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Press release from Marketwire

BlackPearl Announces First Quarter 2011 Financial and Operating Results

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

BlackPearl Announces First Quarter 2011 Financial and Operating Results17:21 EDT Tuesday, May 10, 2011CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - May 10, 2011) - BlackPearl Resources Inc. ("BlackPearl" or the "Company") (TSX:PXX)(FIRST NORTH:PXXS) is pleased to announce its financial and operating results for the three months ended March 31, 2011. Highlights of our first quarter activities include:SAGD pilot facilities at Blackrod were completed - commissioning is underway; Mooney ASP facilities are nearing completion - polymer injection to begin by the end of May; Onion Lake conventional development is continuing; plans remain the same, to drill 100 – 120 wells this year; Oil and gas production averaged 7,015 boe/day, a 5% increase over Q1 2010; Revenues were $34.7 million, 5% lower compared to Q1 in 2010; Cash flow from operations was $11.7 million; Maintained a strong working capital position of over $120 million and no debt; Increased 2011 capital program to $175 million. John Festival, President of BlackPearl, commenting on Q1 2011 activities indicated that, "I am extremely pleased with the progress we have made on each of our three core properties. At Blackrod we are commissioning our SAGD pilot plant while working on a regulatory application for a 40,000 barrel per day commercial project. At Mooney, we have completed the polymer injection facilities, converted half of the wells from producers to injectors and should commence polymer injection shortly. At Onion Lake we did not drill as many wells as we had planned in Q1 due to rig availability; however, we have three rigs currently operating and we should be able to catch up and complete our entire drilling program in 2011. In addition, we plan to submit a commercial SAGD application at Onion Lake for 10,000 barrels per day in 2011 and drill some horizontal producers as part of our future thermal operations. We continue to grow heavy oil production despite having sold non-core properties which comprised 15% of our production. 2011 will be another exciting year for BlackPearl as we reach more milestones towards our goal of 80,000 barrels of oil per day."Property ReviewBlackrod SAGD ProjectAt Blackrod, construction of the water handling and steam generation facilities for the SAGD pilot were completed during the first quarter and the horizontal well pair was completed and equipped. We have commenced commissioning of the facilities and expect to have steam in the ground before the end of May. We anticipate it will take six to twelve months of steam injection before we can make initial assessments of the pilot performance.In addition to completing the pilot facilities we drilled ten delineation wells during the first quarter which were required to support our application for the first phase of commercial development at Blackrod. This application is expected to be filed in 2012. The Blackrod project has the potential to ultimately produce up to 70,000 barrels of oil per day.Onion LakeAt Onion Lake, we drilled 12 wells during the first quarter, which was well below our original plan to drill 35 wells. The reduction in drilling was due to the lack of rig availability and experienced crews during the busy winter months. Rigs are now available and to catch-up on our planned drilling program we have contracted two additional rigs and now have three rigs operating at Onion Lake. We still plan to drill between 100 and 120 conventional wells at Onion Lake this year as originally planned.During the first quarter we also undertook an extensive review of thermal development at Onion Lake. As a result of this review we plan to submit a 10,000 barrel per day SAGD development application this summer and, upon approval, we will begin drilling some of the horizontal wells that will be used for SAGD operations. Pre-drilling some of the horizontal wells will reduce the risk of reservoir damage caused by lost circulation from drilling through partially depleted zones. SAGD development will not begin until we have maximized recovery from conventional development.MooneyAt Mooney, construction of the alkali surfactant polymer injection facilities is nearing completion. Initial injection is anticipated to commence before the end of May. Initially, production at Mooney will be impacted as we convert half of the existing producing wells to injectors. It is expected to take six to twelve months to re-pressurize the reservoir and start to see increased production volumes. Peak production rates from the first phase of the polymer flood are expected to be 3,000 to 4,000 barrels of oil per day. The upgrades required to the existing oil treating facilities will begin in the third quarter this year.ProductionDaily average oil and gas production increased to 7,015 boe per day for the first quarter ended March 31, 2011, a 5% increase compared to the same period 2010. The increase in 2011 production is primarily attributable to our ongoing development drilling program at Onion Lake throughout the course of 2010. Production in the first quarter of 2011 was lower than Q4 2010 production of 7,344 barrels of oil per day due primarily as a result of the disposition of the Salt Lake area properties at the end of December. First quarter 2011 production was also affected by having to shut-in some existing Onion Lake producing wells to accommodate pad drilling, as well as starting to convert some of the Mooney producing wells to injectors.Our previous guidance to exit 2011 with production of 11,000 – 13,000 barrels per day remains unchanged.Three months ended March 31Production by Area (boe/d)20112010Onion Lake5,5204,301Mooney9221,136John Lake29724Ear Lake (sold in 2010)-361Salt Lake (sold in 2010)-288Long Coulee/Little Bow172403Other1041727,0156,685Financial ResultsRevenues in Q1 2011 were $34.7 million, down 5% from the same period in 2010. The 5% increase in oil and gas production was offset by an 11% decrease in realized oil prices. Although WTI oil prices strengthened in Q1 2011 (US$93.95/bbl vs US$78.71/bbl), the increase was negatively affected by wider heavy oil differentials (24.5% differential in 2011 compared with 11.5% in 2010), a stronger Canadian dollar compared to the US dollar (0.986 in Q1 2011 compared with 1.041 in Q1 2010) and higher condensate prices used for blending.Operating costs were $17.61 per barrel in Q1 2011, comparable to the first quarter of 2010 but higher than what we have been experiencing in recent quarters. The increase in operating costs is a result of some difficulty in treating clean oil from some of our new wells at Onion Lake which has resulted in higher emulsion trucking and treating costs. New heavy oil wells are initially more expensive to operate due to higher sand production, and the fact that the new wells are not yet tied into our fuel gas system, and therefore we are required to purchase propane to run our equipment. The operating costs from the new wells are expected to drop after a few months of production.Net income was $0.5 million in the first quarter compared with $1 million in the first quarter of 2010. Included in earnings was a gain on disposition of non-core properties of $3.4 million. Cash flow from operating activities (before working capital adjustments) was $11.7 million in 2011 compared with $15.0 million in 2010.Capital expenditures were $38.1 million in the first quarter of 2011. The majority of costs consisted of the construction of the SAGD facilities at Blackrod, the polymer facilities at Mooney, and continued development drilling at Onion Lake.At March 31, 2011 we had working capital of $120.5 million and no long term debt.Financial and Operating Highlights Three months ended March 3120112010Daily sales volumes (1)Oil (bbl/d)6,6565,941Natural gas (mcf/d)2,1534,462Combined (boe/d)7,0156,685Product pricingOil ($/bbl)56.4763.77Natural gas ($/mcf)3.845.01Combined ($/boe)54.9260.55($000's, except per share and boe amounts)RevenueOil and gas revenue - gross34,67536,429Royalties ($/boe)14.2815.54Transportation costs ($/boe)0.720.87Operating costs ($/boe)17.6117.54Net income (loss) for the period4621,034Per share, basic and diluted0.000.00Cash flow from operating activities, before working capital adjustments11,75414,987Capital expenditures39,41134,181Working Capital, end of period120,50646,266Long term debt--Shares outstanding, end of period283,379,487262,181,385(1) boe based on a conversion ratio of 6 mcf of gas to 1 barrel of oil. Boes may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A boe conversion ratio of 6 mcf: 1 barrel is based on an energy equivalency conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent a value equivalency at the wellhead. The 2011 first quarter report to shareholders, including the financial statements, management's discussion and analysis and notes to the financial statements are available on the Company's website (www.blackpearlresources.ca) or SEDAR (www.sedar.com).As of January 1, 2011, BlackPearl adopted International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Comparative information for 2010 has been restated in accordance with IFRS.This news release includes terms commonly used in the oil and natural gas industry, such as cash flow and cash flow from operations which represent cash flow from operating activities expressed before changes in non-cash working capital. These terms are used by the Company to analyze operating performance, leverage and liquidity and to provide shareholders and investors with additional information to measure the Company's performance and efficiency and its ability to fund a portion of its future activities and to service any long-term debt if incurred in the future. These terms do not have standardized meanings prescribed by GAAP and therefore may not be comparable with the calculation of similar measures by other entities. Consequently, these are referred to as non-GAAP measures. Forward-Looking StatementsThis news release contains certain forward-looking statements and forward-looking information (collectively referred to as "forward-looking statements") within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking information typically contains statements with words such as "anticipate", "believe", "plan", "continuous", "estimate", "expect", "may", "will", "project", "should", or similar words suggesting future outcomes. In particular, this document contains forward-looking statements pertaining to the Company's estimated production levels, future operating costs, development plans at Onion Lake, Blackrod and Mooney, and future drilling locations at Onion Lake.Undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements, which are inherently uncertain, are based on estimates and assumptions, and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties (both general and specific) that contribute to the possibility that the future events or circumstances contemplated by the forward-looking statements will not occur. There can be no assurance that the plans, intentions or expectations upon which forward-looking statements are based will be realized. Actual results will differ, and the differences may be material and adverse to the Company and its shareholders.With respect to forward-looking statements contained in this press release, management has made assumptions regarding future production levels; future oil and natural gas prices; future operating costs; timing and amount of capital expenditures; the ability to obtain financing on acceptable terms; availability of skilled labour and drilling and related equipment; general economic and financial market conditions; continuation of existing tax and regulatory regimes; and the ability to market oil and natural gas successfully to current and new customers. Although management considers these assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to it, they may prove to be incorrect.By their very nature, forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties (both general and specific) and risks that the goals or figures contained in forward-looking statements will not be achieved. These factors include, but are not limited to, risks associated with fluctuations in market prices for crude oil, natural gas and diluent, general economic, market and business conditions, substantial capital requirements, uncertainties inherent in estimating quantities of reserves and resources, extent of, and cost of compliance with, government laws and regulations and the effect of changes in such laws and regulations from time to time, the need to obtain regulatory approvals on projects before development commences, environmental risks and hazards and the cost of compliance with environmental regulations, aboriginal claims, inherent risks and hazards with operations such as fire, explosion, blowouts, mechanical or pipe failure, cratering, oil spills, vandalism and other dangerous conditions, potential cost overruns, variations in foreign exchange rates, diluent supply shortages, competition for capital, equipment, new leases, pipeline capacity and skilled personnel, uncertainties inherent in the SAGD bitumen recovery process, credit risks associated with counterparties, the failure of the Company or the holder of licences, leases and permits to meet requirements of such licences, leases and permits, reliance on third parties for pipelines and other infrastructure, changes in royalty regimes, failure to accurately estimate abandonment and reclamation costs, inaccurate estimates and assumptions by management, effectiveness of internal controls, the potential lack of available drilling equipment and other restrictions, failure to obtain or keep key personnel, title deficiencies with the Company's assets, geo-political risks, risks that the Company does not have adequate insurance coverage, risk of litigation and risks arising from future acquisition activities. Further information regarding these risk factors may be found under "Risk Factors" in the Annual Information Form. Readers are cautioned that these factors and risks are difficult to predict and that the assumptions used in the preparation of such information, although considered reasonably accurate at the time of preparation, may prove to be incorrect. Accordingly, readers are cautioned that the actual results achieved will vary from the information provided herein and the variations could be material. Readers are also cautioned that the foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. Consequently, there is no representation by the Corporation that actual results achieved will be the same in whole or in part as those set out in the forward-looking information. Furthermore, the forward-looking statements contained in this report are made as of the date hereof, and the Corporation does not undertake any obligation, except as required by applicable securities legislation, to update publicly or to revise any of the included forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The forward-looking statements contained herein are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement.BlackPearl's Certified Advisor on First North is E. Öhman J:or Fondkommission AB.Company Registration Number: 409596-1The report for the three months ending June 30, 2011 will be published on or before August 14, 2011.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: John FestivalBlackPearl Resources Inc.Chief Executive Officer(403) 215-8313ORDon CookBlackPearl Resources Inc.Chief Financial Officer(403) 215-8313(403) 265-8324 (FAX)www.blackpearlresources.ca