Newfield Exploration Co. (NFX)

Q2 2010 Earnings Call

July 23, 2010 9:30 AM ET


Lee Boothby – Chairman, President and CEO

Bill Schneider – Vice President, Gulf Coast and International

John Jasek – Vice President, Gulf of Mexico

Steve Campbell – Vice President, Investor Relations

Terry Rathert – Chief Financial Officer

Gary Packer – Chief Operating Officer

Daryll Howard – Vice President, Rockies

Jim Addison – General Manager


Gil Yang – Bank of America/Merrill Lynch

Brian Lively – Tudor Pickering Holt

Brian Singer – Goldman Sachs

Subash Chandra – Jefferies and Company

David Cameron – Wells Fargo

Scott Wilmoth – Simmons and Company

Joe Allman – J.P. Morgan

Irene Haas – Canaccord

Dan Mcspirit – BMO Capital Markets

Bob Morris – Citi

Heather Hilliard – ODS-Petrodata



Please standby. Good day, everyone. And welcome to Newfield Exploration Second Quarter 2010 Conference Call. Just a reminder today’s call is being recorded and before we get started, one housekeeping matter.

Our discussion with you today will contain forward-looking statements such as estimated production and timing, drilling and development plans, expected cost reductions and planned capital expenditures. Although, we believe the expectations reflected in these statements are reasonable, they’re based on assumptions and anticipated results that are subject to numerous uncertainties and risks. Please see Newfield’s annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q for a discussion of factors that may cause actual results to vary.

In addition, reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to GAAP financial measures together with Newfield’s earnings release and any other applicable disclosures are available on the Investor Relations page of Newfield’s website at

At this time, for opening remarks and introductions, I would like to turn the call over to Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Lee Boothby. Please go ahead, sir.

Lee Boothby

Thank you. Good morning, everyone. And welcome to our second quarter and mid-year 2010 update call. Thanks for your interest in Newfield. With me today in Houston, I have Bill Schneider, our Vice President of Gulf Coast of Mexico -- Gulf Coast and International; John Jasek, Vice President of Gulf of Mexico; Steve Campbell, Vice President of Investor Relations; Terry Rathert, our Chief Financial Officer; and in Denver, we have Gary Packer, our Chief Operating Officer; and Daryll Howard, our Vice President of the Rockies; and we’re joined in Tulsa by General Manager, Jim Addison.

Earlier this week, we published a detailed operations report, with lots of information from our core operating regions. I will keep my remarks today relatively brief leaving plenty of time for your questions at the end. So let’s get started.

Our focus today at Newfield is very clear. First, continue to target our investments towards oil projects. We’re uniquely positioned in our peer group today with real oil projects in our portfolio. Our second quarter oil production was up 16% when compared to the first quarter of this year. We are on target for a 30% growth in our 2010 domestic oil volumes. The returns in oil plays today are superior to natural gas and we’re combining growth with returns.

Second, we are assessing some major new plays that could become a significant part of our future growth. We’re drilling our third well in the Southern Alberta Basin and we currently have four rigs running in the Eagle Ford Shale assessment program down in the Maverick Basin. Combined these oil high-yield liquid plays cover more than 0.5 million net acres and hold tremendous upside potential.

And third and finally, we’re positioning ourselves for future performance. We continue to strive for efficiencies in our natural gas developments and we’ll be in a position to again accelerate growth and gas assets when we see the appropriate return on investments. Through our diverse portfolio of assets we have multiple options to effectively manage the up and downs in our business, and navigate through the challenging elements in our business today.

Our hedge position is strong and provides for strong cash flow and profitability over the next two years. Due to our strong capital structure, we were recently upgraded to an investment grade rating by Standard & Poor’s.

These are certainly interesting times in our business. Just days prior to our last conference call with you the deepwater horizon incident occurred. Loss of life, the oil spill and its impact on the Gulf of Mexico and its shore lines are all tragedies, and forceful reminders of why environment, health and safety are critically important functions that can’t be overemphasized throughout our work force and industry.

Although, Newfield has a long history in the Gulf of Mexico, today it represents just 4% of our proved reserves and about 10% of our production. Our 2010 work program in the Gulf was front-end loaded and the moratorium does not have any impact on our planned drilling programs for 2010.

We have several active developments in deepwater and we fully expect we will be allowed to advance these projects. We’re confident in our Gulf of Mexico team’s ability to continue to execute at a superlative level.

Without a doubt, there will be new permitting in regulatory requirement that will impact future exploration. We are following closing all the new bills and amendments being debated in Washington, D.C. and we’ll carefully weigh their impact on project economics and our future drilling plans.

As you will hear, in today’s call, we have a deep portfolio and plenty of options. We’re confident that the options we possess and our ability to shift capital and human resources between business units will enable us to navigate in certain times ahead and continue to deliver profitable growth.

By now, I hope you’ve had a chance to review our second quarter financial results. Our pre-FAS 133 numbers were $1.06 per share. Our production volumes were at the upper end guidance and our costs and expenses were within our guidance ranges. Terry Rathert, our CFO will be happy to take any questions you may have regarding our quarterly results at the end of this call.

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