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PetroBakken drilling rig. (Gord Pitts/Gord Pitts/The Globe and Mail)
PetroBakken drilling rig. (Gord Pitts/Gord Pitts/The Globe and Mail)

PetroBakken profit rises on higher crude prices Add to ...

PetroBakken Energy Ltd.’s quarterly profit nearly doubled on higher oil prices and output, and the Canadian oil company raised its 2012 year-end production forecast.

The company, which is primarily focused on light oil, benefited from a 17-per-cent rise in U.S. crude prices during the October-December period.

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Production rose 16 per cent to 48,007 barrels of oil equivalent a day (boe/d), fuelled by the rapidly rising output at its Cardium properties in Alberta that contributed more than a third of its total production.

“They have been increasing production in the Cardium from essentially nothing a couple of years ago to more than 18,000 boe/d today,” AltaCorp Capital analyst Don Rawson said.

Reserves at the Cardium unit rose by two-thirds to 72.2 million barrels of oil equivalent in 2011, taking the total to 203.5 million boe, up about a fifth.

“They have been taking money out of the Bakken effectively to fund the Cardium program,” Mr. Rawson added.

In keeping with the trend, the Calgary-based company increased its 2012 capital outlay by a quarter to $875-million, looking to spend more on its Cardium assets.

The company’s adjusted profit for the fourth quarter rose 90 per cent to $76,849 or 41 cents a share. Oil and natural gas revenue jumped 42 per cent to $366.9-million.

PetroBakken also raised its 2012 exit production forecast to 52,000-56,000 boe/d from the earlier forecast 50,000-54,000 boe/d.

Shares of PetroBakken rose 7 per cent Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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