The San Juan Basin Royalty Trust (NYSE:SJT) (the "Trust"), today announced the capital project plan for 2014 as delivered to it by Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Company LP ("Burlington"). Capital expenditures for 2014 for properties subject to the Trust’s royalty interest are estimated to be $4.8 million. Of the $4.8 million, approximately $3 million will be attributable to the capital budgets for 2013 and prior years.
The principal asset of the Trust is a 75% net overriding royalty interest carved out of certain oil and gas leasehold and royalty interests in properties now owned by Burlington (the “Underlying Properties”) located in the San Juan Basin and more particularly in San Juan, Rio Arriba and Sandoval counties of northwestern New Mexico. Burlington is the operator of the majority of the Underlying Properties.
Burlington’s announced 2014 plan for the Underlying Properties includes 100 projects. Approximately $1.8 million of the $4.8 million budget is allocable to 40 facility projects. The $3 million balance is attributable to the budgets for prior year projects and will be applied to 20 wells commenced in 2013 and prior years, and to 40 facility projects. Burlington will be the operator of all the projects included in the 2014 plan.
In light of the challenged price environment for natural gas and natural gas liquids, Burlington plans to continue the temporary suspension of its drilling program in the San Juan Basin, indicating that it currently plans to have no drilling rigs operating in the Basin during 2014. However, Burlington reported that it continually monitors natural gas prices and plans to restart the program at some point in the future, dependent upon such gas prices. Existing wells will continue to be operated. Burlington reports that based on its actual capital requirements, the pace of regulatory approvals, the mix of projects and swings in the price of natural gas, the actual capital expenditures for 2014 could range from $2 million to $15 million.