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Bill Barrett Rockies' Output Up 24%

Denver-based Bill Barrett Corp., which focuses its exploration on Rocky Mountain natural gas, reported 3Q production hit a record 10.1 Bcfe, a 24% jump from the same period of 2004, and an 18% sequential increase over 2Q2005. The independent also reported net income of $13.3 million, well ahead of its $3.9 million net loss in 3Q2004. Cash flow also rose 80% to $47.7 million.

The company spent $86.3 million on capital expenditures in the quarter, including $3.9 million for more property; $77.2 million for drilling, development, exploration and exploitation of natural gas and oil properties; $4.8 million for geologic and geophysical costs; and $0.4 million for equipment and other expenditures. About $34.7 million was spent in the Piceance Basin, with 21 wells drilled during the quarter. Another $26.9 million was spent to develop nine wells and other drilling in the Uinta Basin, and $7.6 million was spent in the Powder River Basin, where 82 wells were drilled. It also spent $6.6 million in the Wind River Basin, and it drilled two wells there.

Among its successes, COO Fredrick J. Barrett said the company was encouraged by results from a 15,349-foot exploratory well in the Peter's Point 6-7D in the West Tavaputs formation in the Uinta Basin, which had an initial production rate of 11.4 MMcfe/d gross. It also has found success with the exploratory Bullfrog 14-18, which is currently producing 20 MMcfe/d gross and the Cave Gulch 1-29 stimulation in the Muddy formation, which is producing 19 MMcfe/d gross.

"As a Rockies-focused exploration company, we are excited to announce significant positive exploration results in two consecutive quarters from two separate basins," said Barrett. "Continued production will be necessary to define the size of West Tavaputs deep potential, but the results to date look promising. The results from the Bullfrog 14-18 and the Cave Gulch 1-29 continue to give us reason to be optimistic about the deep potential in the Wind River Basin. We are pleased with our overall drilling performance, which continues to generate strong production growth in a high priced environment, leading to record cash flow."

The company plans to end the year with about 357 wells drilled, including 17 exploration wells. Through the first nine months of 2005, 241 wells were spud. Capital expenditures for 2005 are expected to total between $310-320 million, net of sales proceeds.

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