Cimarex Energy's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Cimarex Energy (XEC)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

May 03, 2012 1:00 pm ET

Executives

Mark Burford - Vice President of Capital Markets and Planning

Thomas E. Jorden - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

Joseph R. Albi - Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President and Director

Paul Korus - Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President

Analysts

Unknown Analyst

Ryan Todd - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Brian Lively - Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Securities, Inc., Research Division

Duane Grubert - Susquehanna Financial Group, LLLP, Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Good afternoon. My name is Bishonda, and I'll be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the First Quarter Earnings and Operations Results Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] Thank you. Mr. Mark Burford, you may begin your conference.

Mark Burford

Thank you, Bishonda. I appreciate it. Welcome, everyone, and thanks for joining us today for our first quarter conference call. Here in Denver on today's call, we have Tom Jorden, President and CEO; Joe Albi, EVP and COO; and Paul Korus, Senior Vice President and CFO; and Jim Shonsey, Vice President and Controller.

We issued our financial and operating results news release this morning, a copy of which can be found on our website. I need to remind you that today's presentation will contain forward-looking statements. However, a number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from what is to be discussed. You should read our disclosure on forward-looking statements in our 10-K, other filings and press releases for risk factors associated with our business.

And with that, I'll go ahead and turn the call over to Tom.

Thomas E. Jorden

Thanks, Mark. Good morning, everyone, or good afternoon, at least for us. First quarter 2012 is a good quarter for Cimarex. We reported net income of $106 million or $1.23 per diluted share, and our cash flow from operations this quarter was $303 million, which continues to benefit from strong oil and natural gas liquids revenues.

First quarter 2012 production volumes averaged 603.5 million cubic feet equivalent per day or a barrel of oil equivalent just over 100,000 barrel of oil equivalent per day. Our first quarter 2012 Permian and Mid-Continent volumes hit an all-time high of 554.2 million cubic feet equivalent per day, growing 26% over the same period in 2011. That growth includes a 50% increase in Permian oil volumes over the first quarter of 2011 to a record 21,800 barrels of oil per day this quarter.

Overall, oil production also reached an all-time high of 29,562 barrels per day, and that is just a consequence of the strategy we've talked about in the past of emphasizing that Permian Basin and growing our oil and other liquids production. That liquids production accounted for 47% of our equivalent volumes this quarter and comprise 79% of our $411 million of oil and gas and NGL revenue.

Oil price realizations increased 9% this quarter to $99.28 per barrel, while natural gas prices fell 34%, averaging $2.92 per Mcf. Driving our growth are continued good results from our drilling programs. We have a great inventory of strong projects. In the first quarter, we drilled and completed 73 gross, 40 net wells, investing $400 million on exploration and development. Of that total, 50% were invested in projects located in the Permian Basin, 48% in the Mid-Continent and 2% in the Gulf Coast and other.

What I'd like to do now is give you a region-by-region walk through, and I'll start with the Permian. There, we drilled and completed 39 gross, 27 net wells during the first quarter of 2012, completing 95% of those as producers.

Permian first quarter exploration development capital was $201 million or 50% of total capital. So as you can see, we're on a run rate of about $800 million in the Permian, and we'll see what we do going forward depending on our cash flow, our results and costs.

And our New Mexico horizontal second and third Bone Spring play, that's our most active play. Year-to-date, we drilled and completed 13 gross, 6 net wells. And our per well 30-day gross production from the 2012 Bone Spring wells averaged 590 barrels equivalent, that's a Boe per day and 87% of that is oil. Throughout our presentation, you're going to hear us talk about 30-day averages. We think that's the meaningful number in some of these wells. From time to time, I'm going to sprinkle in some instantaneous 24-hour rates, but it's the 30-day rate that we look at and that's one we encourage you to look in the measure of the well.

And getting back to second and third Bone Spring, we're continuing to see very strong results in this program. We're very pleased with our recent wells and how it's trending. And that's a number of reasons, all of which are testament to our exploration and operational folks.

Of note, we've upsized our hydraulic fractures, as has many of our competitors. We've gone from 5 stages to 8 stage per lateral, and we've also done some geoscience we've talked about in the past, and we're seeing lower average water cuts. So really getting that program, delivering some nice solid performance.

Coinciding with these results, our future inventory continues to grow. We see somewhere between 150 and 200 future New Mexico Bone Spring drilling locations on our current land position, and that land position is always increasing. It's a very active lease play for us. This account has a potential to grow significantly as we continue to drill and gather more data.

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