Whiting Petroleum's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Whiting Petroleum Corporation ( WLL)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

February 23, 2012 11:00 am ET

Executives

Eric Hagen – Vice President of Investor Relations

James J. Volker – Chief Executive Officer

James T. Brown – President & Chief Operating Officer

Michael J. Stevens – Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

Mark R. Williams – Senior Vice President, Exploration & Development

J. Douglas Lang – Vice President, Reservoir Engineering/Acquisitions

Analysts

Will Green – Stephens Inc

John Freeman – Raymond James

Michael Scialla – Stifel Nicolaus & Company, Inc

Biju Z. Perincheril – Jefferies & Company, Inc.

Joe Stewart – Citigroup

Gil Yang – Bank of America/Merrill Lynch

Pearce Hammond – Simmons & Company

Philip McPherson – Global Hunter Securities, LLC

Michael Scialla – Stifel Nicolaus

Presentation

Operator

Good day ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Fourth Quarter 2011 Whiting Petroleum Corporation Earnings Conference Call. My name is Kathy and I’ll be your operator for today. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions). As a reminder, this conference is being recorded for replay purposes.

I’d now like to turn the conference over to your host for today’s call to Mr. Eric Hagen, Vice President of Investor Relations. Please proceed.

Eric Hagen

Thanks Kathy. Good morning and welcome to Whiting Petroleum Corporation’s fourth quarter and full year 2011 earnings conference call. On the call for Whiting this morning is the Whiting management team. During this call, we’ll our review our results for the fourth quarter of 2011 and then discuss the outlook for 2012.

This conference call is being recorded and will also be available on our website at www.whiting.com. To access the call and the webcast, please click on the Investor Relations box on the menu and then click on the webcasts link.

Please note the forward-looking statements, non-GAAP measures, and reserve and resource information on slide one. Please take note that our Form 10-K for the 12 months ended December 31, 2011 is expected to be filed later today. Reconciliations of non-GAAP measures we refer to and the applicable GAAP measures can be found in our earnings release and in our webcast slides.

With that, I'll turn the call over to Jim Volker.

James J. Volker

Thanks Eric, and good morning everyone. Thanks for joining our fourth quarter and full year 2011 conference call. To begin in our slides please note slide 2 which summarizes our current key statistics for the company. Slide 3, is a breakdown of our production by region. Note our January 2012 averaged production rate of 76,000 BOE per day increased by over 5000 BOE per day or 8% versus fourth quarter 2011 average daily production.

We have increased our 2012 production guidance to a range of 14% to 20%. Slide number 4, breaks down our proved reserves, which increased 13% year-on-year to $245 million BOEs, we replaced 274% of our 2011 production. And we did this while remaining oil weighted with 86% of our reserves oil and while maintaining a low PUD percentage of only 31%.

Slide number 5, provides a breakdown of our proved reserves by region and the associated PV10 value at SEC 2011 pricing. As you can see, our total proved PV10 value has risen to $7.4 billion. Slide number 6, shows our probable and possible reserves and PV10 values. These are also based on independent engineering. We are one of the few companies that provide this information and have it independently engineered.

Our total probable and possible PV10 value is $3.1 billion. Therefore, we estimate our 3P PV10 value at $10.5 billion. Once again these are third party engineered estimates. Slide number seven provides Whiting’s internal estimate of resource potential beyond the 3P category. This totals 479 million BOEs with the PV10 value of $4.7 billion.

Slide number eight, we breakout our by region the PV, the 3P and resource drilling locations that underpin our reserve and resource estimates focusing on just our Northern Rockies Williston Basin area. We have over 2,500 drilling locations, which represents over 10 years of inventory from that one area at our current pace of approximately 250 wells per year.

Moving to slide nine, you can see our 2012 CapEx budget. The main change between this year and 2011 is a transition from an emphasis on exploratory drilling to an emphasis on development drilling in our recently discovered Williston Basin prospect areas. For example, that our Pronghorn area, we’ve doubled our rig count to six rigs and are initiating pad drilling. We expect pad drilling alone to save us approximately $0.5 million per well.

On slide 10, we provide an overview on our Williston Basin plays. We control over 680,000 net acres in the play. The line of this map ties to the cross section on the next slide. The slide 11, cross section shows the reservoirs we target in each of our Williston Basin plays. At Lewis & Clark/Pronghorn, we target the Pronghorn Sand and upper Three Forks horizon which we can tap with one wellbore.

In Hidden Bench, Tarpon, Missouri Breaks and Starbuck, we have dual targets in the Middle Bakken and Three Forks formations. On slide 12, we show our estimate of the derisked acreage across to our prospect areas in the Williston Basin.

This slide hasn’t changed since our third quarter call. We will update it later this year, when we drilled more wells at our Starbuck Missouri Breaks, Hidden Bench, Tarpon, Cassandra, Lewis & Clark and Pronghorn prospect areas. Slide 13 and 14 give our Sanish Bakken and Three Forks type curves. They have not changed since our last update. On slide 15, our two typical production profiles are non Sanish, Field Bakken or Pronghorn Sand/Three Forks wells.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com

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