Evolution Petroleum (EPM)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

September 07, 2011 11:00 am ET


Lisa Elliott - Vice President

Unknown Speaker -

Robert Herlin - Co-Founder, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Sterling McDonald - Chief Financial Officer, Vice President and Treasurer


Mark Aydin - McNicoll, Lewis & Vlak LLC

Joel Musante - C. K. Cooper & Company, Inc.



Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to the Evolution Petroleum Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year End 2011 Earnings Call. [Operator Instructions] This conference is being recorded today, Wednesday, September 7, 2011. I would now like to turn the conference over to Lisa Elliott with DRG&L. Please go ahead.

Lisa Elliott

Thank you, operator, and good morning, everyone. We appreciate you joining us for Evolution Petroleum's conference call to discuss results for the fourth quarter and year-end fiscal 2011, which ended June 30. In a moment, I will turn the call over to management, but first I have a couple of items to cover. If you'd like to be on the company's email distribution list to receive future news releases, please feel free to let us know. My contact information is in the earnings release filed at Evolution put out this morning. And if you wish to listen to a replay of today's call, it will be available in a few hours and archived for one year via webcast by going to the company's website at www.evolutionpetroleum.com, or via recorded telephone replay until September 14, 2011. That dial-in number and passcode can be found in the earnings release. Information recorded on the call today is valid only as of today, September 7, 2011, and therefore, time-sensitive information may no longer be accurate as of the date of any replay.

And today, management is going to discuss certain topics that may contain forward-looking information which is based on management's beliefs, as well as assumptions made by management and information currently available to them. Forward-looking information includes statements regarding the expected future drilling results, production, expenses, reserves. And although management believes that these expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, they can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. And such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties and assumptions, which are listed and described in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. If one or more of these risks materialize or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may differ materially from those expected. And also, today's call may include discussion of probable or possible reserves or use terms like volumes, reserve potential or recoverable reserves. And please note that these estimates are non-proved reserves or resources that are by their very nature more speculative than estimates of proved resources and reserves and accordingly, are subject to substantially greater risks.

Now with that, I'll turn the call over to Bob Herlin, Evolution's Chief Executive Officer. Bob?

Robert Herlin

Thanks, Lisa. Good morning, everyone. Certainly appreciate you joining the call today. I'll briefly review reserves in operating results and then update you on our future plans. Sterling, our CFO, is here today and he will highlight some of our select financial information and then we'll take your questions.

This morning, we put out a press release that reported our substantial increase in proved reserves and our improved financial and operating results for the fourth quarter and year ended June 30. Now these results are primarily due to the success of the Delhi project, which has continued to performed well.

Let's start with reserves first as of June 30, 2011, end of our fiscal year. Overall, we're very pleased to report that our proved reserves increased substantially some 11.5% to a total of 13.8 million barrels of oil equivalent and that's obviously net of production during the year, sales in place and any revisions. Our PV-10 increased by 41% to a total of $375 million. In particular, our proved developed reserves, almost all of which are producing, increased 378% to a total of 5.3 million barrels equivalent. Proved developed reserves now total 39% of our total proved category. Probable reserves, 94% of which are associated with Delhi are a total of 6.2 million barrels equivalent with a PV-10 of $76 million. I'd also like to point out that about 30% of our probable reserves are actually in a developed producing category and obviously, that would be all at Delhi.

Let's talk about Delhi in particular. The improvements there are quite numerous. Over the last year, production response for the first 2 phases came on sooner than expected. Production grew more rapidly than expected, and the project has actually required less CO2 than projected. We also benefited from higher oil prices, especially since the first of the calendar year '11 due to the substantial premium that our Delhi oil received compared to NYMEX WTI oil price. The oil we sell at Delhi is tied to Louisiana Light Sweet price, which tracks Brent or imported oil. And that premium to WTI was more than $12 a barrel in the fourth fiscal quarter or about 12%, and then actually that premium has increased through the near term. In fact, our most recent realized oil price at Delhi is substantially higher than the oil prices utilized in our SEC reserves report and in our forward oil price curve evaluation. As a result of these various factors and the continued substantial investment during the past year by the operator, our independent reserve engineers calculated that the reversionary working interest payout has accelerated to calendar 2013 year end. That is more than 2 years earlier than projected in last year's report. At payout, our net revenue interest at Delhi increases from the current 7.4% to about 26.5%, and we would bear at that time a 24% working interest share of operating costs and future capital expenditures. Due to the accelerated payout date, we now projected -- that should bear our 24% share capital expenditures beginning in 2014, which will include the last phase of the proved reserves development. But our share of capital expenditures will still be far less than our net operating cash flow from Delhi that same year.

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