Bill Barrett Corp., Denver, (NYSE: BBG) reports year-end estimated proved reserves of 818.3 billion cubic feet equivalent and probable and possible reserves of 2.1 trillion cubic feet equivalent.
The unaudited estimates also show 2008 production of 77.6 billion cubic feet equivalent, comprising 95% natural gas and 5% oil. Fourth-quarter 2008 production was a record 20.6 billion cubic feet equivalent, up 20% from the same period in 2007.
Preliminary expenditures for 2008 were $601 million, which Bill Barrett says was in line with its guidance. The company says it did not make any acquisitions or divestments during the fiscal year.
Bill Barrett plans to drill up to 175 wells in 2009 and says 80% to 85% of its capital budget of $400 million will be allocated for development and the remainder for delineation and exploration.
The Company currently is operating four conventional rigs: two in the Piceance basin, one in the Uinta basin and one in the Paradox basin. In the Yellow Jacket prospect in the Paradox basin, the company began gas sales in December 2008 and is currently selling 4 million cubic feet of gas per day from three Gothic shale wells. Bill Barrett says current production rates have been restricted because of high-line pressure and a lack of compression in parts of the field; third-party field compression is expected to be increased during February.
In Green Jacket in the Paradox basin, Bill Barrett has drilled and cased on its first horizontal Hovenweep shale gas test, which is awaiting completion.
Bill Barrett chairman and chief executive officer Fred Barrett says, "Our 2008 record results in production, reserves, finding costs and cash flow reflect the quality of our development assets and management's ability to execute as a premier Rocky Mountain exploration and production company. Exploration success was also an outstanding part of our 2008 highlights, including reaching a key milestone at our Yellow Jacket Gothic shale project by establishing first sales into a nearby interstate pipeline.
"We expect to invest in a strategically balanced capital program including development, delineation, and exploration, as we continue to grow our production and reserves, generate strong returns and expose our investors to potential new growth prospects. We will remain disciplined but flexible with our 2009 capital spending as we monitor business conditions and commodity prices and continue to execute with operational excellence on our diverse portfolio of projects."
Official fourth-quarter and 2008 results will be released on Feb. 24.
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