SandRidge Energy's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

SandRidge Energy (SD)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

February 24, 2012 9:00 am ET

Executives

James D. Bennett - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Tom L. Ward - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Matthew K. Grubb - President and Chief Operating Officer

Analysts

Neal Dingmann - SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., Research Division

David W. Kistler - Simmons & Company International, Research Division

Craig Shere - Tuohy Brothers Investment Research, Inc.

Brian Singer - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Unknown Analyst

Richard M. Tullis - Capital One Southcoast, Inc., Research Division

Daniel J. Morrison - Global Hunter Securities, LLC, Research Division

Joseph D. Allman - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

David Heikkinen - Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Securities, Inc., Research Division

Anne Cameron - BNP Paribas, Research Division

Alex Heidbreder

Presentation

Operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Fourth Quarter 2011 SandRidge Energy Earnings Conference Call. My name is Gina, and I will be your coordinator for today. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded for replay purposes. I would now like to turn the presentation over to your host for today's conference, Mr. James Bennett, Chief Financial Officer. Please go ahead.

James D. Bennett

Thank you, Gina. Welcome, everyone, and thank you for joining us on our fourth quarter and year end 2011 earnings call. This James Bennett, Chief Financial Officer. And with us today, we have Tom Ward, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Matt Grubb, President and Chief Operating Officer; and Kevin White, Senior Vice President of Business Development.

Keep in mind that today's call will contain forward-looking statements and assumptions, which are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from those projected in these forward-looking statements. Additionally, we will make reference to adjusted net income, adjusted EBITDA and other non-GAAP financial measures. A reconciliation of any non-GAAP measures we discuss can be found in our earnings release and on our website.

Please note that today's call is intended to address SandRidge Energy and not our 2 Royalty Trust, SandRidge Mississippian Trust I or SandRidge Permian Trust. Also, SandRidge will release its 10-K on Monday, February 27.

Now let me turn the call over to Tom Ward.

Tom L. Ward

Thank you, James, and welcome to our fourth quarter operations call. As you have seen from our press release, we beat our projections for the quarter and capped off a tremendous year for SandRidge. Let's take a minute and go through what transpired during 2011.

We had a CapEx budget of $1.8 billion, and cash flow from operations of $535 million. Where did the cash come from to fund our high rate of return drilling program? We raised over $2 billion in 7 transactions through joint ventures, Royalty Trusts and asset sales without increasing debt or issuing equity. As a result, we were able to grow our oil production by 60% and increased our SEC PV-10 reserves to $6.9 billion, which is an increase of 52%.

We were also able to increase our net acreage position in the Mississippian to 2 million acres and retain 1.5 million acres even after the joint ventures with Repsol and Atinum resulting in $2.33 billion in value from cash and drilling carries.

Our results in 2011 come only after the groundwork was laid starting back in 2008. Our move to oil was started by hedging all of our natural gas production in 2008 at over $8 an Mcf. At the time, we were considered too conservative as natural gas prices were surely going to bounce back in 2009. However, then we made the next critical step and bought oil in some of the best fields in the Permian Basin before the run-up in oil prices. This was met with resistance because we had to be buying oil in places where nobody else wanted it and it couldn't be a good deal.

We moved into 2010 by buying Arena and met more resistance as we were thought to have overpaid for worn-out, shallow vertical drilling, while everybody else moved to deeper, higher pressure, horizontal shale reservoirs. These 2 acquisitions led the way for our Permian division to grow from $1.5 billion net investment to an SEC PV-10 proved reserves value of $3.3 billion today.

The Permian oil acquisitions were the initial stage of a plan to move from a single natural gas asset company to a premier oil company built on shallow, conventional, low-risk, low-cost reservoirs.

I've already described what we did in 2011. However, it would be inappropriate to not give credit to our organization for a historic year. 2011 was the transitional year for SandRidge, as we were able to monetize assets to build our position and our ultimate growth vehicle, the massive Mississippian oil play and the Mid-Continent.

During 2010, it became clear to us that we knew something that no one else had focused on, which is drilling for shallow conventional oil onshore U.S. is very profitable and scalable. The key is to stay away from competition and be a first mover into acreage once you have determined your play. The Mississippian is our play.

We not only bought 1 million acres initially. We dismayed the analytical community as we announced the second million acre purchase in the third quarter. It was assumed that we could not sell down without drilling multiple wells first. However, the success in the Original Miss and the thousands of vertical wells drilled today gave us the history needed to find a partner without spending the capital to drill new wells.

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

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