Argent Energy Trust announces its 2014 capital budget and production guidance

CALGARY, Dec. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - Argent Energy Trust ("Argent" or the "Trust") (TSX: AET.UN) is pleased to provide Argent's 2014 budget, including forecast capital program and production guidance for 2014.

This press release contains statements that are forward looking. Investors should read the Note Regarding Forward- Looking Statements at the end of this press release. In this press release, references to "Argent" or the "Trust" include the Trust and its operating subsidiaries.

2014 Capital Budget

Argent's Board of Directors has approved a capital drilling budget of US$45 million for 2014, focused on the continued drilling and development of Argent's successful Eagle Ford program.  Any additional capital requirements for 2014 will be assessed in conjunction with management's technical review of additional opportunities from recent acquisitions or potential joint venture opportunities, and will be disclosed in due course.

Production and Operational Guidance

Current 30-day average production is approximately 7,100 boe per day.  Argent is forecasting a 2014 average production rate between 7,000 to 7,200 boe per day (69% oil, 5% NGL, and 26% natural gas), representing approximately a 25% year over year production growth rate.

The Trust plans to continue to actively hedge to ensure its distribution and its capital program. Oil production is approximately 60% hedged for 2014, at either US$90 per bbl WTI or US$95 per bbl Light Louisiana Sweet ("LLS"), or better.  For 2015, currently approximately 45% of the Trust's oil production is hedged at US$90 per bbl LLS or better.  Natural Gas is approximately 50% hedged at an average of US$4.11/mmBTU for 2014 and approximately 70% hedged at an average of US$4.12/mmBTU for 2015.

Based on current projected commodity prices and planned operating performance, the Trust intends to continue making monthly distributions at a rate of $0.0875 per trust unit to unitholders of record as of the close of business on the last business day of each month which are expected to be paid to unitholders on or about the 23rd day of the following month or, if not a business day, the next business day thereafter.

Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian and United States securities legislation.  All statements, other than statements of historical facts, that address activities, circumstances, events, outcomes and other matters that Argent budgets, forecasts, plans, projects, estimates, expects, believes, assumes or anticipates (and other similar expressions) will, should or may occur in the future, are considered forward-looking information.

In particular, forward-looking information contained in this press release includes, but is not limited to, Argent's capital program, drilling and completion plans, oil, natural gas and NGL production rates, production growth, hedging activities, the payment of cash distributions by the Trust, including the amount and timing of payment of cash distributions, source of funding for capital expenditures, potential for joint venture opportunities and the Trust's expectation regarding its average working interest production for the year 2014. With respect to forward-looking statements contained in this press release, assumptions have been made regarding, among other things, future oil and natural gas prices, future currency exchange and interest rates, the regulatory framework governing taxes in the US and Canada and the Trust's status as a "mutual fund trust" and not a "SIFT trust", estimates of anticipated production from the Trust's assets, which estimates are based on the proposed drilling program with a success rate that, in turn, is based upon historical drilling success and an evaluation of the particular wells to be drilled, future recoverability of reserves from the assets, future capital expenditures and the ability of the Trust to obtain financing on acceptable terms for its capital projects and future acquisitions, and the Trust's capital budget (which is subject to change in light of ongoing results, prevailing economic circumstances, commodity prices and industry conditions and regulations).

The forward-looking information provided in this press release is based on management's current beliefs, expectations and assumptions, based on currently available information as to the outcome and timing of future events.  Argent cautions that its future oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids production, revenues, cash flows, liquidity, plans for future operations, expenses, outlook for oil and natural gas prices, timing and amount of future capital expenditures, and other forward-looking information is subject to all of the risks and uncertainties normally incident to the exploration for and development and production and sale of oil and gas.

These risks include, but are not limited to, oil and natural gas price volatility, Argent's access to cash flows and other sources of liquidity to fund its capital expenditures, its level of indebtedness, its ability to replace production, the impact of the current financial climate on Argent's anticipated business and financial condition, a lack of availability of or increases in costs of goods and services, environmental risks, drilling and other operating risks, regulatory changes, the uncertainty inherent in estimating future oil and gas production or reserves, economic conditions and other risks as described in documents and reports that Argent files with the securities commissions or similar authorities in applicable Canadian jurisdictions on the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR).  Any of these factors could cause Argent's actual results and plans to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking information.

There are many factors that could result in production levels being less than anticipated, including greater than anticipated declines in existing production due to poor reservoir performance, the unanticipated encroachment of water or other fluids into the producing formation, mechanical failures or human error or inability to access production facilities, among other factors.

Forward-looking information is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including those mentioned above, that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations set forth in the forward-looking information.  Forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future performance or an assurance that our current assumptions and projections are valid.  All forward-looking information speaks only as of the date of this press release, and Argent assumes no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any obligation to, update or revise any forward-looking information, except as required by law.  You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information.  You are encouraged to closely consider the additional disclosures and risk factors contained in Argent's periodic filings on SEDAR that discuss in further detail the factors that could cause future results to be different than contemplated in this press release.

Note regarding barrel of oil equivalency

Barrels of oil equivalent (boe) may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation.  A boe conversion ratio of six Mcf to one bbl is based on an energy equivalency conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and do not represent a value equivalency at the wellhead.  Given that the value ratio based on the current price of oil as compared to natural gas is significantly different from the energy equivalency conversion ratio of six to one, utilizing a boe conversion ratio of six Mcf to one bbl may be misleading as an indication of value.

Argent is a mutual fund trust under the Income Tax Act (Canada) (the "Tax Act").  Argent's objective is to create stable, consistent returns for investors through the acquisition and development of oil and natural gas reserves and production with low risk exploration potential, located primarily in the United States.  Material information pertaining to Argent Energy Trust may be found on www.sedar.com or www.argentenergytrust.com

SOURCE Argent Energy Trust

For further information:

For further information concerning this press release, please contact: 

Eric Tremblay   
Executive Chairman  
Argent Energy Trust  
(403) 770-4817
  
Brian Prokop     
Co-President & Chief Executive Officer  
Argent Energy Trust   
(403) 770-4807     

Sean Bovingdon
Chief Financial Officer
Argent Energy Trust
(403) 770-4803