NGI The Weekly Gas Market Report / NGI All News Access

Industry Briefs

Swift Energy Co. warned investors Friday that its first quarter production will be lower than expected because of the shut down of a third-party gas pipeline downstream of its Lake Washington Field. The damaged pipeline has forced Swift to reduce production to minimize flaring of gas production that would normally be transported through the pipeline. The pipeline operator expects to fix the line by March 30. As a result of the reduced production levels, Swift is lowering its previous guidance for domestic production in the first quarter of 2005 to 10.8-11.0 Bcfe from 11-11.5 Bcfe. Net production in Lake Washington for the fourth quarter of 2004 almost doubled compared to the same period in 2003, averaging 12,900 net boe/d compared to 6,900 net boe/d for the same period in 2003. The field produced about 23.2 Bcfe last year, more than double the 2003 volumes. It is Swift's largest field. Swift's total domestic production for 2004 increasing to 42.1 Bcfe or by 25% compared to 2003.

The Hurricane Ivan-damaged Petronius platform in the Gulf of Mexico has been returned to service and is currently producing 53,000 boe/d -- about 75% of its pre-storm rate, according to Marathon Oil Corp. and ChevronTexaco Corp., co-owners. Efforts now are underway to ramp up to pre-storm production by the end of this month. Ivan, considered one of the most destructive hurricanes in the past 50 years, hit the deepwater platform last September. Before the hurricane hit, the platform had been averaging 42,000 bbl/d of gross crude oil and 65 MMcf/d gross natural gas. It has the capacity to produce more than 60,000 bbl/d and 100 MMcf/d. As Ivan approached the Alabama Gulf Coast, its eye passed almost directly over Petronius, and there was significant damage to the rig crew quarters, production equipment and deck structures, according to Marathon. Petronius is located 130 miles southeast of New Orleans in the Viosca Knoll. Marathon and Chevron each hold a 50% stake in the platform; Chevron is the operator.

Gastar Exploration Ltd. increased its net proven reserves 162% in 2004, attributing most of the increase from its Deep Bossier Hilltop play in East Texas. Year-end 2004 net proven reserves totaled 20.7 Bcfe and year-end net proven plus probable reserves totaled 62.2 Bcfe. The company's independent third-party reserve engineers booked proven and probable gross recoverable reserves of 93.6 Bcfe (48.2 Bcfe net to Gastar) for 13 160-acre locations in the Hilltop area. Last year Gastar and its partners also increased their leasehold position in the Hilltop area to 45,000 gross acres (21,612 net to Gastar), up from 35,000 at year-end 2003. Gastar, headquartered in Mount Pleasant, MI, focuses most of its exploration on coalbed methane development in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Australia. It also owns and controls exploration and development acreage in the deep Trenton-Black River play in the Appalachian Basin.

Houston-based ATP Oil & Gas Corp. said its 2004 production jumped 31%, to 22.4 Bcfe, mostly on the success of some fields in the North Sea and in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). Fourth quarter production alone was up 81% over 2003 levels to 5.9 Bcfe. Oil and natural gas revenues totaled $116.1 million for 2004 and $32.9 million for 4Q2004, compared with $70.2 million for 2003 and $14.0 million for 4Q2003. The natural gas component of production increased to 80% in 2004 from 63% in 2003. The company reported a net profit of $1.4 million (5 cents/share) in 2004, compared with a loss of $50.8 million (loss of $2.21/share) in 2003. For 4Q2004, ATP reported a net loss of $3.8 million (loss of 14 cents/share), up from a loss of $38.6 million (loss of $1.58/share) for 4Q2003.

©Copyright 2005 Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news report may not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, in any form, without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.