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LINN Energy Announces Fourth Quarter And Full-Year 2013 Results And 2014 Outlook

Stocks in this article: LINE LNCO

As the Company explores various alternatives for potential asset trades or sales, it is also simultaneously pursuing an active horizontal drilling program in the Midland Basin. LINN's technical team has performed a thorough analysis to evaluate its potential horizontal Wolfcamp acreage. Recently drilled horizontal Wolfcamp wells near LINN's acreage have been encouraging. As a result, the Company plans to commence operated horizontal activity and drill approximately ten horizontal wells targeting the Wolfcamp B zone beginning in early second quarter 2014. In addition, the Company expects results from its first non-operated horizontal Wolfcamp well in the first quarter 2014. Drilling the horizontal Wolfcamp is a compelling option due to the potential to generate high rates of return. Additionally, the geologic character of the region has the potential to be predictable and to have shallower declines than vertical wells.  Should LINN determine the most compelling value is to keep some or all of its Midland Basin position, the Company will evaluate joint venture opportunities. The Company is open to different combinations of the aforementioned strategies. All potential options are targeted to increase cash available for distribution and will also have the potential to lower the Company's overall decline rate and capital intensity. LINN believes its Midland Basin position has tremendous value and is very focused on a thorough process of evaluation in order to fully maximize its value potential.

2014 Capital Program

LINN's 2014 capital budget of approximately $1.6 billion represents the combined, high-graded capital budgets for both LINN and Berry assets. On a pro-forma basis, this amount represents a reduction of approximately 11 percent compared to the combined companies' 2013 capital programs of approximately $1.8 billion. As a result of the high-graded capital budget, the Company expects its 2014 capital program to focus on oil-weighted projects that generate higher rates of return with more predictable results. 

In 2014, the Company anticipates spending approximately $1.55 billion on oil and natural gas projects. LINN expects to spend approximately 25 percent of its total oil and natural gas capital budget for development activities in the Permian Basin region, with approximately 67 percent of the Permian capital focused on the Midland Basin. This capital will be focused on Wolfberry verticals, Clearfork development in the East Goldsmith field and Wolfcamp horizontals. Additionally, 17 percent of the oil and natural gas capital budget is allocated to California, 14 percent to the Jonah Field, 13 percent to Uinta, 11 percent to the Granite Wash/Hogshooter, seven percent to the Williston Basin, four percent to Salt Creek and three percent to Hugoton. The Company anticipates spending the remaining six percent of the oil and natural gas capital budget on other operating areas.

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