Compass Bank, as Trustee of the San Juan Basin Royalty Trust (NYSE:SJT), today declared a monthly cash distribution to the holders of its units of beneficial interest of $4,008,923.07 or $0.086012 per unit, based principally upon production during the month of November 2010. The distribution is payable February 14, 2011, to unit holders of record as of January 31, 2011. Gas production for the properties from which the royalty was carved (the “Underlying Properties”) totaled approximately 2,786,714 Mcf (3,090,099 MMBtu). Dividing revenues by production volume yielded an average gas price for November 2010 of $3.87 per Mcf ($3.49 per MMBtu) as compared to $4.29 per Mcf ($3.88 per MMBtu) for October 2010. The average gas price may vary from the posted index price for the San Juan Basin. The index price is a gross sales price, and the revenues used in the calculation of average gas prices are net of transportation, processing and gathering costs. Furthermore, the distribution to the Trust in any given month may include significant volume adjustments for sales in prior months that reflect pricing for those prior months. Capital costs for the month were $1,565,117. Lease operating expenses were $3,083,612 and taxes were $1,129,413. The Trustee also announced the capital project plan for 2011 as delivered to it by Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Company LP ("Burlington"). Capital expenditures for 2011 for properties subject to the Trust’s royalty interest are estimated to be $13.6 million. Of the $13.6 million, approximately $3.25 million will be attributable to the capital budgets for 2010 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 2011 plan for the Underlying Properties includes 417 projects. Approximately $8.3 million of the $13.6 million budget is allocable to 38 new wells, including 33 wells scheduled to be dually completed in the Mesaverde and Dakota formations. Burlington indicates that five of the new wells are projected to be drilled to Fruitland Coal, Fruitland Sand or Pictured Cliffs formations. Approximately $2 million will be spent on workovers and facilities projects. Of the $3.25 million attributable to the budgets for prior years, approximately $2.45 million is allocable to new wells and the $800,000 balance will be applied to miscellaneous capital projects such as workovers and operated facility projects. 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 2011 could range from $5 million to $35 million.Capital expenditures of $13.1 million were included in calculating royalty income paid to the Trust in calendar year 2010. Approximately $7.8 million covered 264 projects budgeted for 2010, including the drilling of 40 new wells all operated by Burlington and none operated by third parties. Approximately $10.3 million of those costs were incurred in new drilling activity. The balance of the expenditures was attributable to the workover of existing wells and the maintenance and improvement of production facilities. The capital expenditures reported by Burlington in calculating royalty income for 2010 included approximately $5.3 million attributable to the capital budgets for prior years. This occurs because capital expenditures are deducted in calculating royalty income in the month they are accrued, and projects within a given year’s budget often extend into subsequent years. Further, Burlington’s accounting period for capital expenditures runs through November 30 of each calendar year, such that capital expenditures incurred in December of each year are actually accounted for as part of the following year’s capital expenditures. Also, for wells not operated by Burlington, Burlington’s share of capital expenditures may not actually be paid by it until the year or years after those expenses were incurred by the operator.
Except for historical information contained in this news release, the statements in this news release are forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements and the business prospects of San Juan Basin Royalty Trust are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results in future periods to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things, volatility of oil and gas prices, governmental regulation or action, litigation, and uncertainties about estimates of reserves. These and other risks are described in the Trust’s reports and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.