Vero Energy Inc. reports record earnings and cash flows in the second quarter of 2008


    CALGARY, July 30 /CNW/ - Vero Energy Inc. ("Vero" or the "Company")
(TSX-VRO) today announces its second quarter, 2008 financial results. Copies
of the financial statements and management discussion and analysis in respect
thereof for the quarter ended June 30, 2008 will be available, in due course,
through or by visiting Vero's website at

    Second Quarter 2008 Highlights

    -   Increased average daily production 42% to 6,087 boe/d.

    -   Cash flow from operations increased 177% to $26.8 million or
        $0.84 per share (basic) and $0.82 (diluted).

    -   Generated net earnings of $8.7 million in the quarter, a 1,641%
        increase over the second quarter of 2007.

    -   Maintained a low operating cost per barrel average of $5.65 for the
        six months to date.

    -   Achieved an operating netback of $51.31 per boe and cash flow netback
        of $48.38 per boe.

    -   Net debt to annualized, quarterly cash flow was reduced to 0.4x.

    -   Drilled 6 (4.4 net) wells with a 100% success rate including
        4 horizontal wells.

    Financial and operating highlights for the second quarter of 2008 with
comparisons to the second quarter of 2007 are as follows:

                                Three Months ended       Six months ended
                                     June 30,                June 30,
    Financial ($000's except ------------------------------------------------
     per share amounts)        2008    2007      %     2008    2007      %
    Production revenue        42,264  20,051     111  73,432  40,459      81
    Cash flow from
     operations(1)            26,805   9,693     177  44,647  20,197     121
      Per basic share           0.84    0.33     155    1.44    0.74      95
      Per diluted share         0.82    0.32     156    1.41    0.73      93
    Net earnings               8,740     502   1,641  12,523   1,224     923
      Per basic share           0.27    0.02   1,250    0.40    0.04     900
      Per diluted share         0.26    0.02   1,200    0.39    0.04     875
    Capital expenditures,
     net                      16,411   5,621     192  36,399  32,519      12
    Net debt(2)               38,428  43,905     (12) 38,428  43,905     (12)

    Share Capital (000's)
    Basic, weighted average   32,475  28,743      13  31,036  27,333      14
    Basic, end of period      32,884  28,911      14  32,884  28,911      14
    Fully diluted             35,429  31,347      13  35,429  31,347      13

    Daily Production
    Natural gas volumes
     (mcf/d)                  27,705  20,930      32  27,218  21,075      29
    Light oil (boe/d)            666     292     128     616     316      95
    Liquids (boe/d)              804     510      58     777     531      46
    Corporate (boe/d)          6,087   4,290      42   5,929   4,359      36

    Average Realized Prices
    Natural gas ($/mcf)        10.64    7.99      33    9.59    8.11      18
    Light Oil ($/bbl)         120.61   68.28      77  105.65   65.02      62
    Liquids ($/bbl)           111.23   65.25      70   99.49   60.38      65
    Corporate ($/boe)          76.30   51.36      49   68.05   51.28      33

    Netbacks ($/boe)
    Operating(4)               51.31   29.04      77   44.27   29.42      50
    Cash flow                  48.38   24.82      95   41.37   25.60      62

    Wells drilled
    Gross                          6       1     500      14      18     (22)
    Net                          4.4     0.3   1,367     9.9    11.2     (12)

    (1) Cash flow from operations is calculated as cash provided by operating
        activities from the statement of cash flows, adding change in non-
        cash working capital and asset retirement expenditures. Cash flow
        from operations is used to analyze the Company's operating
        performance and leverage. Cash flow from operations does not have a
        standardized measure prescribed by Canadian Generally Accepted
        Accounting Principles and therefore may not be comparable with the
        calculations of similar measures for other companies.
    (2) Net debt represents current assets less current liabilities and bank
        debt (but excludes the potential future liability related to the mar-
        to-market measurement of hedges). It does not have a standardized
        meaning prescribed by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and it
        is therefore unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented
        by other companies.
    (3) All barrels of oil equivalent conversions use 6 mcf to 1 barrel of
    (4) Operating netback equals total revenue less royalties, transportation
        and operating costs calculated on a per boe basis. Operating netback
        and cash flow from operations netback do not have a standardized
        measure prescribed by Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting
        Principles and therefore may not be comparable with the calculations
        of similar measures for other companies.


    Through a combination of operational execution and good timing with
respect to recovering gas prices, Vero delivered another record quarterly
result in both earnings and cash flow. Vero continued with its rapidly
advancing experience in horizontal drilling and multi-stage completions as
four more of these wells were completed in the quarter. The drilling success
we have enjoyed has directly translated into financial success and
profitability. The exceptional cash flow of $26.8 million for the quarter
leaves us in an enviable financial position and provides us with the
flexibility to pursue our numerous drilling opportunities; strategic
acquisitions; and also add to our drilling inventory through land purchases
and farm-ins.
    Vero completed two acquisitions in the second quarter and has recently
entered into an agreement to purchase additional oil and gas properties that
is expected to close on July 31. These acquisitions are at very favorable
metrics wherein Vero will have purchased approximately 2.5 mmboe of proved
plus probable reserve additions based on third party engineering reports for
approximately $16 per boe. These acquisitions have recycle ratios of over
2.1 times based on first quarter netbacks. They also add approximately
900 boe/d (94 % natural gas) of production and over 70,000 net acres of
undeveloped land. The properties are mainly in West Central Alberta and have
many synergies with Vero's current operations, which include having common
production with approximately 35% of the purchased wells.
    Vero continues to manage its resources in an excellent, low-cost
operating and controllable cost environment and has one of the lowest cost
structures in the junior oil and gas sector. Our low cost structure translates
directly to one of the highest netbacks in the industry for a heavily weighted
natural gas producer. Our netbacks, coupled with our capital cost efficiency,
ability to get production on and in a cash flow position quickly, continue to
allow us to provide top tier returns.
    With higher cash flows from added production, the rise in commodity
prices, and the strength of our balance sheet we are planning to increase our
planned capital expenditures for the balance of the year to bring our total
capital budget (including acquisitions mentioned) to approximately
$125 million. The exploration and development portion will be increased to
$85 million to better match cash flow. Vero has increased its planned gross
well count for the year to between 43 and 46. Vero will also increase spending
on facilities, land, seismic and infrastructure in conjunction with the
planned, additional drilling.
    In the second quarter Vero was able to drill and complete more wells than
in 2007 despite the wet weather in the second half of the quarter that made it
difficult to access for completions, tie-ins, and for services to access wells
that needed maintenance. Production was shut-in at an unscheduled non-operated
facility turnaround, and production to that facility was and still is
currently restricted. Even though Vero encountered typical breakup operational
issues during the quarter, the Company was able to show year over year and
quarterly growth of 42% and 5.5% respectively. Vero's currently production,
based on field estimates is approximately 5,650 boe/d, with 500 boe/d
restricted and 950 boe/d behind pipe. This production is expected to come on
by the end of August. The company is planning to reroute some of the
restricted production to our recently built Edson facility. In addition, we
are planning to add another 12 mmcfd gas compression and dehydration facility
by the end of the third quarter. Currently there are two operated drilling
rigs in the field, with two to three operated drilling rigs expected to remain
busy for the remainder of the year.
    We are also extremely pleased to announce the recent addition to our
management team of Leslie Kende. Mr. Kende is a professional engineer with a
Masters of Business Administration and has been appointed to the position of
Vice President of Engineering. Mr. Kende has 18 years of broad technical and
business development experience. From 2003 to 2007 he was a Director and Vice
President of Acquisitions and Divestitures at one of the larger investment
banking firms in Calgary. In 2007 he took on the role of Vice President of New
Ventures with one of the major trusts. Prior to 2003 Mr. Kende held a variety
of reservoir and production engineering roles of increasing responsibility
with both junior and large cap oil and gas companies.

    I look forward to reporting our future activities.

    Douglas J. Bartole
    President and Chief Executive Officer


    Vero had an exceptional second quarter in terms of both production
increases and cash flows. Leading the way was a 42% increase in daily
production over the same quarter last year. This, coupled with a 49% increase
in realized commodity prices generated a record quarter of cash flows. Cash
flow for the second quarter was $26.8 million, or $0.84 per basic share and
$0.82 per diluted share. While revenues were increasing for the quarter,
operating costs were consistent with last year as we experienced only a
marginal increase of 4%. General and administrative costs per boe declined by
32% primarily as a result of increased production levels with only marginal
increases in staff and head office space requirements. In addition, successful
drilling results from the first half of 2008 have reduced the company's
depletion rate per boe by 21% to $17.69 per boe. All of these positive results
generated net earnings for the second quarter of $8.7 million or $0.27 per
share. For the year to date, the net earnings results are progressing ahead of
forecasts with Vero realizing $12.5 million in net earnings or $0.40 per
weighted average, basic share.
    Vero was more active on the capital spending front in this quarter as
compared to the same quarter last year. Spending totaled $16.4 million during
the quarter, including the drilling of 6 (4.4 net) wells. Vero directed 72% of
its exploration and development capital towards drilling and completions,
while 20% was devoted to facilities and tie-ins. An additional $749 thousand
was spent on Crown land acquisitions.
    In addition to our field activity, Vero completed two private company
acquisitions during the quarter, both of which had common properties with
Vero's. The first acquisition closed on April 15 and was an all-share deal.
The total acquisition cost, including the assumption of approximately
$1.8 million of net debt and working capital, was approximately $17 million.
The second acquisition, which closed on May 21, 2008, was an all-cash deal for
an aggregate cost of $2.4 million. The Company views these acquisitions to be
an excellent way to increase drilling and operating opportunities in our core
areas along with the added potential to develop some new core areas.
    With the enhanced cash flows from the second quarter and the strength in
Vero's balance sheet brought forward from the first quarter, the Company has a
very solid 0.4 times net debt to annualized cash flow.


    Edson, Alberta
    Edson is Vero's largest producing property with average production of
3,802 boe/d (81% natural gas) in the quarter. There were 4 (2.4 net) wells
drilled in the second quarter with a success rate of 100%. An additional 2
(2.0 net) wells were drilling over the quarter end. The production primarily
targets the Rock Creek and Manville zones to 2,400-2,500 meters in depth and
is characterized by gas with a high liquid content, which can generate volumes
of up to 30 bbls/mmcf. The Company has an active program in the Edson area for
the balance of 2008. We are currently planning to drill approximately 28
(18.8 net) vertical and horizontal wells for the remainder of 2008. Currently
there are 14 (9.6 net) horizontal producing wells with 1 (1.0 net) being
completed and another 1 (1.0 net) currently drilling. A total of 8 (6.2 net)
horizontal wells have been drilled in the Edson area so far this year and with
the success achieved to date horizontal drilling is expected to be a
substantial part of Vero's Edson program.
    During the second quarter Vero installed two field boosters to counter
high line pressures. In addition, the Company has commenced preliminary work
on the construction of a 100% owned, 12 mmcfd/day facility to handle new
production additions in the area as well as to facilitate future growth.
    Vero's acreage in the area consists of 35,840 gross (16,265 net)
developed acres and 30,720 (23,271 net) undeveloped acres. Vero anticipates
that in due course, a majority of the acreage could have at least two wells
per section. Therefore, while our acreage in Edson is a significant part of
our total acreage, we believe that the reserve potential in this area is a
bigger part of this story.

    Corbett is Vero's second largest producing area contributing 15% to total
corporate production in the second quarter. Production averaged 940 boe/d
(62 % natural gas) in the second quarter. There were no wells drilled in the
area over the quarter due to spring breakup conditions but our current plans
for the rest of the year are to drill 4-5, 100% working interest wells. The
main focus in the area is the Nordegg at a depth of 1,250 meters. The oil and
natural gas liquids production has benefited from the increasing oil prices
and the production from this area has become a significant contributor to the
Company's cash flows.
    Vero currently controls 9,598 (5,469 net) developed acres and 20,160
(16,640 net) undeveloped acres in this area.

    Whitecourt production for the second quarter of 2008 averaged 856 boe/d
(88% natural gas). This area has recently been expanded as a result of
acquisitions. As a result, Whitecourt production increased by 89% from the
first quarter. We have identified several, quality drilling prospects on the
acquired undeveloped lands and currently plan to drill 3-5 gross wells in this
area in the remainder of 2008.
    Vero currently controls 36,956 (17,565 net) developed acres and 59,200
(48,170 net) undeveloped acres in this area.

    Alberta - Other
    Total aggregate production for all other areas in the first quarter was
489 boe/d (75 % natural gas). The major property within this category is
Wilson Creek, which is mainly an exploitation property. Average production in
Wilson Creek was 257 boe/d for the second quarter. This area generated the
highest netbacks for the Company in the second quarter at approximately
    Vero has 34,495 (14,443 net) developed acres and 24,000 (15,890 net)
undeveloped acres in the Alberta - Other category.


    Below is selected financial statement information for the three month and
six month periods ended June 30, 2008 and 2007. For full disclosure of Vero's
financial statements with their accompanying notes and the Management's
Discussion and Analysis, please visit our website or SEDAR.


    Consolidated Balance Sheets
    (in thousands of dollars)

                                                        June 30, December 31,
                                                          2008        2007
                                                      (unaudited)  (audited)
      Accounts receivable                                 27,345      16,767
      Prepaid expenses and deposits                        4,381       3,523
                                                          31,726      20,290

    Property and equipment                               202,439     171,727
    Goodwill                                              19,913      15,034
                                                         254,078     207,051

      Accounts payable and accrued liabilities            33,810      36,051
      Risk management                                      8,090           -
      Bank debt                                           36,344      46,013
                                                          78,244      82,064

    Asset retirement obligations                           3,032       2,641
    Future taxes                                          18,034      10,812
                                                          99,310      95,517

      Share capital                                      133,578     103,077
      Contributed surplus                                  3,803       3,593
      Retained Earnings                                   17,387       4,864
                                                         154,768     111,534
                                                         254,078     207,051


    Consolidated Statement of Operations, Comprehensive Income and Retained
    For the three and six month periods ended June 30,
    (in thousands of dollars, except per share data)(unaudited)

                                 Three months ended       Six months ended
                                      June 30                 June 30
                                  2008        2007        2008        2007
      Production revenue          43,440      19,896      74,608      40,304
      Realized gain (loss) on
       risk management
       activities                 (1,176)        155      (1,176)        155
                                  42,264      20,051      73,432      40,459
      Royalties                   (9,774)     (5,816)    (18,266)    (11,462)
      Unrealized gain (loss)
       on risk management
       activities                 (4,240)        733      (7,708)        733
                                  28,250      14,968      47,458      29,730

      Operating                    3,398       2,292       6,092       4,804
      Transportation                 669         603       1,295         978
      General and administrative   1,072       1,108       1,964       1,803
      Stock based compensation       314         385         500         811
      Interest and bank charges      546         539       1,168       1,215
      Depletion, depreciation
       and accretion               9,799       8,767      18,552      17,673
                                  15,798      13,694      29,571      27,284

    INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES    12,452       1,274      17,887       2,446

      Future                       3,712         772       5,364       1,222
                                   3,712         772       5,364       1,222

     COMPREHENSIVE INCOME          8,740         502      12,523       1,224

     BEGINNING OF PERIOD           8,647       2,422       4,864       1,700

     OF PERIOD                    17,387       2,924      17,387       2,924

      Basic                         0.27        0.02        0.40        0.04
      Diluted                       0.26        0.02        0.39        0.04

    Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows
    For the three and six month periods ended June 30,
    (in thousands of dollars, except per share data)(unaudited)

                                 Three months ended       Six months ended
                                      June 30                 June 30
                                  2008        2007        2008        2007

      Net earnings                 8,740         502      12,523       1,224
      Adjustments for:
        Unrealized gain on
         risk management
         activities                4,240        (733)      7,708        (733)
        Depletion, depreciation
         and accretion             9,799       8,766      18,552      17,673
        Future income taxes        3,712         772       5,364       1,222
        Stock-based compensation     314         385         500         811
                                  26,805       9,693      44,647      20,197
      Changes in non-cash
       working capital            (3,655)       (269)     (6,120)     (4,662)
                                  23,150       9,424      38,527      15,535

      Increase (decrease) in
       bank debt                  (3,529)     (9,477)    (13,464)      3,121
      Proceeds from issuance
       of common shares, net
       of share issue costs           (3)     17,936      16,758      17,936
      Stock option exercises         945          21         945          21
                                  (2,587)      8,480       4,239      21,078

      Corporate acquisitions      (2,606)          -      (2,606)          -
      Additions to petroleum
       and natural gas
       properties                (13,792)     (5,604)    (33,675)    (30,017)
      Purchase of petroleum
       and natural gas
       properties                      -           -           -      (2,478)
      Additions to
       administrative assets         (13)        (17)        (18)        (24)
      Changes in non-cash
       working capital            (4,152)    (12,283)     (6,467)     (4,094)
                                 (20,563)    (17,904)    (42,766)    (36,613)

     CASH EQUIVALENTS                  -           -           -           -

     BEGINNING OF PERIOD               -           -           -           -

     END OF PERIOD                     -           -           -           -

    Vero Energy Inc. is a Calgary based oil and natural gas exploration and
development company. Vero's common shares trade on The Toronto Stock Exchange
under the symbol "VRO". Please view the Vero Energy website at for the latest corporate presentation and details of
anticipated 2008 operations.

    This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or a
solicitation of an offer to buy the securities in any jurisdiction. The common
shares of Vero will not be and have not been registered under the United
States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in
the United States, or to a U.S. person, absent registration or applicable
exemption therefrom.


    Forward Looking Statements: Certain information regarding the Company in
this news release including management's assessment of future plans and
operations, production estimates, drilling inventory and wells to be drilled,
timing of drilling and tie-in of wells, productive capacity of new wells,
capital expenditures and the timing thereof, may constitute forward-looking
statements under applicable securities laws and necessarily involve risks
including, without limitation, risks associated with oil and gas exploration,
development, exploitation, production, marketing and transportation, loss of
markets, volatility of commodity prices, currency fluctuations, imprecision of
reserve estimates, environmental risks, competition from other producers,
inability to retain drilling rigs and other services, the timing and length of
plant turnarounds and the impact of such turnarounds and the timing thereof,
failure to realize the anticipated benefits of acquisitions, delays resulting
from or inability to obtain required regulatory approvals and ability to
access sufficient capital from internal and external sources. As a
consequence, the Company's actual results, performance or achievements could
differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these
forward-looking statements and, accordingly no assurance can be given that any
events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will transpire or occur,
or, if any of them do so, what benefits the Company will derive therefrom.
Forward-looking statements or information are based on a number of factors and
assumptions which have been used to develop such statements and information
but which may prove to be incorrect. Although the Company believes that the
expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements or information are
reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements
because the Company can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to
be correct. In addition to other factors and assumptions which may be
identified in this document and other documents filed by the Company,
assumptions have been made regarding, among other things: the impact of
increasing competition; the general stability of the economic and political
environment in which the Company operates; the timely receipt of any required
regulatory approvals; the ability of the Company to obtain qualified staff,
equipment and services in a timely and cost efficient manner; drilling
results; the ability of the operator of the projects which the Company has an
interest in to operate the field in a safe, efficient and effective manner;
the ability of the Company to obtain financing on acceptable terms; field
production rates and decline rates; the ability to replace and expand oil and
natural gas reserves through acquisition, development or exploration; the
timing and costs of pipeline, storage and facility construction and expansion;
the ability of the Company to secure adequate product transportation; future
oil and natural gas prices; currency, exchange and interest rates; the
regulatory framework regarding royalties, taxes and environmental matters in
the jurisdictions in which the Company operates; and the ability of the
Company to successfully market its oil and natural gas products. Readers are
cautioned that the foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. Additional
information on these and other factors that could effect the Company's
operations and financial results are included in reports on file with Canadian
securities regulatory authorities and may be accessed through the SEDAR
website (, and the Company's website (
Furthermore, the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are
made as at the date of this news release and the Company does not undertake
any obligation to update publicly or to revise any of the included
forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future
events or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable securities laws.
    BOE Disclosure: Disclosure provided herein in respect of barrels of oil
equivalent (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. Mboe means thousands of barrels of oil
    Non-GAAP terms: this press release contains the terms "cash flow from
operations" and "netbacks" which are not terms recognized under Generally
Accepted Accounting Policies ("GAAP"). The Company uses these measures to help
evaluate its performance as well as to evaluate acquisitions. The Company
considers cash flow from operations a key measure as it demonstrates the
Company's ability to generate funds necessary to repay debt and to fund future
growth through capital investment. Cash flow from operations should not be
considered as an alternative to, or more meaningful than, cash flow from
operating activities as determined in accordance with Canadian GAAP as an
indicator of Vero's performance. Vero's determination of cash flow from
operations may not be comparable to that reported by other companies. The
reconciliation between net income and cash flow from operations can be found
in the statement of cash flows in the financial statements. Vero also presents
cash flow generated from operations per share whereby per share amounts are
calculated using weighted average shares (basic and diluted) outstanding
consistent with the calculation of net earnings per share, which per share
amounts are calculated under GAAP. The Company considers netbacks as a key
measure as it demonstrates its profitability relative to current commodity
prices. Operating netbacks are calculated by taking total revenues and
subtracting royalties, operating expenses and transportations costs on a per
boe basis. Cash flow netbacks are calculated by taking the operating netback
and subtracting interest costs, and general and administrative costs on a per
boe basis.

    %SEDAR: 00022902E

For further information:

For further information: Doug Bartole, President & CEO, at (403)
218-2063; Gerry Gilewicz, Vice-President Finance & CFO, at (403) 693-3170;
Scott Koyich, Investor Relations, (403) 215-5979; Internet:

Organization Profile

Vero Energy Inc.

More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890