Vero increases production by 79% and cash flow by 50% in the third quarter


    CALGARY, Nov. 1 /CNW/ - Vero Energy Inc. ("Vero" or the "Company")
(TSX-VRO) today filed with Canadian securities authorities its Financial
Statements and Management Discussion and Analysis in respect thereof for the
three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2007 and 2006. Copies of the
filed documents may be obtained by visiting Vero's website
or through
    Vero is pleased to report on its third quarter 2007 results. Significant
growth was realized in revenues, cash flow and production. Following are some
of the key highlights from the third quarter.

    Third Quarter 2007 Highlights

    -   Increased average daily production 79% to 4,865 boe/d (82% natural
        gas) in the third quarter of 2007 from 2,713 boe/d in the third
        quarter of 2006. For the year-to-date, there was a 109% increase in
        daily volumes to 4,530 boe/d.

    -   Cash flow from operations increased 50% in the third quarter to
        $9.4 million or $0.32 per share (diluted) compared to $6.3 million
        ($0.24 per share) in 2006.

    -   Production revenue increased to $19.7 million, compared to
        $11.4 million in 2006 - an increase of 73%.

    -   Increased production in the Corbett area to become the company's
        second largest producing core area at over 700 boe/d in September as
        a result of successful third quarter drilling.

    -   Drilled 10 (6.6 net) wells in the quarter with a 98% success rate. 10
        (6.4 net) wells are currently in various stages of completion and/or

    -   Received "holding" approval from the EUB for 19 sections of land in
        Edson. These lands now have the capability of two wells per section
        enabling the company to start the second phase of development where
        up to 50% of the current 60 plus well inventory could be horizontal

    -   Added approximately 6,000 net acres of Crown lands mainly in Edson
        and earned over 7,800 gross acres of land pursuant to farm-ins.

    -   Started construction of a 100% owned and operated 20 mmcfd expandable
        gas processing facility in Edson to be operational by the end of

    -   Current production is 5,300 boe/d based on field estimates. The
        company fully expects to meet or exceed the high end of the recently
        raised year end exit guidance of 5,400-5,600 boe/d.

    Financial and operating highlights for the three and nine month periods of
2007 with comparisons to the three and nine month periods of 2006 are as

                                Three Months ended       Nine months ended
                                   September 30,           September 30,
    Financial ($000's except
     per share amounts)        2007    2006      %     2007    2006      %
    Production revenue        19,731  11,436      73  60,189  29,103     107
    Cash flow from operations  9,425   6,280      50  29,622  16,268      82
      Per basic share           0.33    0.24      38    1.06    0.67      58
      Per diluted share         0.32    0.24      33    1.05    0.67      57
    Net (loss) earnings         (902)     16   5,738     322     347      (7)
      Per basic share          (0.03)      -       -    0.01    0.01       -
      Per diluted share        (0.03)      -       -    0.01    0.01       -
    Capital expenditures, net 18,522  15,556      19  51,041  57,789     (12)
    Net debt                  53,002  39,409      34  53,002  39,409      34

    Share Capital (000's)
    Basic, weighted average   28,911  25,907      12  27,865  24,145      15
    Basic, end of period      28,911  25,907      12  28,911  24,145      20
    Fully diluted             31,339  28,228      11  31,339  28,228      11

    Daily Production
    Natural gas volumes
     (mcf/d)                  23,975  12,424      93  22,052   9,423     134
    Light oil (boe/d)            377     306      23     336     332       1
    Liquids (boe/d)              493     336      47     518     265      96
    Corporate (boe/d)          4,865   2,713      79   4,530   2,168     109

    Realized Prices
    Natural gas ($/mcf)         6.33    6.21       2    7.46    6.84       9
    Light Oil ($/bbl)          75.59   77.52      (2)  69.01   75.13      (8)
    Liquids ($/bbl)            69.67   69.70       -   63.36   65.00      (3)
    Corporate ($/boe)          44.08   45.82      (4)  48.67   49.17      (1)

    Netbacks ($/boe)
    Operating                  24.02   28.38     (15)  27.46   30.44     (10)
    Cash flow                  21.05   25.16     (16)  23.94   27.49     (13)

    Wells drilled
    Gross                         10      11      (9)     28      27       4
    Net                          6.6     6.2       6    17.8    15.8      13

    (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)    All barrels of oil equivalent conversions use 6 mcf to 1 barrel of
    (3)    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.


    Natural gas price volatility has been the story throughout 2007 and is
expected to continue in the short-term due to: market uncertainties over
supply; weather related demand in the largest market, the United States; and
the move to a more global market through the mobility of LNG supplies.
Throughout this volatility Vero has precisely executed its game plan and
continues to meet and exceed expectations. Vero's long term planning and
philosophy continues to show in the execution of its game plan. This execution
has resulted in the prudent use of capital and top tier production growth and
growth per share in arguably two of the toughest back-to-back years of
operations in the Western Canadian Sedimentary basin this past decade.
    One of Vero's key growth strategies is to aggressively expand its
presence and dominance in its core area of Edson and its emerging area of
Corbett. The expansion strategy in Edson has established us as a leader in
quality drilling and overall cost control from inception to the tie-in of a
new well. To continue with the execution of our strategy, Vero commenced the
construction of a 20 mmcfd gas processing plant in the Edson area in the third
quarter. The plant will start flowing gas in November. We believe this to be a
prudent use of capital since approvals for reduced spacing are finally
occurring. In addition and because of the activity in this area, there is
potential for existing third party facilities to become full prior to year
end. The new gas plant will allow Vero to take control of processing its own
gas and reduce operating costs by eliminating third party processing fees; and
most importantly, to secure Vero's future ability to deliver new gas added as
a result of future drilling to the market.
    The New Royalty Framework ("NRF") for Alberta was released on October
25th by the Alberta Government and is proposed to become effective January 1,
2009. Vero has reviewed the modifications proposed by the government and while
more detailed analysis remains to be done once various anomalies in the NRF
are clarified, based upon the public information available to date, Vero
provides the following observations. The NRF is very sensitive to production
rates and gas prices. Vero has a wide range of wells with low and high rates
of production and the higher rate wells tend to come from deeper wells, and
predominantly our horizontal wells that reach measured depths over
3,400 meters. These higher rate wells should be less affected due to the
expansion of "deep gas" relief to include the measured depth of a well, as
opposed to true vertical depth. Based upon our review of the new royalty
structure, we currently anticipate that the wells, in our largest producing
area of Edson (representing approximately 65% of aggregate current
production), which have measured depths in the range of 2,200 to 3,500 meters,
will be affected only in a modest way at current prices. In some cases, such
as with our horizontal wells, the royalty rates will actually be lower than
current Crown rates depending on their respective rates of production in 2009
and beyond. On this basis, and assuming current prices, we believe that the
majority of our inventory will continue to provide economic returns. Our
detailed analysis is continuing, but based upon the information currently
available we estimate that the potential effect of the NRF on Vero's cash
flows, using current gas prices and existing production, could be up to 5%
lower. The actual effect of the NRF on Vero will be determined based on, among
other things, the actual legislation enacted, and clarity of anomalies,
production rates, commodity prices, foreign exchange rates, and product mix as
they exist after January 1, 2009.
    Vero has a proven ability to execute, and capture opportunities when they
present themselves. With our capital efficiencies and our low controllable
costs we firmly believe many more of these opportunities will result. We
continue to see costs for services declining due to reduced industry activity.
Current rig utilization is less than 43%. Costs in the service industry has
become very competitive and coupled with the new royalty regime we believe
there will be further reductions in these costs as a result of the potential
for reduced activity.
    Vero is well positioned, financially and operationally to execute the
drilling and facility programs for the balance of the year. We have 9 wells to
drill in the fourth quarter and we fully expect to meet or exceed the high end
our recently revised year end exit rate guidance of 5,400 - 5,600 boe/d.

    Douglas J. Bartole
    President and Chief Executive Officer


    The resumption of field activities and the benefits of the first and
second quarters' drilling took their full effect in the third quarter and were
reflected in Vero's financial results. Cash flow for the third quarter was
$9.4 million, yielding $0.32 per diluted share. Vero had 50% growth in cash
flow in the third quarter of 2007 as compared to that of 2006. For 2007 and
2006 year-to-date results, the rate of increase in cash flow was even greater
at 82%. Growth in cash flow was achieved despite continued weakness in natural
gas prices and was mainly attributable to increased production levels. Natural
gas prices continued their volatile nature as the AECO benchmark price was 27%
lower than in the second quarter of 2007. Vero was able to mitigate the
decrease in realized gas prices to 21% with its successful hedging program.
Despite this decline in prices, Vero's objective of significant production and
reserve additions went undeterred in the third quarter. As a result of
successful drilling and optimization projects, daily production increased 79%
in the third quarter while for the nine months of 2007 the increase was 109%
over 2006 levels. Similarly, the additional production volumes were the main
driver behind the 107% revenue growth for the nine months in 2007 as compared
to 2006.
    Vero spent $18.5 million during the third quarter, which was 19% more
than the same quarter in 2006. The largest component of our capital spending
was drilling 10 (6.6 net) wells in the quarter with a 98% success rate. While
the drilling success contributed directly to Vero's production advances, the
other significant achievement in the quarter was establishing Corbett as
Vero's new emerging area. Drilling successes in Corbett lead to a 70% increase
in September production over August. Production in Corbett was over 700
barrels of oil equivalent a day in September.
    Vero has been able to maintain a strong balance sheet. Net debt of the
Company at September 30, 2007 was $53 million with approximately $38 million
drawn on a bank line of $70 million. The Company anticipates being well within
or better than the industry average with respect to the net debt to cash flow
ratio. Vero's ratio currently sits at approximately 1.4 to 1 based on
annualized third quarter cash flow. It is anticipated that this ratio will
decline to approximately 1.3 in the fourth quarter. The clean balance sheet
gives Vero ample resources to execute its remaining 2007 and 2008 capital


    Edson, Alberta
    Edson is Vero's largest producing property where 5 (3.1 net) wells were
drilled and cased in the third quarter. Production in this area averaged
3,341 boe/d (87% natural gas) in the quarter. Production increased
substantially over second quarter levels due to removing high line pressure
restrictions with a full quarter of the new 100% compressor, less downtime in
the producing facilities, and production additions from wells previously
drilled and awaiting completions and tie in. The production primarily targets
the Rock Creek and Manville zones at 2,400-2,500 meters in depth with other
up-hole potential. Production volumes are characterized by gas with a very
high liquid content, which can generate volumes of up to 30 bbls/mmcf. We have
planned to drill approximately 6 (4.3 net) wells here in the fourth quarter.
    Currently there are 5 (4.4 net) horizontal producing wells and 2
(1.3 net) horizontal wells to be tied-in in November. Vero started
construction of a 20 mmcfd expandable, gas processing facility to be competed
in November. In this quarter Vero received regulatory approval for the
down-spacing of land in the Edson area. There are now 19 sections approved for
drilling two wells per pool, per section. In addition, a further 22 sections
have been applied for and are awaiting approval. There is the potential to
drill up to 50% of these wells as horizontal wells. There are 11 wells
currently under various stages of prognosis.
    Vero's acreage in the area consists of 33,760 gross (15,077 net)
developed acres and 20,800 (13,675 net) undeveloped acres. It is anticipated
that in due course, a majority of the acreage will have at least two wells per
section. Therefore, the undeveloped acreage does not tell the whole story of
the potential of this area. The Company continues to augment its future
inventory with farm-in agreements with well commitments. During the quarter
Vero had access to over 14,000 undeveloped acres of land by virtue of
    In Corbett 3 (3.0 net wells) were drilled in the third quarter. This is
now our second largest producing area with third quarter production having
averaged 476 boe/d (58% natural gas). The oil is sweet and light resulting in
a sales price close to par on the Edmonton light benchmark.
    Two 100% wells are planned to be drilled in the fourth quarter. The 100%
owned facility in Corbett is the only one of its kind in the area and Vero is
already generating third party revenue. Other operators in the area are
drilling predominately for coal bed methane ("CBM"). While this is not Vero's
primary focus in the area, the results of these projects will be monitored as
the Company does own the CBM rights on the majority of the Company's lands in
the area.
    Vero currently controls 25,758 gross acres in this area.

    Wilson Creek
    Production was an average of 434 boe/d (60 % natural gas) in the third
quarter. The oil is light and sweet (42 degrees API). This area has the
highest netbacks in the Company's portfolio at approximately $35/boe.
    This area is mainly an exploitation property and the future potential
lies within the implementation of a water-flood in the Belly River oil pool.
Submissions and applications to the regulatory bodies for the use of
source-water for the project have been made. When approved, a submission for
the water flood will follow. Equipment has already been purchased to start the
flood, which Vero anticipates will be implemented in early 2008. Vero believes
this project has the potential to substantially increase the current
production and recoverable reserves from this pool. Currently, no incremental
production from this project is factored into the Company's forecasted
production. Furthermore, no incremental reserves have been booked on any of
the potential upside from the flood even though simulations and reservoir
analysis have shown a probability of increased recovery factors.

    Production in the Whitecourt area for the third quarter of 2007 was an
average of 458 boe/d (92% natural gas). Production was up over the second
quarter due to bringing on wells that required trucking of fluids and were
shut-in at various times in the second quarter due to spring break-up.
    The area has a number of target zones ranging in depths from 500 to 1,700
meters. An application has been submitted to the regulatory body for reduced
spacing on some of the tighter sands in the area, which would allow the
Company to produce from two wells per section.
    Whitecourt's land base currently has approximately 37,600 gross
undeveloped acres with an average working interest of 82%.

    Alberta - Other
    Total current production in Vero's non-core areas averaged  156 boe/d (64
% natural gas) in the third quarter. One (0.38 net) well was drilled in the
third quarter.
    Vero's land in Central Alberta have low-risk; shallow gas targets with
potential for up to thirty locations once the reduced spacing applications are
approved. Vero also has higher risk, higher reward exploration plays of
various depths in its portfolio. Geophysical and geological work is currently
being done on the Company's high impact Devonian-Leduc prospect. This work
includes the purchase of 25.6 km(2) of three-dimensional seismic data, which
is currently under evaluation. The prospect is structurally complex, due to
the proximity of the Rocky Mountains. With the significant cost of a
4,700 meter well, Vero will require additional geological work to be done
prior to drilling. A recent discovery in the area is currently producing 74
mmcfd; has recovered 50 bcf in less than two years, and is estimated to
contain approximately 250 bcf.
    Vero has 32,154 gross acres in its non-core areas in Alberta.


    Below is selected financial statement information for the three and nine
month periods ended September 30, 2007 and 2006. For full disclosure of
financial statements with their accompanying notes and the Management,
Discussion and Analysis, please visit our website or SEDAR.


    Balance Sheet (in
    thousands of dollars)

                                                   September 30, December 31,
                                                        2007         2006
                                                     (unaudited)  (audited)
      Accounts receivable                                11,774       15,308
      Prepaid expenses and deposits                       1,028        1,089
                                                         12,802       16,397

    Property and equipment                              159,870      135,427
    Goodwill                                             15,034       15,034
                                                        187,706      166,858

      Accounts payable and accrued liabilities           27,805       30,286
      Bank debt                                          37,999       35,651
                                                         65,804       65,937

    Asset retirement obligations                          2,403        1,785
    Future taxes                                         11,147       10,567
                                                         79,354       78,289

      Share capital                                     103,048       84,710
      Contributed surplus                                 3,282        2,159
      Retained Earnings                                   2,022        1,700
                                                        108,352       88,569
                                                        187,706      166,858


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

                             Three months ended         Nine months ended
                                September 30              September 30
                              2007         2006         2007         2006

      Production revenue       18,542       11,436       58,845       29,103
      Realized gain on risk
       management activities    1,189            -        1,344            -
                               19,731       11,436       60,189       29,103
      Royalties                (5,551)      (2,714)     (17,012)      (7,059)
      Unrealized loss on
       risk management
       activities                (733)           -            -            -
      Interest and other            -            -            -           93
                               13,447        8,726       43,177       22,137

      Operating                 2,754        1,423        7,558        3,530
      Transportation              674          214        1,652          500
      General and
       administrative             729          387        2,532        1,246
      Stock based compensation    319          610        1,130        1,502
      Interest and
       bank charges               598          422        1,813          885
      Depletion, depreciation
       and accretion            9,543        6,139       27,216       15,635
                               14,617        9,195       41,901       23,298

     INCOME TAXES              (1,170)        (469)       1,276       (1,161)

      Current                       -            -            -         (292)
      Future                     (268)        (485)         954       (1,216)
                                 (268)        (485)         954       (1,508)

     COMPREHENSIVE INCOME        (902)          16          322          347

     BEGINNING OF PERIOD        2,924          996        1,700          665

     END OF PERIOD              2,022        1,012        2,022        1,012

      Basic                     (0.03)           -         0.01         0.01
      Diluted                   (0.03)           -         0.01         0.01


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

                             Three months ended         Nine months ended
                                September 30              September 30
                              2007         2006         2007         2006

    Net (loss) earnings          (902)          16          322          347
    Adjustments for:
      Unrealized loss
       on risk management
       activities                 733            -            -            -
       compensation               319          610        1,130        1,502
       and accretion            9,543        6,139       27,216       15,635
      Future income taxes        (268)        (485)         954       (1,216)
                                9,425        6,280       29,622       16,268
    Changes in non-cash
     working capital              906       (3,556)      (3,756)      (8,753)
                               10,331        2,724       25,866        7,515

      Increase (decrease)
       in bank debt              (773)       9,996        2,348       13,030
      Proceeds from issuance
       of common shares, net
       of share issue costs         -            -       17,936       12,061
      Stock option exercises        -            -           21            -
                                 (773)       9,996       20,305       25,091

      Corporate acquisition         -            -            -      (18,887)
      Additions to petroleum
       and natural
       gas properties         (18,513)     (15,551)     (48,530)     (39,073)
      Purchase of petroleum
       and natural
       gas properties               -            -       (2,478)           -
      Disposal of petroleum
       and natural
       gas properties               -            -            -          300
      Additions to
       administrative assets       (9)          (5)         (33)        (129)
      Changes in non-cash
       working capital          8,964        2,836        4,870       12,660
                               (9,558)     (12,720)     (46,171)     (45,129)

     AND CASH EQUIVALENTS           -            -            -      (12,523)

     BEGINNING OF PERIOD            -            -            -       12,523

     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 2007

    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, the effect of changes to royalty rates in Alberta, 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, 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.
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

    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. The Company considers corporate netbacks as a key
measure as it demonstrates its profitability relative to current commodity
prices. 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. Funds generated 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 funds generated from operations per share whereby per share
amounts are calculated using weighted average shares outstanding consistent
with the calculation of net earnings per share, which per share amount is
calculated under GAAP.

    %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:

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