Linn Energy's CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Linn Energy, LLC (LINE)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

July 26, 2012 11:00 a.m. ET

Executives

Mark Ellis – Chairman, President & CEO

Clay Jeansonne, VP – IR

Arden Walker – EVP & COO

Analysts

John Ragozzino -- RBC Capital Markets

Kevin Smith – Raymond James

Ethan Bellamy – Baird

Boris Pialloux -- National Securities

Bernard Colson -- Global Hunter

Jason Gilbert -- Goldman Sachs

Adam Leight -- RBC Capital Market

Michael Peterson -- MLV & Company

Eric Anderson -- Hearthford Financial

Kenneth Miller -- KC Capital Management

Presentation

Operator

Good morning. Welcome to LINN Energy Second Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. Today s call is being recorded.

At this time I would turn the call over to Clay Jeansonne, LINN Energy s Vice President of Investor Relations for some opening remarks. Please go ahead.

Clay Jeansonne

Thank you for joining our second quarter 2012 earnings conference call. In a moment, I ll introduce Mark Ellis, our Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer. But I first need to provide you with disclosure regarding forward-looking statements that will be made during this call.

The statements describing our beliefs, goals, plans, strategies, expectations, projections, forecasts, and assumptions are forward-looking statements. Please note that the company s actual results may differ from those anticipated by such forward-looking statements for a variety of reasons, many of which are beyond our control.

Additional information concerning certain risk factors relating to our business, prospects and results is available in the company s filings with the SEC, including our Form 10-Q for quarter ended June 30th, 2012, which will be filed today, and any other public filings and press releases.

Additionally, during the course of today s discussion, management will refer to adjusted EBITDA as an important metric for evaluating the company s performance. Please note that adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure which is reconciled to the most directly comparable GAAP measure in the earnings press release issued this morning.

Supplemental financials and operational information, including the company s statement of operations, selected balance sheet data and guidance table has been posted to LINN Energy website at www.linnenergy.com in the Investor Center on the presentation.

Following management s prepared remarks, we ll take your questions.

I ll now turn the call over to Mark.

Mark Ellis

Thanks, Clay, and good morning. Joining us today in Houston are Kolja Rockov, LINN s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, and Arden Walker, LINN s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

I will – that a year ago our core strategy requiring material long life assets. Year-to-date we have announced the acquisitions in joint venture agreements totaling approximately $2.8 billion, nearly exceeding total acquisitions for 2010 and 2011 combined.

Assets from these acquisitions are expected to add production of approximately 300 million cubic feet equivalent per day and increase total reserve by 1.7 Tcfe and bringing total reserves to 5.1 Tcfe on a pro forma basis.

This remarkable acquisition success combined with our organic growth program enables us to deliver outstanding operational performance and important record collection rates. At the end of the second quarter, we had increased the average daily production 76% year-over-year to 630 million cubic feet equivalent per day. We expect to exit the year with production exceeding 800 million cubic feet per day which has nearly doubled the exit rate of 2011.

Our acquisition success operational performance and hedges well enable us to increase the distribution 5% last quarter for the third year in a row. We are almost entirely below than expected NGL prices, our distribution covered ratios during the quarter was 0.97 times, however with a full year impact on 2012 acquisitions a shift away from (inaudible) drilling to oil and strong hedge positions we expect the distribution coverage ratio to wrap a good return to stronger levels, even absent a full recovery of NGL prices.

We also filed a registration statement with the SEC for a proposed IPO of common shares of Linn Co, a newly formed subsidiary of LINN. Since we are currently in registration with the SEC, we will not be able to comment further until we have an effective registration statement for Linn Co.

As we mentioned earlier, LINN announced a total of approximately $2.8 billion in acquisitions and joint venture agreements during the first half of the year. These transactions are expected to be immediately accretive to distributable cash flow per unit, and the company has already raised approximately a 100% of expected oil production from these assets through 2016 and natural gas production through 2017.

Two of our transactions, totaling $2.2 billion, have been with BP. During the first quarter, we closed a $1.2-billion acquisition of properties from BP in the Kansas Hugoton field. And in June, we signed a definitive purchase agreement with BP to acquire properties in the Jonah Field, located in the Green River Basin of southwest Wyoming, for a contract price of just over $1 billion.

Jonah is expected to produce approximately 145 million cubic feet equivalent per day and will provide LINN with a significant operated position in the Green River Basin. While current proved reserves in this asset total approximately 730 Bcfe, LINN has identified total resource potential of approximately 1.2 Tcfe, providing significant upside potential in the future. And we expect to close the acquisition on or before July 31, 2012.

Also, during the second quarter, we closed a $400-million joint venture agreement to partner with Anadarko in the CO2 enhanced oil recovery development of the Wyoming, Salt Creek field. This asset is expected to provide a low base defined range and deliver 10 years of state production growth. Activity is on track and so far we have funded 54 million of our capital commitment. Integration with core competencies of LINN, be itself, by clearly integrating acquired assets and introducing new employees to our culture. Our integration programs are on track and going smoothly.

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