Abraxas Provides Divestiture, Financial and Operational Update
Abraxas today announced an agreement in principle, subject to the signing of a definitive agreement and satisfactory resolution of several final due diligence items, to sell the Company's 25% working interest at the Nordheim Project in the Eagle Ford shale to a large institutional buyer for approximately $20mm. The potential sale will also be subject to customary closing conditions and purchase price adjustments and will reflect an effective date of September 1, 2012. The divestiture consists of 544 net acres in DeWitt County, Texas and approximately 64 boepd (56% gas; 26% NGLs; 26% oil) of net production. Abraxas will retain the rights to its Edwards production, reserves and upside across both its Nordheim and Wagner lease blocks. Closing is estimated to take place in early December. Petrie Partners acted as financial advisor to Abraxas in this sale.
Abraxas also recently signed an agreement to sell its Alberta Basin properties and lease the Company's mineral acres in the area for combined proceeds of $2.85mm and an ORRI that varies between 1.25-5% depending on lease terms. The sale is subject to customary closing conditions and purchase price adjustments. The Alberta Basin properties do not have any associated production or reserves. Closing is scheduled for late November.
Bob Watson, President and CEO of Abraxas commented, "The Alberta Basin and potential Nordheim asset sales are the start of what we hope to be an active and profitable campaign of divesting non-core assets. We remain committed to enhancing shareholder return by delevering the balance sheet and refocusing the portfolio on our highest returning and highest growth basins."
Abraxas announced the closing of its Second Amended and Restated Credit Agreement with the Company's bank group. The new facility provides for a $150mm facility consisting of a $140mm fully conforming and $10mm nonconforming borrowing base. The facility also fully reflects the removal of reserves and production associated with the potential Nordheim divestiture. Furthermore, the previous covenant limiting capital expenditures to $10mm/quarter subject to various carry forward provisions has been removed. As of September 30, 2012 Abraxas had $134mm outstanding on the facility and $2.6mm in cash. Abraxas entered into the following additional hedge positions as part of the facility:
|WTI Nymex Swap||6,000 bopm||Cal14||$86|
|WTI Nymex Swap||28,000 bopm||Cal15||$85|
|WTI Nymex Swap||26,500 bopm||Cal16||$84|
Geoff King, Vice President and CFO of Abraxas commented, "We would like to thank all the members of our bank group for their continued support of the Company. The new facility in connection with the Alberta Basin and potential Nordheim asset sales will provide adequate liquidity and flexibility with which we can continue to execute on our business plan."
Abraxas provided the following companywide operational update.
At the WyCross prospect in the Eagle Ford shale, Abraxas recently set a company record drilling to 15,150 feet in less than eight drilling days on the first of its ten well program with the Cobra B1H. The well is currently scheduled to be completed in mid-November. Drilling has commenced on the Company's second well the Mustang 1H and well site construction is underway on the Company's third well the Corvette C 1H.
In the Williston Basin, completion operations remain ongoing on the Raven 2H, 3H and the Jore-Federal 3H. In accordance with the Abraxas' historical practice in the Bakken, the Company will furnish 30 day IP rates for each well when available. The Company's wholly owned rig has moved to the Lillibridge block where drilling has commenced on the four well pad.
In the Permian Basin the Spires 89 1H continues to perform as expected posting cumulative production of 7,838 boe (6,932 bbls of oil and 5.4 mmcf of liquids rich gas).
For the quarter ended September 30, 2012, companywide production averaged approximately 4,177 boepd inclusive of two months of Blue Eagle JV production. In the Eagle Ford shale, processing downtime at Regency's Tilden plant during the month of September shut in production from the Cobra 1H for the month. Volumes from the company's Ward county acquisition and volumes post the dissolution of the Blue Eagle JV were recognized upon the effective dates of August and September, respectively.
Bob Watson President and CEO of Abraxas commented, "Operations continue to run smoothly for Abraxas. Although we unfortunately lost some volumes due to plant downtime at the Cobra 1H in the third quarter, the issue is merely transitory and has been ameliorated. The facility is now accepting volumes from the Cobra 1H and is positioned to accept additional volumes from the remainder of the Company's WyCross development. Bakken completion operations remain ongoing at our first three well pad. Our company owned drilling rig continues to run smoothly as evidenced by the recent setting of surface casing on all four Lillibridge wells. We look forward to what promises to be a transformational quarter for Abraxas."
Abraxas Petroleum Corporation is a San Antonio based crude oil and natural gas exploration and production company with operations across the Rocky Mountain, Mid-Continent, Permian Basin and onshore Gulf Coast regions of the United States and in the province of Alberta, Canada.
Safe Harbor for forward-looking statements: Statements in this release looking forward in time involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which may cause Abraxas' actual results in future periods to be materially different from any future performance suggested in this release. Such factors may include, but may not be necessarily limited to, changes in the prices received by Abraxas for crude oil and natural gas. In addition, Abraxas' future crude oil and natural gas production is highly dependent upon Abraxas' level of success in acquiring or finding additional reserves. Further, Abraxas operates in an industry sector where the value of securities is highly volatile and may be influenced by economic and other factors beyond Abraxas' control. In the context of forward-looking information provided for in this release, reference is made to the discussion of risk factors detailed in Abraxas' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission during the past 12 months.
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