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Press release from Marketwire

Open Range Energy Corp. Announces Strong Q4 and Full-Year 2011 Results

Friday, March 23, 2012

Open Range Energy Corp. Announces Strong Q4 and Full-Year 2011 Results05:00 EDT Friday, March 23, 2012CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 23, 2012) - Open Range Energy Corp. (TSX:ONR) ("Open Range" or the "Company") is pleased to announce strong results from continuing operations for the three months and year ended December 31, 2011, including quarter- over-quarter production growth of 35 percent and year-over-year growth in proved plus probable reserves of 25 percent.The Company has filed its audited financial statements, related management's discussion and analysis and annual information form for the year ended December 31, 2011 on www.sedar.com and on the Company's website at www.openrangeenergy.com.FINANCIAL AND OPERATING HIGHLIGHTSConsolidated HighlightsThree monthsThree monthsYearYearendedendedendedended(thousands except per share amounts)Dec. 31, 2011Dec. 31, 2010Dec. 31, 2011Dec. 31, 2010Revenue (1)12,34710,28345,02542,801Funds from operations8,2496,25727,79125,606Per share ($)- basic and diluted0.120.120.450.48Net earnings(3,415)1,552(2,977)4,150Per share ($)- basic and diluted(0.05)0.03(0.04)0.08Net debt47,13847,52247,13847,522Weighted average sharesoutstanding (basic and diluted)70,03553,86161,38453,860(1) Includes the realized gain or loss on commodity contract.Exploration and Production HighlightsThree monthsThree monthsYearYearendedendedendedendedDec. 31, 2011Dec. 31, 2010Dec. 31, 2011Dec. 31, 2010ProductionNatural gas (mcf per day)28,62720,46724,15920,606Oil and NGL (bbls per day)350386323349Total @ 6.1 (boe per day)5,1213,7974,3493,783Realized average sales pricesNatural gas ($ per mcf)3.363.933.844.30Oil and NGL ($ per mcf)87.2464.9483.3465.53Combined average ($ per boe)26.2029.7628.3630.99Royalties ($ per boe)1.791.712.502.78Operating costs ($ per boe)3.265.153.564.98Transportation costs ($ per boe)0.830.980.840.90Operating netback ($ per boe)20.3221.9221.4622.33G&A costs ($ per boe)2.792.652.872.52Net interest expense ($ per boe)0.411.041.081.28Corporate netback ($ per boe)17.1218.2317.5018.53CORPORATE HIGHLIGHTSIn the year ended December 31, 2011, Open Range:Drilled 15 (11.7 net) horizontal wells targeting the Wilrich, Notikewin and Cardium formations at the Company's core Ansell/Sundance Deep Basin property, as part of its $98 million capital investment program; Had fourth-quarter production of 5,121 boe per day, an increase of 35 percent from Q4 2010; Exited 2011 with production of 6,350 boe per day, an increase of 74 percent over December 2010 production, resulting from strong horizontal drilling results in the second half of 2011; Grew annual funds from continuing operations to $27.8 million ($0.45 per share), an increase of 9 percent over 2010, and fourth-quarter funds from continuing operations to $8.2 million ($0.12 per share), an increase of 30 percent over Q4 2010; Continued on its track of improving operating efficiencies, with: Full-year operating costs of $3.56 per boe, a decrease of 28 percent from 2010; Full-year cash costs (operating, transportation, interest and G&A) of $8.35 per boe ($1.39 per mcfe), a decrease of 14 percent from 2010; Fourth-quarter 2011 operating costs of $3.26 per boe, a decrease of 37 percent from Q4 2010; and Fourth-quarter cash costs (operating, transportation, interest and G&A) of $7.29 per boe ($1.21 mcfe), a decrease of 25 percent from Q4 2010; Exited the year with net debt of $47 million on bank lines of $75 million, resulting in a year-end debt to annualized fourth quarter 2011 funds from continuing operations ratio of 1.44:1; Increased proved plus probable reserves to 25.5 million boe at year-end, a year- over-year increase of 26 percent, including increasing proved producing reserves by 35 percent to 8.2 million boe, due to strong horizontal drilling results; and Generated total proved plus probable finding, development and acquisition (FD&A) costs of $21.17 per boe including the change in future development costs (FDC) and three year total proved plus probable FD&A of $18.34 per boe including FDC. Replaced 2011 production by 4.3 times, ending 2011 with a reserve-life-index of 12.3 years, based on 2011 average production. Subsequent to the year ended December 31, 2011, Open Range:Completed and tied-in two Wilrich horizontal wells drilled at Ansell/Sundance late in 2011, one of which achieved an IP30 of 6.2 mmcf per day plus natural gas liquids at casing pressure of 8,100 kPa, the Company's best well to date; Commenced operation of its 20 mmcf per day capacity, 100 percent working interest deep cut gas processing facility at Ansell/Sundance; Drilled and completed two multi-zone vertical wells at Ansell/Sundance for step- out, inventory de-risking and land retention purposes; and Drilled, completed and tested the Company's first horizontal well targeting Montney light oil at Waskahigan, and built an initial oil battery to serve the 2012 drilling program. In late February the 13-24-63-23-W5M well tested up tubing at 1,350 bbls per day of new oil. The well was brought on-stream in the past several days. MESSAGE TO SHAREHOLDERSIn the field and corporately, 2011 was the most successful year in Open Range's history. Horizontal drilling at our core Ansell/Sundance Deep Basin property delivered a succession of excellent wells in the Wilrich and Notikewin formations, with several wells achieving IP30 in the range of 5-6 mmcf per day, plus liquids. The overall program of 15 (11.7 net) wells drove year-end production to 6,350 boe per day, by far our largest-ever year-over-year increase. Operating and all-in cash costs per boe continued to decrease substantially. Following further tie-ins, in February 2012 Open Range's production averaged 6,950 boe per day, including 388 bbls per day of NGL and 168 bbls per day of light oil.Corporately, the growth and financial success of Poseidon Concepts Corp., our innovative fracturing fluid handling business, led Open Range's Board of Directors to approve a strategic realignment that resulted in the two businesses each becoming a pure-play, publicly traded company as of November 1, 2011. The innovative transaction unlocked tremendous value for Open Range's shareholders and positioned the new Open Range to move forward with a strong balance sheet and established, high-growth assets with a low cost structure. For more information regarding the corporate realignment, please refer to the Company's information circular dated September 30, 2011, filed on www.sedar.com.For 2012 the Company is well-positioned with its Montney light oil prospect at Waskahigan to begin rebalancing its production in response to the current natural gas prices. As we announced in mid-January, we are focused for the short term on protecting our balance sheet, reducing capital spending at Ansell/Sundance and directing the majority of 2012 capital spending to adding light oil volumes at Waskahigan.2011 in Review - Strong Production and Reserves GrowthOur major asset, Ansell/Sundance, has matured into a low-risk, cost-efficient, multi-zone horizontal play with excellent growth potential. The Company's accelerated Wilrich program delivered improving per-well results and declining per-well costs thanks to continual refinement of the drilling, completions and tie-in process. Combined with drilling on existing pad sites, average spud to tie-in times on multiple wells came in at under 50 days. The Company also achieved strong results with its two Notikewin horizontal wells, confirming the drilling and completions approach and de-risking the Notikewin inventory of 40 net locations.Operating efficiencies continued to improve as Open Range's production increased significantly in the second half. We completed the expansion of the Ansell/Sundance gas plant to gross capacity of 60 mmcf per day in November, constructed a new gathering pipeline to the western Ansell/Sundance lands, and initiated construction of our second gas plant, a deep cut facility centred in eastern Ansell/Sundance. Open Range exited the year with two proven, de-risked horizontal plays at Ansell/Sundance having a combined inventory of 70 net locations at two wells per section.Financial resultsCapital expenditures in 2011 totalled $98 million and Open Range's financial performance was strong considering prevailing gas prices. The Company's continued profitability is underpinned by its improving cost structure. Fourth-quarter 2011 operating costs of $3.26 per boe were down by one-third from the same period of 2010.Despite lower average realized sales prices, we maintained an average operating netback of over $20 per boe in both periods. This was achieved through increased operating efficiencies and reduced overall royalties of under 10 percent due to the Company's high ratio of new production. Consequently, overall funds from continuing operations grew by 9 percent year-over-year and 32 percent for the quarter.ReservesThe Company's horizontal drilling success drove solid growth in reserves. Proved plus probable reserves of 25.5 million boe at December 31, 2011 were up by 26 percent year-over-year. Reserves per share also increased, from 326 boe per thousand shares at year-end 2010 to 342 boe per thousand shares at year-end 2011, an increase of 5 percent. Reserve additions replaced the year's production by 4.3 times. Total proved and probable finding, development and acquisition costs including the change in FDC rose slightly year-over-year to $21.17 per boe. This reflects approximately $17 million of capital investment in new infrastructure that increases the Company's operating control, including expanding the main gas plant, constructing a new pipeline and initiating construction of the deep cut plant. Open Range's three-year average FD&A including FDC is $18.34 per proved plus probable boe added.Please see the tables following this message for summary information on Open Range's most recent independent reserve evaluation per NI 51-101.2011-2012 Winter ActivitiesWe entered 2012 with two recently drilled Wilrich horizontal wells to tie-in and bring on production. The second of these generated an IP7 of 7.8 mmcf per day on choke plus approximately 150 bbls of NGLs, including condensate, for an overall initial rate of 1,400 boe per day. This moved Open Range's production past 7,000 boe per day, a Company milestone. This well's performance has remained highly encouraging, delivering an IP30 of 6.2 mmcf per day plus approximately 75 bbls per day of liquids at a casing pressure of 8,100 kPa.The Company's deep cut gas plant was commissioned in early March, increasing liquids recovery to approximately 18 bbls per mmcf on production in the eastern lands of Ansell/Sundance. The plant's main significance is for the longer term, as it provides ample capacity for volume growth with maximum achievable liquids recovery, supporting future operating netbacks. We also drilled and fractured two multi-zone vertical wells at Ansell/Sundance, one of which confirmed multiple Notikewin horizontal locations on our northern lands. The vertical wells can be tied-in when natural gas prices recover.Despite these compelling results and the Company's lengthening track record of able execution and increasing efficiencies, in response to the continued slide in natural gas prices, we curtailed further natural gas-directed capital investment for the rest of 2012.Waskahigan Montney Light Oil PlayOpen Range's $45 million 2012 capital program represents a prudent level of investment focused on adding light oil and lifting the Company's average netback. We have had a strong start in our Montney oil play at Waskahigan. After establishing our presence in 2010 with an initial six-section position at 100 percent working interest, strong offsetting horizontal results suggested we were in a sweet spot of a large Montney oil pool.Our initial well's success and its timely execution confirmed our prior decision to watch and learn from offsetting activity. In only a few months the Company spud, drilled, completed and tested the well, constructed a gathering pipeline for solution gas, arranged for third-party processing, and constructed an oil battery capable of supporting up to three wells from a common pad. Following its highly encouraging test results, which included flowing at 1,350 bbls of new oil per day during a test up tubing, the 13-24-63-23-W5M well was brought on-stream in the past several days.Open Range's lands also appear to be in a pool area with relatively low solution gas content, a further positive for overall economics. For additional technical details on the 13-24 well and the Montney reservoir, please refer to our press releases of February 29 and January 12, 2012.To date at Waskahigan we have increased our land holdings to 13 sections, all at 100 percent. High-quality oil prospects require less land area than natural gas reservoirs to generate significant value, and we have already developed an inventory of 20 locations covering only five of our sections. Within the Montney light oil pool, the Company's best estimate as at the date hereof, of petroleum-initially-in-place is 6 million barrels per section.The Company's commitment to investing in key infrastructure has set us up to continue growing this play at a controlled pace while sustaining low operating costs. We look forward to updating the markets on the initial performance of our first Montney light oil well in the near future.The Duvernay shaleEight 100 percent working interest sections of Open Range lands at Waskahigan encompass the Duvernay Shale, among the most exciting plays in Western Canada. We believe our acreage lies in the liquids-rich fairway of this growing play. Following a wave of land purchases over the past two years, horizontal activity is accelerating.Recent offset drilling includes a confidential horizontal Duvernay well less than three miles from Open Range's lands. Another well, approximately six miles' distant, over an extended 11-day test in mid-February averaged 7.7 mmcf per day plus 109 bbls of liquids per mmcf - or 840 barrels per day of field condensate.As with our Montney play, we are in an ideal position to watch and learn from the offsetting Duvernay drilling and completion activity underway or licensed. The new wells will deliver a growing stream of public data, and we look forward to evaluating longer-term metrics as production history complements the initial wells.Summary of Reserves (Forecast Prices and Costs)December 3120112010Year-over-year(mboe)% of Total% change(mboe)% of TotalProvedProducing8,20432%35%6,05530%Developed9244%398%2321%NonproducingProved undeveloped5,22220%(18)%6,37731%Total proved14,34956%13%12,66462%Probable11,21944%46%7,67538%Total Company gross workinginterest reserves - proved plus25,568100%26%20,338100%probable reserves (1)Proved plus probable Companyinterest in royalty167%15(58)%Total Company interest reserves- proved plus probable reserves20,55226%20,35321%(2)NOTE: Table may not add due to rounding.(1) "Working interest" reserves equate to those reserves that are referred to as "company gross" reserves by the Canadian Securities Administrators in N.I. 51-101.(2) "Company interest" reserves and values refer to the sum of royalty interest and working interest reserves before deduction of royalty burdens payable.Summary of Oil, Natural Gas and Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) Reserves (Forecast Prices and Costs)Natural GasNatural Gas LiquidsLight and Medium OilTotal Oil EquivalentGrossNetGrossNetGrossNetGrossNet(MMcf)(MMcf)(Mbbls)(Mbbls)(Mbbls)(Mbbls)(Mboe)(Mboe)Reserves CategoryProvedProducing45,24541,051648438228,1917,282Developed805800924838Nonproducing5,0674,678Undeveloped28,62526,1903402591111025,2224,726Total Proved78,93771,9181,06775611310414,33712,846Total Probable61,60056,12676954918015611,21610,060Total Proved Plus Probable140,537128,0441,836 1,305 294 260 25,552 22,906 NOTE: Table may not add due to rounding. Net Present Value of Future Net Revenue (Forecast Prices and Costs)($ thousands)Before Income Taxes - Discounted at (rate/year)After Income Taxes - Discounted at (rate/year)ReservesCategory0%5%10%15%20%0%5%10%15%20%ProvedProducing203,108156,791128,346109,22595,534186,606143,736117,586100,06787,541Developed17,39511,7818,3176,0334,44513,1178,6365,8664,0352,759NonproducingUndeveloped76,52942,38823,06411,5034,29357,44829,80314,1684,864(880)Total Proved297,033210,960159,727126,761104,272257,171182,175137,620108,96589,420Total Probable306,997165,967102,44868,86249,047231,648123,10374,35348,67433,616Total Proved Plus Probable604,029376,927262,175195,624153,318488,819305,279211,973157,639123,035NOTE: Table may not add due to rounding.Pricing and Inflation Rate Assumptions (Forecast Prices and Costs)OilNatural GasNatural Gas LiquidsInflation & ExchangeWTIEdmontonEdmontonCushingPar PriceAECOPentanesEdmontonEdmontonInflationExchangeOklahoma40º API PricePlusButanePropaneRateRateYear($US/bbl)($Cdn/bbl)($Cdn/MMbtu)($Cdn/bbl)($Cdn/bbl)($Cdn/bbl)(%/year)($US/$Cdn)201297.0097.963.49107.7676.4158.782.00.9802013100.00101.024.13108.0978.8060.612.00.9802014100.00101.024.59105.0678.8060.612.00.9802015100.00101.025.05105.0678.8060.612.00.9802016100.00101.025.51105.0678.8060.612.00.9802017100.00101.025.97105.0678.8060.612.00.9802018101.35102.406.21106.4979.8761.442.00.9802019103.38104.476.33108.6581.4962.682.00.9802020105.45106.586.46110.8483.1363.952.00.9802021107.56108.736.58113.0884.8165.242.00.9802022+2.0%/yr+2.0%/yr+2.0%/yr+2.0%/yr+2.0%/yr+2.0%/yr2.00.980Reconciliation of Company Gross Reserves by Principle Product Type (Forecast Prices and Costs) (1)(2)Light & Medium OilNatural GasNatural Gas LiquidsTotalProvedProvedProvedProvedPlusPlusPlusPlusProvedProbableProbableProvedProbableProbableProvedProbableProbableProvedProbableProbable(Mbbls)(Mbbls)(Mbbls)(MMcf)(MMcf)(MMcf)(Mbbls)(Mbbls)(Mbbls)(Mboe)(Mboe)(Mboe)December 31, 2010---69,30942,316111,6251,1126221,73412,6647,67520,338Discoveries------------Extensions (1)11118029116,76521,63638,4011762314063,0814,0167,097Technical Revisions4141,735(2,237)(502)(101)`(84)(185)191(456)(265)Acquisitions------------Dispositions------------Economic Factors---(54)(115)(169)---(9)(19)(28)Production(1)-(1)(8,818)0(8,818)(120)-(120)(1,590)-(1,590)December 31, 201111318029478,93761,600140,5371,0677691,83614,33711,21625,552(1) For reporting under NI 51-101, reserves additions under Infill Drilling, Improved Recovery and Extensions are combined and reported as "Extensions".Reserve ReplacementProvedProved plus ProbableReserve replacement of 2011 production2.1 times4.3 timesOutlookOpen Range will focus the remainder of 2012 primarily on its Montney light oil play at Waskahigan. Activity is scheduled to resume after spring break-up. Three further horizontal wells are planned to be drilled and brought on-stream before year-end. Our twin goals this year remain preserving our capital and balance sheet, and increasing the operating netback by adding light oil volumes. We continue to forecast light oil production of 700 barrels per day exiting 2012, maintaining conservative expectations until successive wells are on-stream and accumulating production history.As a natural gas producer, Open Range is favourably positioned. We are among the industry's lowest-cost producers. Our annual modelling indicates that we are among the few that can maintain positive cash flow in the current natural gas price environment. Our Montney light oil play provides opportunity to begin shifting our production weighting and average netback by the end of this year. Positioning in the Duvernay shale provides further optionality, and we continue to explore other new ideas for growth and value-creation.Open Range is also pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Munro, CA, as its Vice President Finance and Chief Financial Officer, effective March 22, 2012. During Mr. Munro's time as the Corporate Controller of Open Range, he has demonstrated strong financial management skills and we welcome him to Open Range's executive team.On behalf of the Board of Directors,Scott Dawson, President, Chief Executive Officer and Director March 23, 2012Open Range Energy Corp. is a publicly traded Canadian energy company with focused operations in the Deep Basin region of Alberta. Open Range has approximately 74.7 million common shares issued and outstanding, which trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "ONR".Reader AdvisoriesOpen Range began operations on November 1, 2011, upon completion of the corporate reorganization of the Company's predecessor, Open Range Energy Corp. ("Olds Open Range") into two separate companies, Poseidon Concepts Corp. and Open Range. Information provided for years prior to 2011 and the first ten months 2011 is for Old Open Range, which operated the same business presently operated by Company, prior to November 1, 2011.This news release contains the term "funds from continuing operations" which is defined as cash provided by (used in) operating activities before the change in non-cash working capital related to operating activities and decommissioning expenditures incurred. Funds from operations does not have any standardized meaning prescribed by international financial reporting standards (IFRS) and therefore it may not be comparable with the calculation of similar measures for other entities.. Management uses funds from operations to analyze the operating performance of the business. Funds from operations as presented is not intended to represent cash flow from operations or operating profits for the period nor should it be viewed as an alternative to cash provided by operating activities, net earnings or other measures of financial performance calculated in accordance with IFRS.This news release contains certain forward-looking statements and other information (collectively "forward-looking information") about our current expectations, estimates and projections. Forward-looking information in this news release is identified by words such as "anticipate", "believe", "expect", "plan", "forecast", "target", "could", "focus", "vision", "goal", "proposed", "scheduled", "milestone", "outlook", "potential", "may", "looking forward to", or similar expressions and includes suggestions of future outcomes, including statements about our growth strategy and related milestones and schedules, forecast operating and financial results, planned capital expenditures, expected future production, including the timing, stability or growth thereof, expected resources estimates, forecasted commodity prices and projected increasing shareholder value. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information as our actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied.Developing forward-looking information involves reliance on a number of assumptions and consideration of certain risks and uncertainties, some of which are specific to Open Range and others that apply to the industry generally. The factors or assumptions on which the forward- looking information is based include: our projected capital investment levels, the flexibility of capital spending plans and the associated source of funding; estimates of quantities of oil, bitumen, natural gas and liquids from properties and other sources not currently classified as proved; the successful and timely implementation of capital projects; our ability to generate sufficient cash flow from operations to meet our current and future obligations; our expectations of the general activity of the oil and gas industry; and other risks and uncertainties described from time to time in the filings we make with securities regulatory authorities. Actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors, risks and uncertainties. Such risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, risks associated with oil and natural gas exploration, development, exploitation, production, marketing and transportation, loss of markets, volatility of commodity prices, currency fluctuations, imprecision of reserve estimates, environmental risks, competition from other producers, inability to retain drilling rigs and other services, operating risk liability, delays resulting from or inability to obtain required regulatory approvals and ability to access sufficient capital from internal and external sources, the impact of general economic conditions in Canada and the United States, industry conditions, changes in laws and regulations (including the adoption of new environmental laws and regulations) and changes in how they are interpreted and enforced, increased competition, the lack of availability of qualified personnel or management, fluctuations in foreign exchange or interest rates, stock market volatility and market valuations of companies with respect to announced transactions and the final valuations thereof, and obtaining required approvals of regulatory authorities. Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. All subsequent forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, attributable to Open Range or persons acting on its behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements. Additional information on the foregoing risks and other factors that could affect Open Range's operations and financial results are included in the Company's annual information form and other reports on file with Canadian securities regulatory authorities and may be accessed through the SEDAR website (www.sedar.com). Furthermore, the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as at the date of this news release and Open Range does not undertake any obligation to update publicly or to revise any of the included forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable securities laws.Certain natural gas volumes have been converted to barrels of oil equivalent ("boe") on the basis of six thousand cubic feet (mcf) too one barrel (bbl). Disclosure provided herein in respect of boe 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.This news release contains "analogous information" as defined in National Instrument 51-101 Standards of Disclosure for Oil and Gas Activities ("NI 51-101"). Such information is based on public data disclosed by competitors with lands offsetting the certain of the Company's lands in 2011 and early 2012 and it is not known whether such information was prepared independently for such competitors or by a qualified reserves evaluator.This news release contains information regarding "resources" as defined in NI 51-101. The estimate of resources has been prepared internally by a qualified reserves evaluator. There is no certainty that any portion of the resources will be discovered. If discovered, there is no certainty that it will be commercially viable to produce any portion of the resources."Total petroleum initially-in-place" is that quantity of petroleum that is estimated to exist originally in naturally occurring accumulations. It includes that quantity of petroleum that is estimated, as of a given date, to be contained in known accumulations, prior to production, plus the estimated quantities in accumulations yet to be discovered.For further information, please refer to the Company's website at www.openrangeenergy.com.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: A.Scott DawsonOpen Range Energy Corp.President and Chief Executive Officer403-205-3704ORMark MunroOpen Range Energy Corp.Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer403-206-4901www.openrangeenergy.com