CALGARY, Dec. 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Perpetual Energy Inc. ("Perpetual" or the "Corporation") is pleased to announce further positive results from the Corporation's ongoing asset disposition program. Subsequent to the end of the third quarter Perpetual has entered into definitive purchase and sale agreements for the divestiture of certain varied assets which will result in net realized proceeds of $8.2 million, subject to certain closing adjustments and transaction costs. These transactions are scheduled to all be closed on or prior to January 7, 2013.
The disposed assets are non-core properties in northeast and east central Alberta, including shut-in gas over bitumen reserves, and were producing in aggregate approximately 2.3 MMcf/d of gas and 25 bbl/d of oil and natural gas liquids net to Perpetual as at the effective dates of the transactions. Perpetual will continue to receive the gas over bitumen financial solution associated with the shut-in gas over bitumen reserves. Reduced interest charges that will result from the proceeds of these dispositions in 2013 are expected to more than offset any lost cash flow from these assets in 2013, assuming the forward curves for commodity prices and differentials.
Upon closing of the announced dispositions, total proceeds realized through Perpetual's asset disposition program, initiated one year ago in November 2011, will total $173 million, exceeding the targeted $75 to $150 million. Funds from these announced dispositions will be applied to reduce outstanding bank debt and will bolster Perpetual's flexibility to continue to pursue the Corporation's ongoing asset base transformation and commodity diversification strategy. In addition, these transactions provide optionality for managing long term debt obligations which mature in 2015 and beyond.
Operations Update - Edson Wilrich Liquids-Rich Gas
Positive operational results on the Wilrich liquids-rich gas play in the greater Edson area continue to drive momentum in this key diversifying growth strategy for Perpetual. During the fourth quarter, drilling operations have been completed on three gross (1.5 net) new horizontal wells targeting the Wilrich formation in the West Edson area of west central Alberta. The drilling program was designed to more fully delineate the West Edson acreage. Two of the three wells have been completed by Perpetual and its joint venture partner at West Edson, Tourmaline Oil Corp., and tested at final flow rates of 26 MMcf/d at 11 MPa flowing pressure and 20 MMcf/d at 4 MPa flowing pressure respectively. Natural gas liquids are expected to be similar to the original West Edson wells at approximately 35 to 40 bbl/MMcf. The third well at West Edson will be completed by mid-January. These wells have confirmed the predictability of Perpetual's Wilrich inventory at West Edson by stepping through Perpetual's acreage base approximately 8 miles from the existing production. The wells have also confirmed the presence of seismically-indicated uphole Fahler channel trends which provide additional future inventory.
Operations are underway to construct a trunk pipeline through the West Edson acreage to bring on production from the new wells in early 2013. Expansion of the West Edson compressor station from its current 10 MMcf/d to 30 MMcf/d of capacity is on track for the first quarter of 2013.
One (1.0 net) additional well on the Wilrich play spud in mid-December 2012 to evaluate the performance of horizontal Wilrich development on trend to the south of Perpetual's original Edson development area. It is expected that this well will be completed and tied-in via the Perpetual-operated Edson 16-10 compressor station for production in the first quarter of 2013.
Perpetual has identified an additional 100 net locations of a similar caliber to the original wells for future development in the greater Edson area. While the Corporation has moved to the development phase of the Wilrich play in the Edson and West Edson areas, the prospect inventory in the greater Edson area continues to grow as additional lands are captured and evaluated and additional prospective zones are delineated and evaluated. In addition, further technical analysis is also underway to understand the optimal spacing parameters for maximum economic recovery of the Wilrich liquids-rich gas resource.
Credit Facility Borrowing Base Review
Perpetual further advises that its semi-annual credit facility borrowing base review was completed on November 30, 2012 as scheduled. As a result of this review, the lenders have established a revised borrowing base of $130 million. The $10 million reduction from the previous borrowing base of $140 million is due to dispositions and lower natural gas price forecasts used in lender evaluations, offset by increased lending values attributable to higher oil and NGL reserves. Current drawings on the Corporation's credit facility are approximately $85 million. The next semi-annual redetermination of the Corporation's borrowing base remains scheduled for April 30, 2013.
Certain information regarding Perpetual in this news release including management's assessment of future plans and operations may constitute forward-looking statements under applicable securities laws. The forward-looking information includes, without limitation, statements regarding expected access to capital markets; prospective drilling activities; forecast production, production type, operations, funds flows, and timing thereof; forecast and realized commodity prices; expected funding, allocation and timing of capital expenditures; projected use of funds flow; planned drilling and development and the results thereof; expected dispositions and the use of proceeds therefrom; commodity prices; and estimated funds flow sensitivity. Forward-looking information is based on current expectations, estimates and projections that involve a number of risks, which could cause actual results to vary and in some instances to differ materially from those anticipated by Perpetual and described in the forward looking information contained in this press release. Undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of performance and is subject to a number of risks or uncertainties, including without limitation those described under "Risk Factors" in Perpetual's management's discussion and analysis for the year ended December 31, 2011 and those included in reports on file with Canadian securities regulatory authorities which may be accessed through the SEDAR website (www.sedar.com and at Perpetual's website www.perpetualenergyinc.com). Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list of risk factors is not exhaustive. Forward-looking information is based on the estimates and opinions of Perpetual's management at the time the information is released and Perpetual disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly any such forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, other than as expressly required by applicable securities laws.
The Toronto Stock Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved the information contained herein.
SOURCE: Perpetual Energy Inc.
For further information:
Perpetual Energy Inc.
Suite 3200, 605 - 5 Avenue SW Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 3H5
Telephone: 403 269-4400
Fax: 403 269-4444
Susan L. Riddell Rose
President and Chief Executive Officer
Cameron R. Sebastian
Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Claire A. Rosehill
Business and Investor Relations Analyst