4,980 BOE/D in the fourth quarter of 2012, down 7% from the third quarter. The Company expects production from these assets to decline by approximately 1,300 BOE/D in 2013, compared to full year 2012 levels.

 

Reserves

Berry expects year-end 2012 reserves to total 276 MMBOE. This includes additions of 38 MMBOE from its oil assets, offset by 24 MMBOE in revisions to its natural gas assets due to the SEC’s 5-year rule and pricing. The additions are attributed to 14 MMBOE in California including 6 MMBOE in the Diatomite, 16 MMBOE in the Uinta, and 8 MMBOE in the Permian. The Company replaced 270% of its oil production in 2012. At year-end, the Company's proved reserve mix was 74% oil and 26% natural gas. The reserve totals include 185 million barrels of crude, 20 million barrels of condensate and natural gas liquids, and 426 billion cubic feet of natural gas. Proved developed reserves increased to 55% of total reserves from 53% in 2011.
 

2013 Outlook

Berry forecasts a 2013 capital budget of $500 - $600 million, which will continue to be invested in its oil assets, and anticipates funding capital expenditures from internally generated cash flow at current commodity prices. The Company expects half of the capital to be allocated to California, 25% to the Uinta, and 25% to the Permian. Berry reaffirms its expectation of growing oil production by approximately 10 – 15% in 2013. This oil growth, when combined with the decline of its natural gas assets and mature heavy oil properties, will increase total company production by approximately 5 – 10% in 2013.
 

About Berry Petroleum Company

Berry Petroleum Company is a publicly traded independent oil and natural gas production and exploitation company with operations in California, Texas, Utah, and Colorado. The Company uses its web site as a channel of distribution of material company information. Financial and other material information regarding the Company is routinely posted on and accessible at http://www.bry.com.

Berry Petroleum Company Safe Harbor Under the "Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995"

Any statements in this news release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Words such as "estimate," "expect," "would," "will," "target," "goal," "potential," and forms of those words and others indicate forward-looking statements. These statements include but are not limited to forward-looking statements about the expectations of plans, strategies, objectives and anticipated financial and operating results of the Company, including the Company's drilling program, production, and other guidance included in this press release. These statements are based on certain assumptions made by the Company based on management's experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions, anticipated future developments and other factors believed to be appropriate. Such statements are subject to a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the control of the Company, which may cause actual results to differ materially from those implied or expressed by the forward-looking statements. Important factors which could affect actual results are discussed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K under the headings "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations."

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