AltaCanada Energy Corp. releases 2008 results



    TSX-V SYMBOL: ANG

    CALGARY, April 24 /CNW/ - AltaCanada Energy Corp ("ANG") is pleased to
provide the financial results for 2008. Attached is a summary page of key
financial, production and drilling metrics. A complete mailing to shareholders
of this report and proxy materials relating to the June 2nd 2009 Annual
General Meeting is underway.
    During 2008 our capital spending increased to $6.6 million from the $3.9
million spent in 2007. Virtually all of this activity was focused on the Fort
Belknap exploration lands to substantially increase the land base of the
Corporation and the exploration potential of various shallow and deeper
horizons as a platform for future growth.
    A total of 8 (4.2 net) Montana wells were drilled resulting in 6 (3.05
net) gas wells in 2008. An additional 5 (2.7 net) wells followed in early
January 2009 and resulted in 5 more successful gas completions. No new wells
were drilled in Canada with activity restricted to 1 re-completion and 1
tie-in. With lower commodity prices, activity was reduced and AltaCanada
balanced development of prospects for future growth while living within the
Corporation's current means. The Corporation has focused upon adding lands and
reserves rather than drilling wells just to offset declines. Including
existing Montana production and Canadian production, total corporate
production is presently 2.5 MMcf/d (410 BOE/d).
    The Montana activity reached a successful conclusion on February 9, 2009
when the first gas ever produced on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation flowed
to market. Thirty miles of gas gathering, including 7 miles of 6" transmission
line were completed by February 9, 2009 and a total of 16 (8.2 net) wells were
flowing into this new system by the end of February. Compression was
reconfigured in March and production from Fort Belknap was 0.9 MMcf/d at March
30. Having delivered on our promise of Q1 2009 Fort Belknap production, there
is still much left to do on this huge block both in respect of our current
shallow gas focus and the pursuit of deeper horizons. Putting in place the
Fort Belknap block and building the necessary infrastructure to commence
production has been a considerable accomplishment at an uncertain time in our
business.
    The Fort Belknap production from 16 wells all comes from "pop-up" fault
blocks, producing gas from the Eagle sandstones at 800 to 1,200 feet depths.
We have recognized gas and attempted completions in the footwall or regional
blocks but, in this small area, porosity is limited. The largest Blaine and
Hill County accumulations are found in these regional compartments and we now
have sufficient data to point to several much larger prospects, with 20 to 40
Bcf potential where we observe better porosity. Additional deeper zones are
discussed in the text of the annual report.
    The longest portion of the gathering system is now built. The incremental
cost of additional tie-ins is lower. While we were able to drill, case, frac
and complete wells for $225,000 each, we hope to reduce that cost even
further.
    While we drilled fewer wells than in previous years, our proven and
probable reserves (17 Bcf) grew by 5.4 percent after replacing production.
Additions replaced 190 percent of production on a proved basis and 191 percent
on a proved and probable basis. The Corporation has a reserve life index of
9.0 years on a proved basis and 14.4 years on a proved and probable basis,
reflecting significant additional development potential.

    Outlook

    Natural gas prices will impact our cash flow and if they remain low will
restrict activities. Further cost reduction is possible and a "hunker down"
strategy waiting for higher prices is one option. Alternatively, corporate
opportunities to better position AltaCanada and preserve the potential in
Montana will be pursued.
    All of the foregoing activities in 2008 were directed to the shallow gas
targets on our lands. We have identified considerable potential in the deeper
Jurassic and Bakken horizons that we hope to drill in 2009 or in the future.
We are examining structures that will enable us to pursue these opportunities.
    Full financials, notes and the Annual Report are available on SEDAR or
our website www.altacanada.com.

    
    THE TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE HAS NOT REVIEWED AND DOES NOT ACCEPT
    RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THIS RELEASE.

    BOEs MAY BE MISLEADING, PARTICULARLY IF USED IN ISOLATION. A BOE
    CONVERSION RATIO OF 6 MCF : 1 BBL IS BASED UPON AN ENERGY EQUIVALENCY
    CONVERSION METHOD PRIMARILY APPLICABLE AT THE BURNER TIP AND DOES NOT
    REPRESENT A VALUE EQUIVALENCY AT THE WELLHEAD.
    

    The corporate information contained in this news release may contain
forward-looking forecast information. The reader is cautioned that assumptions
used in the preparation of such information, although considered reasonably
accurate by AltaCanada Energy Corp. at the time of preparation, may prove to
be incorrect. The actual results achieved during the forecast period will vary
from the information provided herein and the variations may be material.
Consequently there is no representation by AltaCanada Energy Corp. that actual
results achieved during the forecast period will be the same in whole or in
part as that forecast.

    
    (*) Net Asset Value calculation used the proved and probable reserve
        value from the GLJ report, PV(10), plus independent appraised land
        value less debt. (see page 10 of Annual Report)



                                 HIGHLIGHTS
                                                                     Percent
                                              2008         2007       Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    FINANCIAL

    Total Revenue ($)                    7,332,517   10,714,961          (32)
    Cash Flow from Operations ($)          372,190    2,754,088          (69)
    Per Common Share ($) -
     Basic/Diluted                            0.00         0.05         (100)
    Net Loss                            (3,205,744)  (1,990,612)         (61)
      Per Common Share ($) -
       Basic/Diluted                         (0.05)       (0.03)         (67)
    Capital Expenditures ($)             6,644,732    3,902,734           70
    Net Debt ($)                        13,589,532    9,543,282           42
    Shareholders' Equity ($)            24,628,560   23,435,863            5
    Total Assets ($)                    42,786,317   39,957,195            7
    Common Shares - (weighted
     average for year)
      Basic                             71,187,276   60,964,737           17
      Diluted                           71,187,276   60,964,737           17
    Common Shares -
     (outstanding December 31)          74,381,538   62,031,538           20
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    OPERATIONS

    Average Daily Sales:
      Natural Gas (Mcf/d)                    2,598        4,321          (40)
      Oil and NGL (Bbls/d)                       5            7          (24)
      Total (BOE/d)                            438          727          (40)
      % Gas/Oil Ratio                         99/1         99/1
    Average Prices:
      Natural Gas ($/Mcf)                     8.21         6.56           25
      Oil and NGL ($/Bbl)                    57.96        34.46           68
      Total ($/BOE)                          49.35        39.30           26
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    RESERVES (Proved Plus Probable)

    Montana
      Natural Gas (MMcf)                    13,442       13,637           (1)
      Oil and NGL (MBbls)                        -            -
      Total (MBOE)                           2,240        2,273           (1)
      Present Value
       ($ discounted at 10%)            24,075,000   21,151,000           14

    Canada
      Natural Gas (MMcf)                     3,614        2,548           42
      Oil and NGL (MBbls)                       18           17            6
      Total (MBOE)                             620          442           40
      Present Value
       ($ discounted at 10%)             7,864,000    6,529,000           20

    Total
      Natural Gas (MMcf)                    17,056       16,185            5
      Oil and NGL (MBbls)                       18           17            6
      Total (MBOE)                           2,860        2,715            5
      Present Value
       ($ discounted at 10%)            31,939,000   27,680,000           15
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UNDEVELOPED LAND
      Gross Acres                          386,892      424,077           (9)
      Net Acres                            275,202      231,103            2
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    WELLS DRILLED
      Gross                                    8.0         15.0          (47)
      Net                                      4.2          6.4          (34)
      Gross Success Rate (%)                  75.0         76.6           (2)
    





For further information:

For further information: Don Foulkes, President & CEO, Telephone: (403)
265-9091 (ext 248), Fax: (403) 265-9021, Email: info@altacanada.com; Don
Jackson, Exec VP & COO, (403) 265-9091 (ext 234), (403) 265-9021

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ALTACANADA ENERGY CORP.

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