Calvalley Petroleum - 2009 Annual Results and Filing of Reserves Data

CALGARY, March 31 /CNW/ - Calvalley Petroleum Inc., (TSX: CVI.A)

Calvalley Petroleum Inc. (the "Company" or "Calvalley"), an international junior oil and gas company based in Calgary, Alberta, is pleased to announce its financial and operating results for the year ended December 31, 2009 and the filing of its updated reserves estimates and other disclosure documents. The Company operates its 50% working interest in Block 9 in the Masila Basin of the Republic of Yemen and 100% working interest in the Gimbi and Metema Blocks in Ethiopia.

2009 Highlights

For the fourth consecutive year, Calvalley generated funds from operations which were sufficient to fund the entire capital spending program for the year. Strong commodity prices and stable production were key factors in generating funds from operations.

Calvalley had set several key objectives for 2009. Management is pleased to report Calvalley's accomplishments against these key objectives.

Transportation Agreement Successfully Completed - Complex multi-party negotiations were held throughout 2009 and culminated in the execution of all transportation agreements during February, 2010. As a result, Calvalley will be able to ship blended crude (26 degrees API) to Block 51. This will enable Calvalley to commence production from all Block 9 fields including heavy oil from the Al Roidhat field.

Growth Momentum Continued - Despite limited drilling activities due to the state of the global economy, Calvalley added 11 percent and 14 percent new reserves to 2P and 3P reserves categories respectively.

Larger Mapped Structures and Future Development Plan - With the positive results of the QQ-2 flow test, drilling activities in the adjacent block and re-interpretation of 2D seismic, Calvalley's technical team has mapped larger structures in the Kohlan sands and fractured basement. These changes are being incorporated into a future appraisal and development plan.

Increasing Opportunities - Calvalley's inventory of prospects has increased to 47. The QQ-2 test and Ras Nowmah drilling results have helped the technical team to high grade the inventory.

Initial geological work underway in Ethiopia - Calvalley has completed the first phase surface geological work on both Metema and Gimbi Blocks. However, the gravity/magnetic survey was deferred into 2010.

    Al Roidhat

Development of Al-Roidhat continued in preparation for the finalization of the transportation agreements for blended crude. Calvalley worked over the four wells which had previously been completed and tested and completed three additional wells. Extended production tests were conducted to better understand the sustainable production capability of the wells and the field. Six wells are fully equipped and ready to commence production as soon as the Truck Offloading Facility ("TOF") is completed at Block 51. Production from these wells will be accumulated at the field storage tanks and will then be transported by tanker truck to the CPF for blending with lighter oil produced by other fields. The wells are ready to produce.


Two development wells were drilled at Hiswah during 2009. The wells proved to be excellent producers as a result of our improved reservoir modeling and completion techniques. The successful results from these two wells resulted in an upward revision of recoverable reserves from the field by the independent reserve engineers. The initial pilot project for water injection yielded positive results. The second pilot test results are currently being evaluated to determine the optimal injection rate. The second component of the pressure maintenance program at Hiswah involves the reinjection of produced gas to reduce flaring and increase oil recoveries. The gas injection project was delayed due to the inability of manufacturers of key facilities to meet Calvalley deadlines. The shipment of these facilities occurred in Q1-2010. An existing well has been selected to be converted to gas injection and a gas line was constructed from the CPF to the gas injector. The remaining injection equipment is expected to be on-site in the second quarter of 2010.

    Qarn Qaymah

The testing programs which were conducted during 2009 established the presence of condensate rich gas and light oil in the Kohlan sands and the Fractured Granitic Basement (FGB). The initial test of the FGB confirmed that the Qarn Qaymah structure lies within a high quality oil system. The zone naturally flowed significant volume of light oil with fluctuating rates up to maximum of 2,350 bopd. However, the test flow rates were not sustainable due to the lack of appropriate downhole equipment. The seismically defined structure covers an area exceeding 37 square kilometres. The estimated hydrocarbon column at Qarn Qaymah 2 (QQ-2) exceeds 380 meters.

The second stage of QQ-2 completion and testing involved the isolation of the FGB and testing the Kohlan Sands. The well flowed condensate-rich natural gas over an extended period with rates ranging from up to 3.5 mmcf/d with a condensate yield of approximately 70 bbl per mmcf of gas. Kohlan sands in the Qarn Qaymah fairway display regional blanket sand characteristics with the fairway extending over 34 square km of Block 9.

    Ras Nowmah

The technical discovery during 2009 at Ras Nowmah has advanced the location from the exploration phase to the appraisal phase. Based on an independent log interpretation, the well encountered a total of 45 meters of gross oil pay in high quality reservoir rock including 35 meters in the Qishn and 10 meters in the Saar formation. Appraisal of this technical discovery will continue in 2010 with up to two appraisal wells.

    Crude Oil Transportation Agreements

A critical component of Calvalley's future success is the ability to market all qualities of crude without delivery restrictions which limit production to reservoirs containing light, sweet crude. During 2009, Calvalley management focused on negotiating transportation agreements which would allow the Company to commence production from all existing and future discoveries on Block 9. These efforts were rewarded in February 2010 with the execution of agreements which will enable Calvalley to activate shut-in wells in Al Roidhat and transport blended crude of 26 (degrees) API or higher from Block 9 through the Masila System. Immediate production growth is expected to be realized in the third quarter upon the completion of the TOF. Calvalley expects to receive the Masila Blend price for its crude.


Ethiopia represents an opportunity for Calvalley to diversify its operations outside Yemen. Calvalley has completed the early stage activities for the establishment of its presence in Ethiopia and preliminary geological work which will be utilized to direct future exploration efforts. As each phase of geological work is completed, the next phase becomes more targeted and more technical. Additional geological work planned for 2010 and 2011 includes an aeromagnetic survey and a seismic program to identify a location for the first exploration well to be drilled in 2011 or 2012.


Substantially all of Calvalley's crude oil production in 2009 and 2008 came from the Hiswah oil field, which produces high-quality, lighter crude oil that is sold at prices comparable to the Dated Brent crude oil reference price. All of the Company's crude oil production was trucked more than 250 kilometres to the Safer Exploration and Production Operations Co. processing facility on Block 18, where the crude oil was processed and shipped via pipeline to the Ras Isa marine terminal facility for export. During 2009, the Company's working interest oil production averaged 2,160 barrels of oil per day (bopd) (2008 - 2,261 bopd).

Production during the first quarter of 2009 recovered from the levels of the fourth quarter of 2008 as shut-in production came on-stream as pumps became available. Fourth quarter 2008 production also suffered due to flooding during October which essentially shut in the Hiswah field for four days. Production decreased during the second quarter of 2009 because the facility through which the Company sells its oil restricted the volumes of oil it would accept from Block 9. The restriction resulted from the facility seeking to achieve a target sulphur content in the oil blend exiting the facility. Sulphur content had been increasing due to decreased production from other fields feeding the facility. The Company shut-in certain higher-sulphur producing wells to meet the requirements of this externally imposed restriction.

Subsequent to year-end, the Company finalized certain transportation agreements which will utilize alternate facilities at Block 51 and Block 14. Once shipments to Block 51 commence, the Company expects these delivery restrictions to end. Notwithstanding the above, the Company's working interest oil production has improved and in February 2010 averaged 2,268 bopd.

The following table sets forth the Company's production and sales information for the periods indicated:

     and sales
                                     2009                          2008
               -------------------------------------------- -----------------
                  Year                                         Year
                 Total       Q4       Q3       Q2       Q1    Total       Q4
    Block 9 Oil
     (bopd)      4,320    4,404    4,184    4,164    4,532    4,522    3,989
     (bopd)      2,160    2,202    2,092    2,082    2,266    2,261    1,994

The following table sets forth the key financial indicators for 2009 and 2008.

                                     2009                          2008
               -------------------------------------------- -----------------
                  Year                                         Year
               Total(1)      Q4       Q3       Q2    Q1(1)    Total       Q4
    Oil sales   50,839   14,136   12,591   17,252    6,860   74,686    4,060
    Royalties  (19,485)  (5,394)  (4,825)  (6,566)  (2,700) (28,440)  (1,609)
     expenses  (10,313)  (2,321)  (2,141)  (3,738)  (2,133)  (7,741)    (837)
     taxes      (3,143)    (880)    (779)  (1,066)    (418)  (4,622)    (257)
    Netback     17,898    5,541    4,846    5,882    1,629   33,883    1,357
    General and
     expenses   (4,413)  (1,095)    (657)  (1,496)  (1,165)  (4,376)  (1,094)
    EBITDA      15,992    5,433    5,055    5,548      (44)  34,682      691
     income      6,142    3,000    3,032    1,904   (1,764)  25,318      (13)
    Net income   2,951    2,109    2,122      765   (2,045)  19,161       25
    Capital ex-
     penditures 11,803    4,813    1,781    2,812    2,399   27,504    4,687
    Funds flow
     from op-
     erations   13,600    4,652    4,453    4,644     (149)  31,131      414
    Cash flow
     from op-
     activities 13,971    9,271    3,587    3,325     (962)  37,220   (1,661)
    (1) For the purpose of calculating netback, operating expenses for the
        first quarter and year total of 2009 were adjusted to exclude the
        portion of the FUF which relates to deliveries of crude oil prior to
        January 1, 2009 in the amount of $1,025. See discussion on Operating
        Expenses for further details.

Netbacks are calculated on barrels sold as sales revenue less government royalties, taxes and operating expenses and are recognized when the underlying oil is sold. Government royalties and taxes taken in kind are attributed value at the price received by Calvalley for its production as follows:

                                     2009                          2008
               -------------------------------------------- -----------------
                  Year                                         Year
               Total(1)      Q4       Q3       Q2    Q1(1)    Total       Q4
    Oil sales    57.08    73.83    67.74    51.30    38.75   108.23    70.50
    Royalties   (21.92)  (28.28)  (26.00)  (19.53)  (15.28)  (41.67)  (27.58)
     expenses   (11.58)  (12.12)  (11.52)  (11.12)  (11.93)  (11.22)  (14.53)
     taxes       (3.53)   (4.56)   (4.19)   (3.17)   (2.39)   (6.69)   (4.36)
    Netback      20.05    28.87    26.03    17.48     9.14    48.65    24.03
    (1) For the purpose of calculating netback, operating expenses for the
        first quarter and year total of 2009 were adjusted to exclude the
        portion of the FUF which relates to deliveries of crude oil prior to
        January 1, 2009 in the amount of $5.79/bbl. See "Operating Expenses".


During 2009, Calvalley recorded oil revenue of $50.8 million as compared to $74.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2008. The significant decrease in revenue is primarily attributable to a 47.3% decrease in the average selling price realized in 2009 ($57.08/bbl) from 2008 ($108.23/bbl). The decrease was partially offset by the fact that the Company recognized revenue on the sale of 890,636 barrels during 2009 compared with 690,091 barrels during 2008, representing a 29.1% increase in volume. The increase in sales volume is attributable to the timing of lifts and is not directly correlated with production, which was 788,461 bbls in 2009 versus 825,265 bbls in 2008.

    Other Revenue

Other revenue, comprised primarily of interest revenue, amounted to $1.2 million for 2009 as compared to $2.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2008. Interest revenue resulted from maintaining significant cash reserves and guaranteed investment certificates (GICs) throughout the year. Interest income has declined from 2008 due to reduced interest rates throughout the year. Interest rates on interest-bearing deposits declined throughout 2008 and remained depressed during 2009 as central banks attempted to stimulate the economy by reducing borrowing rates.

    Operating Expenses

Operating expenses during 2009 were $11.3 million as compared to $7.7 million in 2008. Operating expenses were higher in 2009 on an absolute basis as a result of $1.7 million of operating expenses that were included in inventory at the beginning of the year. The operating expenses and depletion that were included in inventory were recognized as an expense when the oil inventory was sold during 2009. Operating costs for the year amounted to $11.58/bbl versus $11.22/bbl in 2008. Operating costs in the fourth quarter were $12.12/bbl compared to $14.53/bbl for the same period in 2008. Operating expenses in the fourth quarter of 2009 were elevated due to workovers that were taking place.

During the first quarter of 2009, the Government of Yemen charged Calvalley $1.1 million for facilities usage. All producers of crude oil in Yemen are subject to the FUF. The charge was applied retroactively from the commencement of production at Block 9. The portion of the charge related to deliveries that occurred prior to January 1, 2009 amounted to $1.0 million and has been excluded from operating expenses for the purpose of this MD&A to maintain comparability of operating expenses. The balance of the charge in the amount of $81,000 ($0.40/bbl) related to oil that was delivered to the government facility during the first quarter of 2009. The FUF is recoverable from the Company's share of cost oil in accordance with the terms of the PSA.

As a result of the global financial crisis and falling oil prices, the oil industry cut back or delayed certain capital-intensive projects, which has led to less demand and lower costs for certain goods and services. Calvalley manages operating costs through competitive bidding, long-term contracts and, recently, renegotiation of current contract terms.

Operating expenses include $5.06 (2008 - $5.09) per gross barrel for trucking costs, third-party processing costs, and tariffs for use of pipeline and marine terminal facilities.


Netbacks for 2009 were $20.05/bbl compared to $48.65/bbl for 2008. Netbacks for the fourth quarter were $28.87/bbl versus $24.03/bbl in 2008. Fluctuations in netbacks during 2009 are primarily attributable to changes in the prevailing price of crude oil.

    General and Administrative Expenses (G&A)

G&A, net of $1.2 million that was capitalized into resource development costs, totalled $4.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2009 as compared to $4.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2008. G&A costs directly associated with Block 9 become recoverable costs and will be recovered from revenue associated with cost oil under the terms of the PSA. G&A for the fourth quarter of 2009 totalled $1.1 million versus $1.1 million for comparative period in 2008.


During 2009, the Company generated EBITDA of $16.0 million compared with $34.6 million during 2008. For the fourth quarter, EBITDA was $5.4 million versus $0.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2009. The fluctuation in EBITDA is primarily attributable to changes in the prevailing price of crude oil. The FUF referred to above in the discussion on operating expenses was a major contributor to the negative EBITDA recognized in the first quarter of 2009. EBITDA is also impacted by the timing of lifts by the purchaser of the Company's crude oil.

    Depletion, Depreciation and Amortization (DD&A) Expenses

                                     2009                          2008
               -------------------------------------------- -----------------
                  Year                                         Year
                 Total       Q4       Q3       Q2       Q1    Total       Q4
    DD&A ($000)  9,850    2,433    2,023    3,644    1,750    9,364      704
    DD&A ($/bbl) 11.06    12.71    10.88    10.84     9.88    13.57    12.22

Calvalley recorded DD&A expenses of $9.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2009 as compared to $9.4 million for the previous year. Fourth-quarter DD&A expenses were $2.4 million and $0.7 million for 2009 and 2008, respectively. The decrease in the 2009 versus 2008 annual DD&A rate per barrel is primarily related to reserve additions as reflected in the Company's December 31, 2008 reserve report. DD&A expenses were higher in 2009 on an absolute basis as a result of $1.3 million of depletion that was included in inventory at the beginning of the year. The operating expenses and depletion that were included in inventory were recognized as an expense when the oil inventory was sold during 2009.

    Operating Income

During 2009, the Company generated operating income of $6.1 million compared with $25.3 million during 2008. Operating income was impacted by the same factors as those affecting netbacks and EBITDA.


Despite drilling only three wells (two development wells at Hiswah and one exploration well at Ras Nowmah) in 2009, Calvalley's proved plus probable reserves increased to 26.5 million bbls at December 31, 2009, representing an increase of nearly 8% (11% including reserves produced in 2009) over the 24.6 million bbls estimated by McDaniel and Associates at December 31, 2008. This represents a reserves replacement ratio of 343% on 2009 production. Cavalley's finding and development costs are $4.68 per barrel on a three year average basis.

With the finalization of the agreements to transport blended crude to Block 51, Calvalley's 2010 capital program is designed to complete key infrastructure projects and implement a significant development drilling program which is expected to achieve a step growth in production from existing discoveries including the Al Roidhat field. Calvalley is positioning itself to increase production to the maximum allowable trucking capacity of 10,000 bopd (5,000 bopd net).

Calvalley expects to bring Al Roidhat production on stream during the third quarter of 2010 upon completion of the TOF at Block 51.

Major milestones are subject to risks noted under "Risk Factors". Milestones planned for 2010 include the following:

    -   Complete TOF at Block 51;
    -   Increase Block 9 gross production by activating shut-in wells;
    -   Continue to add new reserves and production through the development
        of existing discoveries and by drilling exploration, appraisal and
        development wells;
    -   High-grade the existing exploration portfolio of 47 prospects and
    -   Complete a gravity/magnetic survey of the Metema and Gimbi blocks in
        Ethiopia; and initiate a 2D seismic program; and
    -   Utilize Calvalley's strong balance sheet and international operating
        experience by continuing to evaluate potential acquisitions of
        additional assets in the Middle East and Africa.

Filing of 2008 Reserves Estimates

Calvalley is also pleased to announce that it has complied with its obligations under National Instrument 51-101 by filing the following required Forms: Form 51-101F1, Statement of Reserves Data and Other Oil and Gas Information; Form 51-101F2, Reports of Reserve Data by Independent Qualified Reserves Evaluators; and Form 51-101F3, Report of Management and Directors on Oil and Gas Disclosure. These Forms have been included in Calvalley's Annual Information Form, dated March 30, 2010, for the year ended December 31, 2009. The reserves report was prepared by the independent engineering evaluation firm McDaniel & Associates Consultants Ltd. (the "McDaniel Report") for the year ending December 31, 2009. The McDaniel Report is dated March 9, 2010.


    -   8% increase (11% increase including produced reserves in 2009) in
        Proved plus Probable oil reserves to 26.5 MMbbl
    -   11% increase (14% increase including produced reserves in 2009) in
        Proved plus Probable plus Possible oil reserves to 39.5 MMbbl


    -   Three year average, F&D cost per barrel for was $14.01 (1P), $4.68
    -   343 % Reserve Replacement Ratio and 34 year reserve life Index

As at December 31, 2009, McDaniel estimates Calvalley's gross working interest Proved plus Probable reserves to be 26.5 MMbbl, representing an increase of 8% (11% including produced reserves in 2009) over the quantities estimated by McDaniel at December 31, 2008, and a reserves replacement ratio of 343%. Calvalley's capital efficiency for new reserves remains very attractive. Average Finding and Development ("F&D") costs over the past three years was $14.01 per barrel on a Proved basis and $4.68 per barrel on a Proved plus Probable basis.

Management is pleased with the reserves additions considering only three wells were drilled during 2009 (one exploration well at Ras Nowmah and two development wells at the Hiswah field). Reserves additions were largely attributable to better than expected well performance from Hiswah producers and a new discovery at Ras Nowmah. The improved well performance at Hiswah during 2009 has significantly de-risked those reserves and has also increased the potential for further positive reserve revisions should the well performance continue.

More importantly, the confidence level in Calvalley's reserves potential near the Qarn Qaymah-2 well has increased substantially. For the first time, reserves have been assigned to an oil leg in the Qarn Qaymah fractured basement discovery in Block 9. The Company expects that significant contingent resources will be converted to reserves once a full field development plan is implemented. Qarn Qaymah is Calvalley's first oil discovery in the fractured basement in Yemen.

The Company's working interest share of high case contingent recoverable liquid resources (oil and condensate) has increased from 3.3 MMbbls to 11.2 MMbbls at December 31, 2009. Similarly the Company's working interest contingent recoverable natural gas resources has increased to 95 Bcf from 8.2 Bcf. These increases primarily result from the test results of the QQ-2 well and new mapping of the Qarn Qaymah structure. Calvalley's 2010 drilling campaign is targeted to move some of the contingent oil resources into the reserves category.

Unless otherwise indicated, the reserves estimates in this release are based on "forecast prices and costs" and are gross working interest Proved plus Probable estimates. Except as otherwise indicated, references to "$" and to "dollars" refer to the currency of the United States of America.

                               Reserves and NPV
                                                          NPV          NPV
                                                      (10% after    (8% after
                                    Reserves              tax)         tax)
                             ----------------------   ----------   ----------
                                         Net (after
                                          Royalty &
                             Gross (WI)      tax)
    Proved                    (MMbbls)     (MMbbls)      ($MM)        ($MM)
                              --------     --------      -----        -----
    Developed producing          3.1          1.9         66.0         68.5
    Developed non-producing      0.9          0.4         13.2         13.5
    Undeveloped                  7.9          3.7         86.4         93.3
    Total Proved                11.9          6.0        165.6        175.3
      Probable                  14.6          6.3        144.7        163.4
    Total Proved + Probable     26.5         12.3        310.3        338.7
    Possible                    12.9          4.9        118.8        139.3
    Total Proved + Probable
     + Possible                 39.4         17.2        429.1        478.0
    * Based on McDaniel forecast prices (Jan 2010 Forecast)

Filing of Reports on SEDAR

Calvalley's Annual Information Form, Management's Discussion and Analysis, and Audited Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2009 can be found for viewing by electronic means on The System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval at


This press release contains certain forward-looking statements. Some of the statements contained herein including, without limitation, financial and business prospects and financial outlooks of the Company may be forward-looking statements which reflect management's expectations regarding future plans and intentions, growth, results of operations, performance and business prospects and opportunities. Words such as "may", "will", "should", "could", "anticipate", "believe", "expect", "intend", "plan", "potential", "continue", and similar expressions have been used to identify these forward-looking statements. These statements reflect management's current beliefs and are based on information currently available to management. Forward-looking statements involve significant risk and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, changes in general economic, political and market conditions and other risk factors. Although the forward-looking statements contained herein are based upon what management believes to be reasonable assumptions, management cannot assure that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. Investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof.

Forward-looking statements and other information contained herein concerning the oil and gas industry and Calvalley's general expectations concerning this industry are based on estimates prepared by management using data from publicly available industry sources as well as from reserve reports, market research and industry analysis and on assumptions based on data and knowledge of this industry which Calvalley believes to be reasonable. However, this data is inherently imprecise, although generally indicative of relative market positions, market shares and performance characteristics. While Calvalley is not aware of any misstatements regarding any industry data presented herein, the industry involves risks and uncertainties and is subject to change based on various factors. See "Risk Factors."

Calvalley does not undertake any obligation to update publically or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this or in any other document filed with Canadian securities regulatory authorities, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws.

SOURCE Calvalley Petroleum Inc.

For further information: For further information:; Edmund Shimoon, CEO, Memet Kont, COO, Bill Cummins, CFO, (403) 297-0490

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