Led by growth in the Freestone Trend in East Texas, the Barnett Shale in North Texas and other resource plays, XTO Energy's production soared 22% in the first quarter to 1.460 Bcfe/d compared to the first quarter 2005 level of 1.199 Bcfe/d. The fast growing independent producer reported record earnings and cash flow of $467 million ($1.26/share) and $803 million, respectively. Earnings were up 181% and operational cash flow was up 96% from 1Q2005 levels.
"For XTO Energy and our investors, the long-term outlook is stronger than ever. Our company is delivering a confident growth program while achieving the best economic returns in its history," stated CEO Bob R. Simpson. "When we combine record margins, double-digit production growth and more than 12 Tcfe of captured resource potential, XTO is providing a supercharged investment vehicle while building value for the future."
XTO President Keith A. Hutton said 70 drilling rigs are current active and the company is on pace to achieve 11-12% production growth for 2006. "Given the fourth quarter-to-first quarter volume increase of about 3%, XTO's operational teams continue to drive growth in several exciting resource plays across our basins. The Freestone Trend reached 540 MMcf/d, up about 5% from the last quarter, and we are drilling ahead with 21 rigs. The company's net production in the Barnett Shale averaged 149 MMcf/d, ahead of schedule to reach our target rate of 160 MMcf/d by year-end. New wells in the core-area of the play continue to exceed expectations.
"In the Piceance Basin, we have reached total depth of about 15,000 feet on our first well, cutting through a column of 4,000 feet of gas-charged formations. As we initiate plans for testing, this well is flaring gas and we anticipate completion in the second quarter. In West Texas, oil volumes are steadily growing as horizontal drilling, refined completion techniques and tighter well spacing are accessing new reserves and production in legacy fields." He predicted sharp production increases in the "back half of the year."
XTO's average gas price for the first quarter increased 62% to $9.08/Mcf from $5.60/Mcf in 1Q2005. The first quarter average oil price was $56.98/bbl, a 36% increase. Gas liquids prices were 19% higher at $34.76/bbl.
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