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Press release from PR Newswire

Noble Energy Announces Third Quarter 2011 Results

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Noble Energy Announces Third Quarter 2011 Results07:28 EDT Thursday, October 20, 2011HOUSTON, Oct. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NBL) reported today third quarter 2011 net income of $441 million, or $2.39 per share diluted, on revenues of $924 million.  The Company's third quarter 2010 net income was $232 million, or $1.31 per share diluted, on revenues of $755 million.  Net income for the third quarter 2011 includes unrealized commodity derivative gains and other items.  Excluding these items, third quarter 2011 adjusted net income(1) was $234 million, or $1.24 per share diluted.  Adjusted net income(1) for the third quarter of 2010 was $225 million, or $1.27 per share diluted.  Discretionary cash flow(1) for the third quarter 2011 was $588 million, compared to $500 million for the similar quarter in 2010.  Net cash provided by operating activities was $556 million, and capital expenditures(2) were $738 million. Key highlights for the third quarter 2011 include:Total sales volumes of 224 thousand barrels oil equivalent per day (MBoe/d), up 4 percent from the previous quarter 2011Produced a record 65 MBoe/d in the DJ basin with horizontal production exiting the quarter at over 11 MBoe/d, a 64 percent increase over the prior quarter exit rateCompleted 25 new horizontal Niobrara wells and added a fifth rig to the programEstablished a new significant position in the Marcellus shale with the acquisition of 314,000 net acres and 50 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of existing net productionRecord natural gas sales in Israel of 228 MMcf/d, an increase of 28 percent from third quarter last year Drilled two wells at the Noa development project offshore Israel, ahead of schedule and below anticipated costsThe Aseng floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel departed the shipyard for Equatorial GuineaSpud the Cyprus A prospect on Block 12 offshore CyprusCharles D. Davidson, Noble Energy's Chairman and CEO, commented, "It was an outstanding quarter for Noble Energy as we reported record volumes from the DJ basin, along with record natural gas sales in Israel.  We expect a strong finish to 2011 as our activity continues to accelerate in the horizontal Niobrara play, and we integrate our newly established core position in the Marcellus shale.  The fourth quarter should also see first oil production from the Aseng project in Equatorial Guinea and the Raton South development in the Gulf of Mexico.  In addition, we anticipate well results from several impactful exploration opportunities.  This positive outlook for the fourth quarter together with performance to date has led us to raise production guidance for the second time this year, which now is expected to exceed the top end of our original guidance range." The Company's total sales volumes for the third quarter 2011 averaged 224 MBoe/d.  Production volumes were 223 MBoe/d, with the difference attributable to an overlifted position of crude oil and condensate in Equatorial Guinea.  Excluding the 2010 sale of certain onshore U.S. assets and the impact of the Company's exit from Ecuador, sales volumes were up slightly from the third quarter 2010. International sales volumes were 111 MBoe/d, up from the third quarter last year even with the termination of the Company's activities in Ecuador.  Strong power generation demand and lower competing imports led to a significant increase in natural gas sales in Israel.  In Equatorial Guinea, liquid sales were higher largely due to the timing of liftings in the third quarters of 2011 and 2010.  In the North Sea, volumes were negatively impacted by maintenance downtime at the GPIII floating production vessel.  The Company's 2010 volumes included 28 MMcf/d of natural gas in Ecuador, where its production sharing contract was terminated in late 2010.Noble Energy's U.S. volumes were 113 MBoe/d for the third quarter of 2011, down versus the prior year period as a result of the 2010 sale impact of approximately 4 MBoe/d of Mid-continent and Illinois basin oil assets and natural declines in various onshore U.S. and Deepwater Gulf of Mexico assets.  In the DJ basin, quarterly volumes were up significantly from the same period in 2010 with the continued acceleration of the Company's vertical and horizontal drilling programs in Wattenberg. The Company's barrel of oil equivalent (Boe) realizations were up 11 percent for the third quarter 2011 versus 2010 driven by higher prices for crude oil, natural gas liquids and natural gas.  International natural gas as a percentage of total Company volumes grew to 36 percent for the third quarter 2011, with global liquids representing 37 percent, and U.S. natural gas dropping to 27 percent.  Total production costs per Boe, including lease operating expenses, production and ad valorem taxes, and transportation were $7.42 per Boe, up approximately 11 percent from the third quarter 2010.  The increase was largely attributable to higher production and ad valorem taxes caused by stronger commodity prices.  The other components were up slightly compared to 2010 with lease operating expense at $4.76 per Boe and transportation at $0.82 per Boe for the third quarter 2011.  Depreciation, depletion, and amortization was unchanged at $10.92 per Boe.  Exploration expense included the remaining dry hole cost associated with the Kora well and higher surrendered lease charges.   General and administrative expenses were up primarily related to increased staffing for the Company's major development projects and exploration activities.  Noble Energy's adjusted effective tax rate was 44 percent, with 26 percent deferred.  Income taxes for the third quarter 2011 were impacted by a $46 million retroactive charge for the United Kingdom tax rate increase.Other income/expense for the third quarter includes an $18 million deferred compensation income item relating to the quarterly value change of Noble Energy stock held in a benefit program.UPDATED GUIDANCENoble Energy has raised its full year 2011 sales volume guidance to range from 220 to 222 MBoe/d to reflect the strong year-to-date performance from each of its core operating areas, as well as the impact of the Marcellus joint venture.  For the fourth quarter 2011, the Company expects sales volumes to average 226 to 234 MBoe/d which includes 10 MBoe/d from the Marcellus.  Onshore U.S. volumes should be up versus the third quarter, with the addition of the Marcellus position and growth from the DJ basin offsetting natural declines in other onshore natural gas areas.  The deepwater Gulf of Mexico is expected to remain relatively flat with Raton South coming online late in the quarter.  Despite better operational performance in the North Sea and the early start up of Aseng in Equatorial Guinea, international volumes are anticipated to decrease in the fourth quarter mainly due to lower seasonal demand for natural gas in Israel.  All other annual guidance metrics remain within their previous ranges.(1)A Non-GAAP measure, see attached Reconciliation Schedules(2)Capital expenditures exclude a non-cash accrual related to construction progress to date on the Aseng FPSO and the Marcellus shale asset acquisition.WEBCAST AND CONFERENCE CALL INFORMATIONNoble Energy, Inc. will host a webcast and conference call at 9:00 a.m. Central time today. The webcast is accessible on the 'Investors' page at Conference call numbers for participation are 877-857-6151 and 719-325-4797, passcode 5564745.  A replay will be available on the website.  Noble Energy is a leading independent energy company engaged in worldwide oil and gas exploration and production. The Company has core operations onshore in the U.S., primarily in the DJ basin and Marcellus shale, in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, offshore Eastern Mediterranean, and offshore West Africa. Noble Energy is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is traded under the ticker symbol NBL. Further information is available at news release includes projections and other "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Such projections and statements reflect Noble Energy's current views about future events and financial performance. No assurances can be given that such events or performance will occur as projected, and actual results may differ materially from those projected. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected include, without limitation, the volatility in commodity prices for crude oil and natural gas, the presence or recoverability of estimated reserves, the ability to replace reserves, environmental risks, drilling and operating risks, exploration and development risks, competition, government regulation or other action, the ability of management to execute its plans to meet its goals and other risks inherent in Noble Energy's business that are detailed in its Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Words such as "anticipates," "believes," "expects," "intends," "will," "should," "may," and similar expressions may be used to identify forward-looking statements. Noble Energy assumes no obligation and expressly disclaims any duty to update the information contained herein except as required by law. Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosures and risk factors in our Forms 10-K and 10-Q, File No. 1-07964, available from Noble Energy's offices or website, These forms can also be obtained from the SEC by calling 1-800-SEC-0330.  This news release also contains certain non-GAAP measures of financial performance that management believes are good tools for internal use and the investment community in evaluating the Company's overall financial performance. These non-GAAP measures are broadly used to value and compare companies in the crude oil and natural gas industry.Schedule 1Noble Energy, Inc.Reconciliation of Net Income to Adjusted Earnings(in millions, except per share amounts, unaudited)Three Months EndedNine Months EndedSeptember 30,September 30,2011Per Diluted Share (6)2010Per Diluted Share2011Per Diluted Share (6)2010Per Diluted Share (6)Net Income $ 441$       2.39$ 232$       1.31$ 749$       4.12$ 673$       3.80Unrealized gains on commodity    derivative instruments(300)(1.66)(5)(0.03)(140)(0.78)(215)(1.21)Asset impairments (1)--1000.561390.771000.56Gain on divestitures (2)--(114)(0.64)(26)(0.14)(114)(0.64)Drilling rig expense (3)(1)(0.01)--180.10270.15Other adjustments--20.0150.0320.01Total Adjustments before tax(301)(1.67)(17)(0.10)(4)(0.02)(200)(1.13)Income Tax Effect of Adjustments  (4)940.52100.06(8)(0.04)880.50Adjusted Earnings (5)$ 234$       1.24$ 225$       1.27$ 737$       4.06$ 561$       3.17Weighted average number of shares outstanding    Diluted180177179178(1)  Due to drilling results and the continuing low natural gas price environment during second quarter of 2011, we determined that the carrying amounts of certain of our onshore US developments, primarily in East Texas, were not recoverable from future cash flows and were impaired.  Impairments for 2010 related to our Iron Horse development, an onshore US area, our non-core New Albany Shale assets classified as held-for-sale and certain other Gulf of Mexico assets.(2)  During second quarter of 2011, we completed the transfer of assets and exit from Ecuador. (3) Amount for 2011 represents stand-by rig expense incurred prior to receiving permit to resume drilling activities in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Amount for 2010 represents costs to terminate a deepwater Gulf of Mexico drilling rig contract due to the Federal Deepwater Moratorium.(4) The net tax effects are determined by calculating the tax provision for GAAP Net Income, which includes the adjusting items, and comparing the results to the tax provision for Adjusted Earnings, which excludes the adjusting items.  The difference in the tax provision calculations represents the tax impact of the adjusting items listed here. The calculation is performed at the end of each quarter and, as a result, the tax rates for each discrete period may be different.(5) Adjusted earnings should not be considered a substitute for net income as reported in accordance with GAAP.  Adjusted earnings is provided for comparison to earnings forecasts prepared by analysts and other third parties. Our management believes, and certain investors may find, that adjusted earnings is beneficial in evaluating our financial performance as it excludes the impact of significant non-cash items. We believe such measures can facilitate comparisons of operating performance between periods and with our peers.(6) Consistent with GAAP, when dilutive, deferred compensation gains or losses, net of tax, are excluded from net income while the NBL shares held in the rabbi trust are included in the diluted sharecount. For this reason, the diluted earnings per share calculations for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2011 exclude deferred compensation gains of $12 million and $10 million, net of tax, and for the nine months ended September 30, 2010 excludes a deferred compensation loss of $3 million, net of tax. Schedule 2Noble Energy, Inc.Summary Statement of Operations(in millions, except per share amounts, unaudited)Three Months EndedNine Months EndedSeptember 30,September 30,2011201020112010RevenuesCrude oil and condensate $  555$  446$ 1,720$ 1,313Natural gas249214683646NGLs7044196143Income from equity method investees503414685Other revenues-173352Total revenues 9247552,7782,239Operating ExpensesLease operating expense9895288283Production and ad valorem taxes 382910896Transportation expense17175351Exploration expense5735195167Depreciation, depletion and amortization 225231681662General and administrative 8965254194Gain on Divestitures-(114)(26)(114)Asset impairments-100139100Other operating (income) expense, net 244559Total operating expenses5264621,7371,498Operating Income 3982931,041741Other (Income) Expense(Gain) loss on commodity derivative instruments(322)(38)(179)(280)Interest, net of amount capitalized14215160Other (income) expense, net (16)12(16)(1)Total other (income) expense(324)(5)(144)(221)Income Before Taxes 7222981,185962Income Tax Provision 28166436289Net Income $  441$  232$    749$    673Earnings Per ShareBasic$ 2.50$ 1.33$   4.25$   3.86Diluted (1)2.391.314.123.80Weighted average number of shares outstanding    Basic 177175176175    Diluted180177179178(1) Consistent with GAAP, when dilutive, deferred compensation gains or losses, net of tax, are excluded from net income while the NBL shares held in the rabbi trust are included in the diluted sharecount. For this reason, the diluted earnings per share calculations for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2011 exclude deferred compensation gains of $12 million and $10 million, net of tax, and for the nine months ended September 30, 2010 excludes a deferred compensation loss of $3 million, net of tax. Schedule 3Noble Energy, Inc.Volume and Price Statistics(unaudited)Three Months EndedNine Months EndedSeptember 30,September 30,2011201020112010Crude Oil and Condensate Sales Volumes (MBbl/d)United States38413740Equatorial Guinea1581311North Sea413810China4444Total consolidated operations61666265Equity method investee2222Total sales volumes63686467Crude Oil and Condensate Realized Prices ($/Bbl)United States$ 91.21$ 71.28$   95.10$ 73.31Equatorial Guinea108.1176.28108.4075.44North Sea115.6778.89112.9977.33China108.5771.37104.9973.27Consolidated average realized prices$ 98.15$ 73.41$ 100.86$ 74.30Natural Gas Sales Volumes (MMcf/d)United States358399373399Equatorial Guinea250243244221Israel228178180129North Sea4667Ecuador -28-28Total sales volumes840854803784Natural Gas Realized Prices ($/Mcf)United States$   3.98$   3.87$     4.09$   4.38Equatorial Guinea0. Sea8.415.827.905.25Consolidated average realized prices$   3.21$   2.82$     3.12$   3.13Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) Sales Volumes (MBbl/d) United States16131413Equity method investee5655Total sales volumes21191918Natural Gas Liquids Realized Prices ($/Bbl)United States$ 49.57$ 36.30$   49.19$ 40.17Barrels of Oil Equivalent Volumes (MBoe/d)United States113120114119Equatorial Guinea57495448Israel38303022North Sea514911Other International4948Total consolidated operations217222211208Equity method investee7877Total barrels of oil equivalent (MBoe/d)224230218215Barrels of oil equivalent volumes (MMBoe)21216059Schedule 4Noble Energy, Inc.Condensed Balance Sheets(in millions, unaudited)September 30,December 31,20112010AssetsCurrent AssetsCash and cash equivalents $           1,252$          1,081Accounts receivable, net 546556Other current assets279201    Total current assets 2,0771,838Net property, plant and equipment12,51210,264Goodwill696696Other noncurrent assets548484Total Assets $         15,833$        13,282Liabilities and Shareholders' EquityCurrent LiabilitiesAccounts payable - trade $           1,132$             927Other current liabilities826495    Total current liabilities1,9581,422Long-term debt 3,5072,272Deferred income taxes 2,2352,110Other noncurrent liabilities551630Total Liabilities 8,2516,434Total Shareholders? Equity 7,5826,848Total Liabilities and Shareholders? Equity $         15,833$        13,282Schedule 5Noble Energy, Inc.Discretionary Cash Flow and Reconciliation to Operating Cash Flow(in millions, unaudited)Three Months EndedNine Months EndedSeptember 30,September 30,2011201020112010Adjusted Earnings (1)$    234$ 225$    737$    561Adjustments to reconcile adjusted earnings to discretionary cash flow:Depreciation, depletion and amortization225231681662Exploration expense5735195167(Income)/distributions from equity method investments, net288236Deferred compensation (income) expense(18)15(15)4Deferred income taxes49(11)15914Stock-based compensation expense15134340Other(2)(16)-(11)Discretionary Cash Flow (2)$    588$ 500$ 1,823$ 1,443Reconciliation to Operating Cash FlowsNet changes in working capital40113103134Cash exploration costs(44)(33)(138)(110)Current tax expense of earnings adjustments(41)25(5)8Stand-by rig expense (3)1-(18)(27)Other adjustments123204Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities$    556$ 608$ 1,785$ 1,452Capital expenditures (accrual based) $    738$ 619$ 1,985$ 1,547Increase in FPSO lease obligation58056188Marcellus Shale Asset Acquisition (4)1,233-1,233-DJ Basin Asset Acquisition-(11)-498Total Capital Expenditures (Accrual Based)$ 1,976$ 688$ 3,274$ 2,233Proceeds from Asset Sales$         -$ 552$      77$    552(1) See Schedule 1, Reconciliation of Net Income to Adjusted Earnings.(2) The table above reconciles discretionary cash flow to net cash provided by operating activities. Adjustments for capitalized interest were retrospectively removed from our discretionary cash flow calculation as of March 31, 2011. While discretionary cash flow is not a GAAP measure of financial performance, our management believes it is a useful tool for evaluating our overall financial performance. Among our management, research analysts, portfolio managers and investors, discretionary cash flow is broadly used as an indicator of a company?s ability to fund exploration and production activities and meet financial obligations. Discretionary cash flow is also commonly used as a basis to value and compare companies in the oil and gas industry.(3) Amount for 2011 represents stand-by rig expense incurred prior to receiving permit to resume drilling activities in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Amount for 2010 represents costs to terminate a deepwater Gulf of Mexico drilling rig contract due to the Federal Deepwater Moratorium(4) Includes $73 million representing our initial investment in CONE Gathering LLC.Schedule 6Noble Energy, Inc.Effect of Commodity Derivative Instruments(in millions, unaudited)Three Months EndedNine Months EndedSeptember 30,September 30,2011201020112010Reclassification from Accumulated Other   Comprehensive Loss (AOCL) to Revenue (1)Crude Oil$       -$   (5)$       -$   (14)Natural Gas---(1)Total Revenue Decrease$       -$   (5)$       -$   (15)(Gain) Loss on Commodity Derivative Instruments Crude oilRealized $      4$   (1)$    36$      4Unrealized(292)50(168)(59)Total crude oil$ (288)$  49$ (132)$   (55)Natural gasRealized$   (26)$ (32)$   (75)$   (69)Unrealized (8)(55)28(156)Total natural gas(34)(87)(47)(225)Total Gain on Commodity Derivative Instruments$ (322)$ (38)$ (179)$ (280)Summary of Cash SettlementsRealized (gain) on commodity derivative instruments$   (22)$  33$   (39)$    65Amounts reclassified from AOCL-(5)-(15)Cash settlements (received) paid$   (22)$  28$   (39)$    50(1) The amounts reclassified from AOCL represented deferred unrealized hedge gains and losses.  All hedge gains or losses had been reclassified to revenues by December 31, 2010.SOURCE Noble Energy, Inc.For further information: David Larson, +1-281-872-3125,, or Eric Schneider, +1-281-872-2640,, both of Noble Energy, Inc.