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Press release from CNW Group

Valeura Announces Third Quarter 2011 Financial and Operating Results

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Valeura Announces Third Quarter 2011 Financial and Operating Results07:00 EST Tuesday, November 15, 2011CALGARY, Nov. 15, 2011 /CNW/ - Valeura Energy Inc. ("Valeura" or the "Corporation") (TSX: VLE) is pleased to report highlights of its unaudited financial and operating results for the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2011, and to provide an update on subsequent developments. The complete quarterly reporting package for the Corporation, including the unaudited financial statements and associated management's discussion and analysis, has been filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and posted on the Corporation's website at www.valeuraenergy.com."The quarter was highlighted by positive funds flow from operations resulting from our first full quarter of production in Turkey", said Jim McFarland, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We have been successful in reversing the trend of declining production in the Thrace Basin shallow gas business, which we acquired effective October 1, 2010. At current production rates of approximately 10.5 MMcf/d, this business is generating annualized cash flow of approximately Cdn$15 to 18 million, which together with cash and cash equivalents on hand at the end of the quarter of approximately Cdn$33.2 million, are providing funds to re-invest in maintaining the base business and pursuing the tight gas opportunity in deeper horizons. In the quarter we also commenced the proof-of-concept frac program in the tight gas Mezardere formation and the early results are encouraging and are making a positive contribution to production. Our top priority is to characterize the resource potential of this tight gas play and our planned 2012 capital program of Cdn$30 to 35 million, which is fully funded, is aimed at achieving this objective."HIGHLIGHTSOperationalPetroleum and natural gas sales in the third quarter of 2011 averaged 1,635 barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOE/d) (net), including 1,514 BOE/d (9.1 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d)) in Turkey and 121 BOE/d in Canada. These sales are up from 692 BOE/d (net) in the second quarter of 2011 and 243 BOE/d (net) in the third quarter of 2010.Current production in Turkey is approximately 1,750 BOE/d (net) (10.5 MMcf/d) reflecting the contribution from workovers, new wells and well re-entry fracs.Completed three well re-entry fracs over the July to October 2011 period in the deeper, undeveloped tight gas sands in the Mezardere formation on lands purchased from Thrace Basin Natural Gas (Turkiye) Corporation ("TBNG") and Pinnacle Turkey Inc. ("PTI") (40% Valeura participating interest) in the Thrace Basin:Completed a two-stage frac on the Yazir-2 well on July 18 in two intervals at a depth of approximately 1,100 metres and 885 metres. The shallower frac appeared to be oversized and intersected a high pressure water zone. The deeper frac is currently producing minor amounts of gas and water and is a candidate for a wellbore clean-out workover.Completed a single, limited-entry frac over five intervals in the Kayi-15 well on September 30 at a depth of approximately 1,260 metres. The initial five-day average production was approximately 0.6 MMcf/d (gross) on a 22/64ths inch choke. The well is currently producing approximately 0.5 MMcf/d.Completed a small single-stage frac on the BTD-2 well on October 3 at a depth of approximately 980 metres. The initial five-day average production rate was approximately 3.6 MMcf/d (gross) on a 32/64ths inch choke. The well is currently producing approximately 2.5 MMcf/d.Secured approvals from the General Directorate of Petroleum Affairs of the Republic of Turkey ("GDPA") thus far for the transfer to Valeura of participating interests in 15 of 19 exploration licences and leases associated with the TBNG-PTI acquisition which closed on June 8, 2011. Applications are being processed separately and the remaining four lease transfers are under review by the GDPA and approval decisions are expected before year-end 2011.Executed an active workover and drilling program in the third quarter on the onshore TBNG-PTI lands:Completed 23 workovers and recompletions (gross) on existing wells in the shallow Danismen and Osmancik formations during the third quarter, of which 10 were successful in increasing gas production rates. The aggregate initial production rate for these workovers and recompletions was approximately 6.0 MMcf/d (gross).Spudded six wells (gross) in the third quarter, of which two are currently producing, three are under evaluation and one well is suspended awaiting deepening to the Mezardere formation. All wells were drilled on existing 2D seismic control.  Two of these new wells were drilled into the Mezardere formation. In addition, one existing well was re-entered and deepened to the Mezardere formation. The aggregate initial production rate from the two new producing wells was approximately 3.8 MMcf/d (gross).Completed the drilling of the Evrenbey-1 exploration well in farm-in Licence 4094 in the Thrace Basin on November 7, which was cased as a potential gas well in the Mezardere formation. This was the first well directly supervised by Valeura in Turkey and was drilled to a depth of 1,900 metres in 13 days (spud to rig release), which was completed ahead of schedule and below the budgeted cost. This is the first of two exploration wells to be drilled by Valeura to earn a 50% working interest in Licences 4094 and 4532 covering an area of approximately 242,865 acres (gross).Spudded the Siratas-1 exploration well on November 1, 2011 located in Licence 4656 in the Gaziantep area of southeast Turkey (26% Valeura participating interest). The well is targeting oil in the Mardin Group at a depth of approximately 2,550 metres.Completed the acquisition of 413 km2 of new 3D seismic in the Tekirdag and Hayrabolu areas on the TBNG-PTI lands in late-October. An additional 50 km2 of planned 3D seismic was deferred until the first quarter of 2012 due to wet weather. Processed and initial interpreted results are expected to be available at the end of December 2011 to guide drilling in the first quarter of 2012.Valeura's partners Aladdin Middle East Ltd. ("AME") and Guney Yildizi Petrol Uretim Sondaj, Muteahhitlik ve Ticaret A.S. ("GYP") received GDPA approval for a three year extension to the term of the Karakilise Exploration Licence 2674 in southeast Turkey to May 30, 2014. The extension was granted on the basis of a heavy oil discovery in the Mardin Group in the Altinakar-1 exploration well, which was funded by Valeura and drilled in early 2011.Notified AME and GYP of Valeura's intent to fund approximately US$1.3 million of the deepening cost of the Altinakar-1 well to the primary exploration target in the Bedinan Formation (targeted for early 2012) as the Corporation's final earning expenditure under the AME-GYP farm-in. Discussions are continuing with AME and GYP to reach agreement on Valeura's final earned interest in the Karakilise licences 2674 and 2677.Benefited from a 15% increase in posted natural gas prices in Turkey (priced in Turkish Lira) effective October 1, 2011. The national pipeline operator, Boru Hatlari ile Petrol Tasima Anonim Sirketi ("BOTAS") increased its Industrial Interruptible Tariff benchmark price in response to the weakening of the Turkish Lira compared to the US dollar. In Canadian dollar terms, the BOTAS reference price was increased to Cdn$8.49 per Mcf compared to an average of Cdn$7.47 per Mcf in the third quarter of 2011. Gas prices under sales contracts for production from the TBNG-PTI lands and the Edirne licence are directly linked to the BOTAS benchmark price at fixed discount percentages.Received approval to list the Corporation's common shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange (the "TSX) effective September 15. At the same time, the Corporation's common shares were consolidated on a 10-for-1 basis as previously approved by shareholders at the annual and special meeting of shareholders held June 15, 2011, and subsequently by the TSX Venture Exchange.Financial  As at September 30, 2011, the Corporation had a positive working capital surplus of approximately Cdn$30.9 million, including cash and cash equivalents of approximately Cdn$33.2 million. This compares to a working capital surplus of Cdn$25.5 million as at September 30, 2010.Funds flow from operations in the third quarter of 2011 was Cdn$1,983,190 compared to negative (Cdn$666,787) in the third quarter of 2010, reflecting the Turkish acquisitions and petroleum and natural gas sales in Turkey.Capital expenditures in the third quarter of 2011 were Cdn$7,843,249 compared to Cdn$1,189,028 in the third quarter of 2010 reflecting the Turkish acquisitions and increased expenditures in Turkey.RESULTS SUMMARY (Three and nine month periods unaudited)Three MonthsEndedSeptember 30, 2011Three MonthsEndedSeptember 30, 2010Nine MonthsEndedSeptember 30, 2011Nine MonthsEndedSeptember 30, 2010     Financial ($ except share and per share amounts)         Petroleum and natural gas revenues (net)5,836,765794,2159,106,0902,548,440Funds flow from operations (1)1,983,189(666,787)(1,563,376)(1,899,977)Net loss(3,749,286)(3,171,965)(12,370,302)(8,073,550)Capital expenditures7,843,2491,189,02867,691,8172,032,875Net working capital surplus30,852,30425,539,767  Common shares outstanding      Basic      Diluted46,406,13564,787,96319,867,70023,687,950  Share trading      High      Low      Close3.001.601.604.002.703.70       Operations         Production          Crude oil & NGLs (bbl/d)68925989      Natural Gas (Mcf/d)9,4019064,639955      BOE/d (@ 6:1) (2)1,635243833248Average reference price      Edmonton light  (Cdn$ per bbl)      BOTAS Reference (Cdn$ per Mcf) (3)91.747.4774.449.0394.267.9576.538.96Average realized price      Crude oil (Cdn$ per bbl)      Natural gas liquids (Cdn$ per bbl)      Natural gas - Turkey (Cdn$ per Mcf)      Natural gas - consolidated (Cdn$ per Mcf)70.9145.006.376.2765.0638.95-3.4974.2349.146.566.3067.2343.52-4.05     Average Operating Netback(Cdn$ per BOE @ 6:1) (1) (2)25.0010.9423.9913.40Notes:(1)     The above table includes non-IFRS measures, which do not have a standard meaning under IFRS and may not be comparable to other companies. Funds flow from operations is calculated as net loss for the period adjusted for non-cash items in the statement of cash flows. Operating netback is calculated as petroleum and natural gas sales less royalties, production expenses and transportation costs. See MD&A for further discussion and the most directly comparable IFRS measures.(2)     BOEs may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A BOE conversion ratio of 6.0 Mcf:1.0 bbl is based on an energy equivalency conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent a value equivalency at the well head.(3)     BOTAS owns and operates the national crude oil pipeline grid and the national natural gas pipeline grid in Turkey. BOTAS regularly posts prices and its Industrial Interruptible Tariff benchmark is shown herein as a reference price. See the 2010 Annual Information Form for further discussion.OUTLOOKSolid progress continues to be made on the Corporation's three main objectives in Turkey, which will remain the focus of the work program and budget in 2012:Proving-up the potential of the tight gas play in the Thrace Basin;Sustaining the shallow gas business in the Thrace Basin; andFulfilling exploration-focused work programs on high potential farm-in acreage in the Thrace Basin (gas targets) and in the Anatolian Basin (oil targets).The outlook for capital expenditures in 2011 remains unchanged at approximately Cdn$20 million, excluding the capital invested on the TBNG-PTI and Edirne lands prior to the closing date of these acquisitions, which were reflected in purchase price adjustments. Capital expenditures in 2012 are expected to be approximately Cdn$30 to 35 million, almost all of which will be directed to Turkey.Thrace BasinWith respect to the existing shallow gas business in the Thrace Basin on the TBNG-PTI lands and Edirne licence, the workover and recompletion program in the fourth quarter of 2011 and in 2012 is expected to continue at a pace of approximately four to five jobs per month. The drilling program is expected to accelerate in early 2012 with approximately two shallow wells drilled per month. The drilling program in both the shallow and deep horizons will benefit from 413 km2 of new 3D seismic acquired in 2011 and up to an additional 250 km2 of 3D seismic expected to be acquired in 2012 on the TBNG-PTI lands.On the new farm-in lands in the Thrace Basin (licences 4201, 4094 and 4532), the Corporation expects to drill up to three wells and to acquire approximately 163 km of new 2D seismic in 2012.Unlocking the potential in the deeper tight gas play in the Thrace Basin remains a top priority for the Corporation. A comprehensive program is underway in 2011 and 2012 to characterize the resource potential through acquisition of new seismic, new deep drilling, more sophisticated well logging, more extensive core analysis work, new geological and geophysical studies and an extensive "proof-of-concept" frac program testing various frac designs and tight sand intervals in the Mezardere formation in both existing and new wells. The Corporation expects to complete seven to nine well re-entry fracs by year-end 2011, including the three completed to date. In 2012, the Corporation is targeting to drill up to 18 deep wells at depths up to 2,500 metres in the Mezardere formation, and for planning purposes, stimulate each of these with single or multi-stage fracs.Anatolian BasinIn the Anatolian Basin in southeast Turkey, the Corporation expects to complete the deepening of the Altinakar-1 well to the Bedinan formation, drill up to three exploration wells in the Karakilise and Gaziantep areas to pursue light and heavy oil targets in the Mardin Group and Bedinan Formation, and acquire up to 100 km2 of 3D seismic at Karakilise in 2012.Business DevelopmentThe Corporation is pursuing other farm-in and acquisition opportunities in Turkey.  These have the potential to further expand the Corporation's acreage position, particularly in the Thrace Basin.ABOUT THE CORPORATIONValeura Energy Inc. is a Canada-based public company currently engaged in the exploration, development and production of petroleum and natural gas in Turkey and Western Canada.CAUTION REGARDING ENGINEERING TERMWhen used herein, the term "BOE" means barrels of oil equivalent on the basis of one BOE being equal to one barrel of oil or NGLs, or 6,000 cubic feet of natural gas. BOEs may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A BOE conversion ratio of 6.0 Mcf: 1.0 bbl is based on an energy equivalency conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent a value equivalency at the well head.CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATIONThis news release contains certain forward‐looking statements including, but not limited to: the extent and timing of the frac program on the TBNG-PTI lands; timing for completion of the 3D seismic program and drilling of the first locations thereafter; GDPA approval for the licence and lease transfers and timing thereof; the resumption of drilling to a deeper target in the Altinakar-1 well on Licence 2674; Valeura's investment and earning under the AME-GYP farm-in; anticipated work programs, budgets and operational plans in the fourth quarter of 2011 and 2012 and the timing associated therewith. Forward‐looking information typically contains statements with words such as "anticipate", "estimate", "expect", "potential", "could", "would" or similar words suggesting future outcomes. The Corporation cautions readers and prospective investors in the Corporation's securities to not place undue reliance on forward‐looking information, as by its nature, it is based on current expectations regarding future events that involve a number of assumptions, inherent risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by the Corporation.Forward looking information is based on management's current expectations and assumptions regarding, among other things:  continued political stability of the areas in which the Corporation is anticipating completing transactions; continued operations of and approvals forthcoming from the GDPA in a manner consistent with past conduct; results of future seismic programs; future drilling activity; future capital and other expenditures (including the amount, nature and sources of funding thereof); future economic conditions; future currency and exchange rates; and the Corporation's continued ability to obtain and retain qualified staff and equipment in a timely and cost efficient manner. In addition, budgets are based upon the Corporation's current acquisition plans, work programs proposed by partners and associated exploration plans and anticipated costs, both of which are subject to change based on, among other things, the actual results of acquisitions, drilling activity, unexpected delays and changes in market conditions. Although the Corporation believes the expectations and assumptions reflected in such forward‐looking information are reasonable, they may prove to be incorrect.Forward‐looking information involves significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Exploration, appraisal, and development of oil and natural gas reserves are speculative activities and involve a significant degree of risk. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by the Corporation including, but not limited to: risks associated with the oil and gas industry (e.g. operational risks in exploration, inherent uncertainties in interpreting geological data, and changes in plans with respect to exploration or capital expenditures, the uncertainty of estimates and projections in relation to costs and expenses, and health, safety, and environmental risks); the uncertainty regarding the sustainability of initial production rates and decline rates thereafter; the risk of commodity and BOTAS pricing and foreign exchange rate fluctuations; the uncertainty associated with negotiating with third parties in countries other than Canada; the risk of partners having different views on work programs and potential disputes among partners; the uncertainty regarding government and other approvals; risks associated with weather delays and natural disasters; and, the risk associated with international activity. The forward‐looking information included in this news release is expressly qualified in its entirety by this cautionary statement. The forward‐looking information included herein is made as of the date hereof and Valeura assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward‐looking information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.Additional information relating to Valeura is also available on SEDAR at www.sedar.comNeither the Toronto Stock Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the Toronto Stock Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.   For further information: Jim McFarland, President and CEO Valeura Energy Inc. (403) 930-1150jmcfarland@valeuraenergy.com Steve Bjornson, CFO Valeura Energy Inc. (403) 930-1151sbjornson@valeuraenergy.com www.valeuraenergy.com