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|MURPHY OIL ANNOUNCES PRELIMINARY QUARTERLY EARNINGS AND EXPLORATORY DRILLING RESULTS|
EL DORADO, Arkansas, October 30, 2013 - Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE: MUR) announced today that net income, which includes the results of discontinued operations, was $284.8 million ($1.51 per diluted share) in the third quarter 2013 compared to $226.7 million ($1.16 per diluted share) in the 2012 third quarter. Income from continuing operations in the third quarter of 2013 was $252.1 million ($1.34 per diluted share) compared to $211.7 million ($1.08 per diluted share) in the third quarter of 2012. Income from continuing operations increased in 2013 compared to the prior year, primarily due to higher crude oil production levels.
On August 30, 2013, the Company completed the separation of its U.S. downstream operations into a new publicly owned company named Murphy USA Inc. The results of these U.S. downstream operations are reported as discontinued operations for all periods presented, and are excluded from Murphy Oil's net income after the separation date. Discontinued operations generated income of $32.7 million ($0.17 per diluted share) in the 2013 third quarter compared to income of $15.0 million ($0.08 per diluted share) in the 2012 quarter. Upon separation, Murphy USA Inc. paid Murphy Oil Corporation a $650 million cash dividend that was primarily used by the Company to repay a portion of its long-term debt.
For the first nine months of 2013, net income totaled $1.05 billion ($5.51 per diluted share) compared to $812.2 million ($4.17 per diluted share) for the same period in 2012. Net income in the current year included discontinued operations income of $363.1 million ($1.91 per diluted share) compared to discontinued operations income of $93.9 million ($0.48 per diluted share) in 2012. Income from discontinued operations in the 2013 period included after-tax gains of $216.2 million from sale of U.K. oil and gas properties, plus profits through August 30, 2013 generated by the U.S. downstream operations. Income from continuing operations was $684.9 million ($3.60 per diluted share) compared to $718.3 million ($3.69 per diluted share) in 2012. The reduction in continuing operations income in 2013 was primarily attributable to lower refining margins in the U.K. downstream business in the current year.
Third Quarter 2013 vs. Third Quarter 2012
Exploration and Production (E&P)
The Company's income contribution from E&P continuing operations was $264.2 million in the third quarter of 2013 compared to $221.1 million in the same quarter of 2012. The earnings improvement in the 2013 quarter compared to 2012 was primarily attributable to higher crude oil production volumes in the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas. Higher revenue associated with favorable oil volumes was partially offset by higher expenses for production operations and the exploration program. Depreciation and production expenses rose in 2013 due to higher crude oil sales volumes.
Exploration expenses totaled $147.8 million in the third quarter 2013, up from $94.0 million in the 2012 quarter. The 2013 increase was primarily attributable to a dry hole drilled at the Eboni deepwater prospect offshore Cameroon, plus higher seismic acquisition costs for prospective areas in Southeast Asia.
Worldwide production totaled 207,281 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the 2013 third quarter, up from 181,558 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the 2012 quarter. Crude oil, condensate and gas liquids production was 138,075 barrels per day in the 2013 quarter compared to 105,796 barrels per day in 2012. Higher oil volume produced in the 2013 quarter was mostly attributable to the Eagle Ford Shale area, where an active development drilling operation is ongoing with eight rigs. Crude oil production also increased in both Canada and Malaysia, with the improvements attributable to more uptime at the Terra Nova field, offshore Newfoundland, and field start-ups at Kakap under the early production system and at Serendah, offshore Sabah and Sarawak, respectively. The Company's share of Syncrude oil production was lower in the 2013 quarter due to maintenance work that curtailed volumes produced. Natural gas sales volumes averaged 415 million cubic feet per day in the 2013 quarter, down from 454 million cubic feet per day in the prior year's quarter. Lower gas volumes were produced in 2013 at the Tupper area in British Columbia, as normal well decline occurred following voluntary deferral of development activities due to depressed North American natural gas sales prices. Additionally, natural gas sales volumes were lower at the Kikeh field in Malaysia mainly due to maintenance at the third party onshore receiving facility which lowered demand.
The average sales price for the Company's crude oil, condensate and gas liquids was $96.80 per barrel in the 2013 third quarter, compared to $96.09 per barrel in the 2012 quarter. Natural gas sales prices in North America averaged $3.00 per thousand cubic feet (MCF) in the 2013 quarter, an increase from the $2.61 per MCF realized during the 2012 quarter. Natural gas sold from fields offshore Sarawak, Malaysia averaged $6.69 per MCF in the 2013 quarter, down from $7.59 per MCF a year ago, with the 2013 decline mostly due to contractually required revenue sharing with the local government in the current year.
Refining and Marketing - U.K. (Downstream)
The Company's remaining refining and marketing business in the U.K. generated a loss of $12.9 million in the third quarter 2013 compared to a profit of $25.5 million in the 2012 third quarter. The decline in U.K. downstream results in 2013 was attributable to significantly weaker refining margins at the Milford Haven, Wales facility. Margins for marketing operations were much stronger in 2013 compared to the prior year. Overall combined U.K. margins fell from a profitable $3.44 per barrel in the 2012 quarter to a negative $0.66 per barrel in 2013.
First Nine Months 2013 vs. First Nine Months 2012
Total exploration expense was $345.1 million in 2013, up from $243.7 million in 2012. The current year had higher dry hole costs associated with unsuccessful wildcat drilling in Cameroon, Australia and onshore Canada. Additionally, the Company acquired more geophysical data across prospects in Southeast Asia, Australia and the Gulf of Mexico during the current year.
Total worldwide production in 2013 was 205,539 barrels of oil equivalent per day, a 9% increase from 188,385 barrel equivalents produced in 2012. Total crude oil, condensate and gas liquids production averaged 133,534 barrels per day in 2013, compared to 105,766 barrels per day in 2012. The 26% increase in oil volumes was mostly attributable to higher production in the Eagle Ford Shale. Other areas with increased oil production in 2013 included Terra Nova and Kakap, with the former having less downtime for maintenance in the current year and the latter starting up production in the fourth quarter of 2012. Oil volumes were lower in 2013 at Syncrude due to a coker turnaround. Natural gas sales volumes decreased from 496 million cubic feet per day in 2012 to 432 million cubic feet per day in 2013. The 13% reduction was primarily attributable to lower gas volumes produced in the Tupper area, where normal well decline occurred following a period when development activities have been voluntarily curtailed due to weak North American natural gas sales prices. Natural gas sales volumes also declined in 2013 in Malaysia, primarily due to maintenance at the third party onshore receiving facility which lowered demand.
The average sales price for crude oil and other liquids was $94.69 per barrel in 2013, down from $97.13 per barrel in 2012. North American natural gas was sold at an average price of $3.23 per MCF in 2013, an increase from the 2012 average of $2.43 per MCF. However, natural gas volumes produced offshore Sarawak were sold for $6.90 per MCF in 2013, compared to $7.79 per MCF in the prior year, with the current year decline caused by contractually required revenue sharing with the local government.
Refining and Marketing - U.K. (Downstream)
Roger Jenkins, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We have been pleased with production levels that have exceeded our targets, with Eagle Ford Shale oil volumes leading the way. We continue to test the upside in the Eagle Ford Shale with downspacing pilots and longer horizontal laterals in the wells. In Malaysia, our four shallow water oil developments offshore Sarawak and two deepwater oil developments at Siakap North-Petai and Kakap-Gumusut are progressing well with two Sarawak fields already on production. The remaining fields will have a staggered start up over the next few months. The completion of the U.S. downstream separation in August was a significant transition step toward converting the Company to a fully focused independent E&P organization. We continue to progress the sale of our U.K. downstream assets. We wish our former associates at Murphy USA Inc. well as they set sail as a stand-alone entity.
"We anticipate total worldwide production volumes of 199,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the fourth quarter of 2013. Sales volumes of oil and natural gas are projected to average 191,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the fourth quarter 2013. Total exploration expense in the fourth quarter of 2013 should range between $50 million and $150 million. Results could vary based on the risk factors described below."
The public is invited to access the Company's conference call to discuss third quarter 2013 results on Thursday, October 31 at 12:00 p.m. CDT either via the Internet through the Investor Relations section of Murphy Oil's Web site at http://ir.murphyoilcorp.com or via the telephone by dialing 1-888-661-5167. The telephone reservation number for the call is 7069828. Replays of the call will be available through the same address on Murphy Oil's Web site, and a recording of the call will be available through November 4 by calling 1-888-203-1112 and referencing reservation number 7069828. Audio downloads will also be available on the Murphy Web site for 30 days after the event and via Thomson StreetEvents for their service subscribers.
Summary financial data and operating statistics for the third quarter and nine months of 2013 with comparisons to 2012 are contained in the attached tables.
This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements, which express management's current views concerning future events or results, including Murphy's plans to divest its U.K. downstream operations, are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause one or more of these forecasted events not to occur include, but are not limited to, a failure to obtain necessary regulatory approvals, a failure to obtain assurances of anticipated tax treatment, a deterioration in the business or prospects of Murphy or its U.K. refining and marketing business, adverse developments in Murphy or its U.K. refining and marketing business' markets, adverse developments in the U.S. or global capital markets, credit markets or economies in general, or a failure to execute a sale of the U.K. downstream operations on acceptable terms or in the timeframe contemplated. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in our forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the volatility and level of crude oil and natural gas prices, the level and success rate of our exploration programs, our ability to maintain production rates and replace reserves, customer demand for our products, adverse foreign exchange movements, political and regulatory instability, and uncontrollable natural hazards. For further discussion of risk factors, see Murphy's 2012 Annual Report on Form 10-K on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Murphy undertakes no duty to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements.
3Q 2013 earnings release schedules accessible at the link below.