PetroMagdalena provides exploration and production update including new discoveries at Cubiro and Arrendajo

TORONTO, Jan. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - PetroMagdalena Energy Corp. (TSXV: PMD), today provided an update on its ongoing exploration program, cash and debt balances, and announced its production results for 2011 following the Company's fiscal year end.

Luciano Biondi, Chief Executive Officer of the Company stated: "We are entering 2012 with a full exploration and development drilling program on the back of a challenging but successful year repositioning PetroMagdalena into a focused junior oil and gas player, operating in the most prolific basins in Colombia. I am pleased with the discoveries at Cubiro and Arrendajo which reinforce our focus on finding economic, near-term production opportunities within our portfolio.

We project approximately $45 million in net cash flow from operations (after G&A, equity tax installments and debt service) for 2012, based on an $80 WTI for estimated average annual production of 4,500 boepd ("barrels of oil equivalent per day"). This represents the midpoint of our previously disclosed range of production guidance of 4,300 boepd to 4,700 boepd for 2012. Together with our December 31, 2011 cash balance of approximately $15 million and expected proceeds from asset dispositions, we are fully funded for our planned capital expenditure program of approximately $50 million to $60 million.

With this capital program, we fully expect to grow our resources and reserves, add incremental production in 2012 from our core assets and maximize value from our entire portfolio of assets. The Company has rigs available and environmental permits are in good standing at all our exploration targets in 2012."

EXPLORATION UPDATE

Discoveries at Cubiro and Arrendajo

Yopo Discovery at Cubiro

PetroMagdalena has discovered a new field with the Yopo 1X exploration well, which was drilled to explore the prospectivity of the Carbonera Formation in the Yopo Prospect, located on Polygon B of the Cubiro Block, where the Company holds a 70% working interest ("WI"). The Yopo 1 well was perforated in the Carbonera C7 sand and it is currently testing at 970 barrels per day of 39.9 degrees API oil with 4.7% BS&W ("Basic Sediments and Water"), on natural flow over the initial 6.5 hour stabilized period at an average of 385 psi well head pressure, testing will continue.

The Yopo 1 well was spud on December 11, 2011, drilled to a final depth of 6,790 feet measured depth ("MD") and logged on December 29, 2011. The top of the Carbonera C7 sand was found at a depth of 5,871 feet MD. Petrophysical data show 8 feet of net pay in C7 A, with porosity of 27% and hydrocarbon saturation of 60%; and 25 feet in C7 B, with porosity of 28% and oil saturation of 80%. Based on seismic interpretations, the accumulation discovered by Yopo 1 is a 2 km long structure, corresponding to the typical exploration play in the Llanos Basin. The structure is on trend with the Palmarito and Petirrojo fields to the north and south respectively.

Azor Discovery at Arrendajo

PetroMagdalena has discovered a new field with the Azor-1X exploration well, which was drilled to explore the prospectivity of the Carbonera Formation in the Arrendajo Block, where the Company holds a beneficial 67.5% WI, subject to ANH approval. The Azor-1 well was perforated in the Carbonera C5 sand and it is currently testing at 752 barrels per day of 35.5 degrees API oil with 1% BS&W, stabilized natural flow over an initial 8 hour period, at an average of 265 psi well head pressure, testing will continue.

The Azor-1 well was spud on December 24, 2011, drilled to a final depth of 7,225 feet MD and logged on January 6, 2012. The top of the producing Carbonera C5 sand was found at a depth of 6,724 feet MD. Petrophysical data show 41 feet of net pay in C5, with porosity of 28% and hydrocarbon saturation of 80%.

The Azor-1 well is located on a structural trend with prospects to the north and south. This discovery reveals significant potential for Carbonera C5 in the Arrendajo Block, where there are five additional prospects to be targeted with future exploration drilling.

2012 Exploration Program

The Company's fully funded exploration program includes 7 exploration wells in the Llanos basin; the targeted exploration drilling program is outlined below along with management's volumetric estimates based on 3D seismic information and analogies to off-setting wells.

Well name  2012 Exploration Wells
Well Scheduled to Spud in Quarter
Cubiro Block  
   Cernicalo-2 1
   Tijereto Sur-1X 1
   Copa C-1X 1
   Turpial-1X 1
   Petirrojo Sur-1X 2
   Copa A Norte-1X 4
Arrendajo Block  
   Arrendajo Norte-1X 1
Carbonera Block  
   San Roque-1X (MBOE) 1

Santa Cruz Block, Catatumbo Basin: Santa Cruz-1X Exploration well

This well is currently drilling with oil based mud at approximately 8,450 feet MD and making good progress.  The well is planned for a total depth of 13,000 feet MD and intermediate casing is planned for approximately 11,100 feet MD.

Topoyaco Block, Putamayo Basin: Yaraqui-1X Exploration well

As announced on January 9, 2012, the Yaraqui-1 exploration well in which the Company has a 50% WI has been suspended by Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp., which holds the remaining 50% WI and is the operator for the block. The well was suspended due to uneconomic heavy oil flows. The Company is now reviewing activity in this block together with the operator.

For a map of all exploration targets, please see the Company's investor presentation on its website at www.petromagdalena.com.

2012 Development Drilling Program

10 development wells including one injection well are scheduled for the Cubiro Block in 2012. These development wells are targeted for drilling with 1 well in the first quarter of 2012 and 3 wells in each subsequent quarter.  The development drilling program will be reviewed and modified with the results of the exploration program and the Company will provide regular updates to the market.

LIQUIDITY UPDATE

The Company ended 2011 with a cash balance at December 31, 2011 of approximately $15 million. In addition, the Company has CA$4.3 million set aside in a trust account as of December 31, 2011 to be used toward the first annual principal repayment in May 2012 of the senior secured notes (TSXV: PMD.DB).

In December 2011, since Ecopetrol's approval for the transfer of the working interest and operatorship in the Cerrito block remained pending, the Company transferred its working interest in the Cerrito block back to Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp ("PRE") for cash consideration of $7.5 million. The Company had initially acquired the Cerrito block from PRE in 2008.

At December 31, 2011, the Company's debt position comprised the CA$31.1 million senior secured notes maturing May 2014 and a total of $11.7 million of long-term debt due under three local bank loan facilities maturing between October 2012 and August 2013.

PRODUCTION UPDATE

The Company's annual average gross share of production, before deduction of royalties, for 2011 was 2,758 boepd. The Company reached 98% of its target guidance of 2,800 average boepd. The Company's gross share of production for the fourth quarter of 2011 averaged 3,624 boepd, up 33% from the third quarter of 2011 and up 44% from the fourth quarter of 2010. The increase in daily production in the fourth quarter reflected a full quarter's contribution from Copa B-1, which started production in September 2011, and production from Copa A Sur-1, Petirrojo-2 and Petirrojo-3, all of which commenced production during the fourth quarter. The Company exited 2011 at a daily production rate of 4,182 boepd (average for the month of December). Cubiro represented 90% of total production in the month of December 2011.

PetroMagdalena is a Canadian-based oil and gas exploration and production company, with working interests in 18 properties in five basins in Colombia. Further information can be obtained by visiting our website at www.petromagdalena.com

All monetary amounts in U.S. dollars unless otherwise stated. This news release contains certain "forward-looking statements" and "forward-looking information" under applicable Canadian securities laws concerning the business, operations and financial performance and condition of PetroMagdalena. Forward-looking statements and forward-looking information include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to estimated production and reserve life of the various oil and gas projects of PetroMagdalena; the estimation of oil and gas reserves; the realization of oil and gas reserve estimates; the timing and amount of estimated future production; costs of production; success of exploration activities; and currency exchange rate fluctuations. Except for statements of historical fact relating to the company, certain information contained herein constitutes forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as "plan," "expect," "project," "intend," "believe," "anticipate", "estimate" and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are based on a number of assumptions and subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Many of these assumptions are based on factors and events that are not within the control of PetroMagdalena and there is no assurance they will prove to be correct. Factors that could cause actual results to vary materially from results anticipated by such forward-looking statements include changes in market conditions, risks relating to international operations, fluctuating oil and gas prices and currency exchange rates, changes in project parameters, the possibility of project cost overruns or unanticipated costs and expenses, labour disputes and other risks of the oil and gas industry, failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated. Although PetroMagdalena has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. PetroMagdalena undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change except as required by applicable securities laws. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

Statements concerning oil and gas reserve estimates may also be deemed to constitute forward-looking statements to the extent they involve estimates of the oil and gas that will be encountered if the property is developed. Boe may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A boe conversion ratio of 6 mcf:1 bbl is based on an energy equivalency conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent a value equivalency at the wellhead. Estimated values of future net revenue disclosed do not represent fair market value.

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.

 

SOURCE PetroMagdalena Energy Corp.

For further information:

Peter Volk
General Counsel and Secretary
(416) 360-7915

Belinda Labatte
Investor Relations Representative
(647) 436-2152

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PetroMagdalena Energy Corp.

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