Whiting Petroleum's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Whiting Petroleum (WLL)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

April 26, 2012 11:00 am ET


Eric Hagen - Vice President of Investor Relations

James J. Volker - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Whiting Oil & Gas Corporation

James T. Brown - President and Chief Operating Officer

Michael J. Stevens - Chief Financial Officer and Vice President


John Freeman - Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Research Division

Will Green - Stephens Inc., Research Division

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

David R. Tameron - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division

Brian T. Velie - Capital One Southcoast, Inc., Research Division

Michael Scialla - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division

Scott Hanold - RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division

Gray Peckham - Susquehanna Financial Group, LLLP, Research Division

Pearce W. Hammond - Simmons & Company International, Research Division



Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Q1 2012 Whiting Petroleum Corporation Earnings Conference Call. My name is Laura, and I'll be your operator for today. [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, Eric Hagan, VP of Investor Relations. Please proceed.

Eric Hagen

Thanks, Laura. Good morning, and welcome to Whiting Petroleum Corporation's First Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. On the call for Whiting this morning is the Whiting management team. During this call, we'll review our results for the first quarter of 2012 and then discussed the outlook for the remainder of the year. 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 webcast link.

Please note that forward-looking statements disclaimer and discussion of non-GAAP measures on Slide #1. Please take note that our Form 10-Q for the 3 months ended March 31, 2012, is expected to be filed tomorrow. 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. Good morning, everyone. Thanks for joining. Whiting is off to a great start this year, with first quarter production of 14% over the fourth quarter of 2011, which topped the high end of the guidance. Also, we were able to raise our full year production guidance despite the conveyance of 4,500 BOEs per day for the Whiting USA Trust II. We now project 17% to 22% growth over 2011 versus our prior forecast of 14% to 20%. In other words, due to our strong drilling results, we should more than replace the Trust volumes we sold in the first quarter. Also, we announced several notable exploration wells at our DJ Basin Niobrara and Permian Basin Wolfcamp plays and we're expanding our activity in those areas.

Now let's move to the slide. Slide #2 summarizes the current key statistics for Whiting. Please note the decline in long-term debt. The debt-to-total capital is now down to 28.5%. And also, please note the increase of production to 80,700 BOEs per day.

Slide #3 is a breakdown of our production by region. First quarter production having averaged to be exact 80,747 BOEs per day or, again, a 14% increase versus the fourth quarter of 2011.

Slide #4 breaks down our proved reserves, which totaled 345 million BOEs, 86% of our reserves are oil and only 31% are proved undeveloped.

Slide #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 is $7.4 billion.

Slide #6 are probable and possible reserves in PV10 value. These are also based on independent engineering and we're one of the few companies that provide this information based on independent engineering. Our total probable and possible PV10 value is $3.1 billion. Therefore, our 3P PV10 value is $10.5 billion.

Slide #7 provides Whiting's internal estimate of the resource potential beyond the 3P category. This totals 479 million BOEs for the PV10 value of $4.7 billion.

Our Slide 8 shows how we break out by region the 3P and resource drilling locations that underpin our reserve and resource estimates. Focusing on our Williston Basin area for a moment, we have over 2,500 drilling locations which represents over 10 years of inventory at our current pace.

Moving to Slide 9, you can see our revised 2012 CapEx budget. We've increased our 2012 budget to $1.8 billion from $1.6 billion. Of the incremental $200 million of capital expenditures, $91 million is expected to be invested in non-operated drilling, $37 million is directed to expand drilling in our Big Tex area in the Permian Basin, $36 million is allocated to increase activity in our Redtail Niobrara prospect in the DJ Basin, $27 million is allocated to increase leasehold and $9 million to facility. This revised budget reflects the high pace of activity in the Williston Basin as demonstrated in our strong first quarter production growth and our recent exploration successes in new areas.

On Slide 10, we provide an overview of our Williston Basin plays. We control 701,751 net acres in the play, an increase of more than 20,000 net acres versus our year end update. The line on this map ties for the cross-section on the next slide.

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

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