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NORCEN ENERGY RESOURCES LIMITED ANNOUNCES THIRD QUARTER RESULTS

    NORCEN ENERGY RESOURCES LIMITED ANNOUNCES THIRD QUARTER RESULTS
    CALGARY, Alberta, Nov. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Norcen Energy Resources Ltd. (Toronto, Montreal, Alberta: NCN) announced today that for the third quarter of 1991, cash generated from operations amounted to $55.8 million, compared to $91.4 million in the third quarter a year ago.  Net earnings at $3.7 million were down from $33.0 million.  On a fully diluted per share basis, cash generated was $0.64 compared to $1.07 and earnings were zero, down from $0.40 per ordinary share.
    The major factor contributing to the decline in financial performance was a 21 percent drop in the average price received by Norcen for its crude oil production, down from $24.93 to $19.68 per barrel.  A year ago, prices were at exceptional levels as the result of heightened tensions in the Middle East, following the Aug. 2, 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.  Other factors adversely affecting current results were lower crude oil production, and the continuing effects of the recession on the company's propane marketing operations.
    Norcen's overall production of crude oil and natural gas liquids in the third quarter of 1991 declined to 52,500 barrels per day from 57,000 barrels per day in the same period of 1990, as the result of substantial production cutbacks in both Australia and Canada.  The cutbacks obscured gains amounting to about 3,000 barrels per day from development activity in Canada and the United States, as well as a 1,200 barrel per day improvement in production from the Challis field in Australia.
    Norcen's total natural gas production, at 206.5 million cubic feet per day, was down 5 percent from 217.3 million cubic feet per day in the third quarter a year ago, as both the company and market aggregators restricted sales in response to unacceptably low gas prices.
    Sales of propane by Norcen's Propane Marketing Division totalled 304.8 million litres in the quarter, up 15 percent from a year earlier.  The gain reflected the effects of the acquisition of the Skelgas distribution network in the U.S. mid-west, late in last year's third quarter.
    For the first nine months of 1991, cash generated from operations totalled $211.6 million, compared to $249.3 million a year earlier. Earnings for the nine months were $38.8 million, down from $83.8 million.  On a fully diluted basis, earnings were $0.45 compared to $1.02 per ordinary share.
    While sales and other revenues for the nine months, at $718.7 million, were up 3 percent, this gain was exceeded by higher operating costs and expenses.  A large part of the increases in both revenue and operating costs related to the inclusion of a full nine months of the Skelgas propane business.
    Capital expenditures, excluding acquisitions, totalled $189.2 million for the nine months, compared to $179.0 million in the same period of 1990.  Additional capital outlays amounted to $30.0 million in the current period and $26.6 million a year ago for the acquisition of oil and gas producing properties in Western Canada, as well as $188.4 million in 1990 for Skelgas.
                               HIGHLIGHTS
                                     3 Months Ended    9 Months Ended
                                      September 30      September 30
                                     1991      1990    1991      1990
      Financial
      (millions of dollars, except
      per share amounts)
    Sales and other revenues       $208.6    $242.7  $718.7    $700.6
    Operating income
     Oil and gas                    $18.5     $56.8   $77.9    $133.0
     Propane marketing              $(2.1)     $4.7   $21.5     $29.9
     Mineral resources               $6.6      $7.8   $22.1     $16.7
    Investment and other revenues    $4.1      $5.8   $12.7     $16.4
    Net earnings                     $3.7     $33.0   $38.8     $83.8
    Earnings applicable to
     ordinary shares                 $0.1     $28.5   $27.5     $71.3
     - Per ordinary share
        Basic                        $0.0     $0.48   $0.46     $1.20
        Fully diluted                $0.0     $0.40   $0.45     $1.02
    Cash generated from operations  $55.8     $91.4  $211.6    $249.3
    - Per ordinary share
       Basic                        $0.87     $1.47   $3.35     $4.00
       Fully diluted                $0.65     $1.07   $2.44     $2.93
      Operating
    Production of oil and gas liquids
     (thousands of barrels per day)  52.5      57.0    53.8      56.1
    Production of natural gas
     (millions of cubic feet
     per day)                       206.5     217.3   239.5     234.7
    Average prices received
     Oil and gas liquids
      (per barrel)                 $19.68    $24.93  $18.82    $20.86
     Natural gas
      (per thousand cubic feet)     $1.42     $1.64   $1.59     $1.74
    Sale of propane
     (millions of litres)           304.8     266.2 1,101.2     899.3
    -0-                               11/4/91
    /CONTACT:  Ron Burrows of Norcen Energy Resources Ltd., 403-231-0107/
    (NCN.) CO:  Norcen Energy Resources Ltd. ST:  Alberta IN:  OIL SU:  ERN AL -- LA022 -- 0987 11/04/91 19:20 EST
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Date:Nov 4, 1991
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