Canada’s PetroBakken Energy Ltd. forecast a rise of more than 15 per cent in production and expanded its hedging program for next year to cash in on high oil prices and the drilling success at its light-oil fields in Saskatchewan and Alberta.
PetroBakken also set a capital expenses budget of $700-million for the next year, the majority of which will be used to drill, complete and equip more than 183 wells in the Bakken and Cardium light-oil plays.
The company expects to end 2012 with a production rate of 50,000-54,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), about 2-10 per cent higher than the 49,000 plus it expects to produce toward the end of this year.
PetroBakken’s expanded hedging program targets up to 20,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) of net production in the first half of 2012, of which 12,750 bopd has already been hedged at an average floor-price of $80.49 and a ceiling of $113.92 to date.
It usually hedges only about a fourth of its production.
Oil prices have risen about 10 per cent so far this year. Both the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and the International Energy Agency have trimmed their oil demand growth forecast for 2012.
It also set a dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP) for shareholders in Canada, allowing them to reinvest monthly cash dividends in new shares at a 5-per-cent discount to the market price at that time.
Petrobank Energy and Resources, which owns about 59 per cent of PetroBakken, plans to reinvest about half its dividend earnings in the DRIP, it said in a separate statement.
At current dividend levels, Petrobank would get more than $52.5-million in cash and an equivalent amount in PetroBakken shares a year, Petrobank said.
That would fund Petrobank’s 2012 capital expenditure program of $34-million, including a $10-million project to raise production at its Kerrobert project and bring it to commerciality.
About $10-million to $12-million will be used at the Dawson project, Petrobank added.
The company will defer further work on the Dawson project till the second quarter of 2012, when permanent grid power from the Kerrobert project will be tied into the site.
Petrobank expects to submit the regulatory application for its commercial project at Dawson by mid-2012.