AltaCanada Energy Corp. announces Q1 results


    CALGARY, May 28 /CNW/ - AltaCanada Energy Corp. is pleased to present
operating and financial highlights from the first quarter of 2009. Complete
details and the full first quarter report are available on our website
(, on SEDAR at, or from the Corporation.
    AltaCanada's most significant achievement in the first quarter of 2009
was the completion of the Fort Belknap pipeline project on budget even under
severe winter weather conditions and onerous regulatory hurdles. On February
9, 2009 the first natural gas produced from the reservation came on stream.
The completion of thirty miles of new steel and plastic gathering lines tied
in several wells to our existing gas pipeline system. This significant
pipeline extension now opens up new exploratory lands with several identified
drillable exploration leads.
    During the first quarter, 5 (2.7 net) gas wells were drilled, all of
which were located on the Fort Belknap block. These 5 wells together with 11
others previously drilled, total 16 (8.2 net) wells that are now on
    Initial production from Fort Belknap was 900 Mcf/d. Unusually wet spring
conditions limited access to the wells with heavy equipment. Given these
conditions and in consideration of the depressed natural gas prices, we
elected to defer optimization of these new wells. Consequently current
production from the wells has declined to 600 Mcf/d. There are, however,
several gas zones behind pipe that will be completed as economic conditions
    In Montana approximately 160Mcf/d can be brought on in the short term
with minimal expense and an additional 350 Mcf/d, with net capital expense of
approximately $US250,000. Assuming gas prices improve over the longer term,
including Canada, our independent engineers in their December 31, 2008 study
estimate that there are 5 Bcf of proved undeveloped and non-producing
reserves, which represents about 320 BOE/d. That evaluation assumed 2009 and
2010 gas prices of $7.44 and $7.81 per Mcf respectively and a capital
investment of $8 million.
    Currently, total net Montana production is approximately 1.4 MMcf/d with
an additional 0.7 MMcf/d in Canada resulting in total corporate production of
2.1 MMcf/d (350 BOE/d).
    During this downturn in pricing our operations personnel are reviewing
ways to reduce costs. Having the satellite based SCADA system in place allows
reduced operator visits to well sites and compressors. In addition we are
reviewing contract compression to reduce leasing and maintenance costs and to
improve the overall efficiency of the project. Some third party service
companies have also offered to reduce costs somewhat and we expect this trend
to continue.
    Early in the first quarter we put in place two gas hedges to provide
protection from further deterioration of gas pricing. A February, 2009 to
December, 2009 "put agreement" at CDN$6.00/GJ for 1,000 GJ/d and an April,
2009 to October, 2009 fixed price contract at CDN$4.32/GJ for another 500 GJ/d
provide an average price for the summer of CDN$5.42/GJ on approximately 70% of
our production. An additional collar for 500 GJ/d was recently acquired for
November, 2009 through March, 2010 with a floor of CDN$5.00/GJ and a cap of
    Much of our Montana focus has been on the shallow gas play. To date we
have only drilled two wells below 2000 feet. We have very attractive oil
exploration targets in the Jurassic and Bakken zones and are currently
evaluating various alternatives to provide the financial arrangements to drill
these opportunities, given the strength in today's oil prices. In Montana
there are no deep rights expiry issues so that we can explore these deeper
objectives when conditions permit.


    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.


    Three months ended March 31                             2009        2008
    Total Revenue ($)                                  1,371,123   1,124,870
    Cash Flow (Deficit) from Operations ($)             (445,670)    501,277
    Per Common Share ($) - Basic/Diluted                   (0.01)       0.01
    Net Loss and Comprehensive Loss ($)                 (895,162) (1,188,896)
    Per Common Share ($) - Basic/Diluted                   (0.01)      (0.02)
    Capital Expenditures ($)                           1,445,359     564,064
    Net Debt at March 31 ($)                          15,161,863  10,855,456
    Shareholders' Equity at March 31($)               23,766,408  23,888,407
    Total Assets at March 31 ($)                      42,892,755  39,270,655
    Common Shares - (weighted average for the period)
      Basic                                           74,381,538  66,234,835
      Diluted                                         74,381,538  66,234,835
    Common Shares - (outstanding March 31)            74,381,538  67,131,538
    Average Daily Sales:
      Natural Gas (Mcf/d)                                  2,082       3,164
      Oil and NGL (Bbls/d)                                     5           6
      Total (BOE/d)                                          352         533
      % Gas/Oil Ratio                                       99/1        99/1
    Average Prices:
      Natural Gas ($/Mcf)                                   5.03        7.68
      Oil and NGL ($/Bbl)                                  23.52       54.95
      Total ($/BOE)                                        30.07       46.15
    Gross                                                      5           1
    Net                                                      2.7        0.25
    Gross Success Rate (%)                                   100           0%

For further information:

For further information: Don Foulkes, President, Telephone: (403)
265-9091 (ext. 248), Fax: (403) 256-9021, Email:

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