HOUSTON, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Newfield Exploration Company (NYSE: NFX) today announced earnings for the three months ended March 31, 1998 of $6.7 million, or $0.18 per share (all per share amounts are on a diluted basis), as compared to $11.9 million, or $0.31 per share, for the three months ended March 31, 1997. Operating cash flow before changes in working capital for the first quarter of 1998 was $38.3 million, compared with $38.5 million for the first quarter of 1997. The average price realized for crude oil, which constitutes 28% of Newfield's production, was $14.57 per barrel, compared to $22.32 per barrel in the first quarter of 1997. Average price realizations per Mcfe for the first quarter of 1998 were $2.49, down 14% from average realizations for the first quarter of 1997.
Oil and gas production for the three months ended March 31, 1998 was 20.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent (Bcfe), an increase of 24% over the comparable period in 1997. The completion of development drilling programs and the acquisition of producing interests in the western Gulf of Mexico during 1997 contributed to the production increase. Newfield's capital expenditures for the first quarter of 1998 totaled $72.4 million. Capital spending in 1998 is expected to increase to $200 million as the Company's inventory of exploratory opportunities has increased and early 1998 exploration success has resulted in an increase in planned development and construction activity. Newfield has also increased its 1998 production target to 87 Bcfe, up 18% from 1997.
"Newfield has been an active driller in 1998," commented Joe B. Foster, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Offshore, successful exploratory wells were drilled at High Island A-471, East Cameron 45, East Cameron 151, East Breaks 164 and Main Pass 260. Four successful development wells were completed at East Cameron 286/287, the site of a 1997 exploratory discovery. Major development projects are also underway at Ship Shoal 354, East Cameron 373 and Main Pass 256."
Mr. Foster continued, "Our onshore gulf coast efforts were rewarded with our first exploration discovery at the Gladys Garber #1 in the Broussard area. Three to five additional exploratory wells are planned for the remainder of this year onshore in southern Louisiana, along with further 3-D seismic data acquisition."
Newfield explores, develops and acquires oil and gas properties principally in the Gulf of Mexico.
Newfield Exploration Company For more information contact: 363 N. Sam Houston Pkwy. E., Ste. 2020 James P. Ulm, II Houston, TX 77060 (281) 847-6000 (www.newfld.com) NEWFIELD EXPLORATION COMPANY Quarter End Results (Unaudited) (In Thousands Except Per Share Amounts) Three Months Ended March 31, 1998 1997 Revenues $49,982 $46,927 Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities Before Changes in Operating Assets and Liabilities $38,275 $38,544 Earnings Before Taxes $10,368 $18,255 Net Earnings $6,712 $11,887 Basic Earnings Per Share $0.19 $0.34 Diluted Earnings per Share $0.18 $0.31 Weighted Average Basic Common Shares Outstanding 36,051 35,250 Weighted Average Diluted Common Shares Outstanding 38,284 37,759
Note: Earnings per share and weighted average common shares outstanding have
been determined in accordance with SFAS No. 128.
Certain of the statements set forth in this document regarding production
targets and growth and planned capital expenditures and activities are forward
looking and are based upon assumptions and anticipated results that are
subject to numerous uncertainties. Actual results may vary significantly from
those anticipated due to many factors, including drilling results, oil and gas
prices, industry conditions, the prices of goods and services, the
availability of drilling rigs and other support services and the availability
of capital resources. In addition, the drilling of oil and gas wells and the
production of hydrocarbons are subject to governmental regulations and
SOURCE Newfield Exploration Company
Web site: http: //www.newfld.com
CONTACT: James P. Ulm, II of Newfield, 281-847-6000