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Abraxas Petroleum Corp. Reports Operating Results (10-Q)
Posted by: gurufocus (IP Logged)
Date: August 10, 2009 08:26PM

Abraxas Petroleum Corp. (AXAS) filed Quarterly Report for the period ended 2009-06-30. Abraxas Petroleum Corporation is an independent energy company engagedprimarily in the acquisition exploration exploitation and production of crude oil and natural gas. They seek to complement their acquisition and development activities by selectively participating in exploration projects with experienced industry partners. Abraxas Petroleum Corp. has a market cap of $53.8 million; its shares were traded at around $1.08 with a P/E ratio of 1.9 and P/S ratio of 0.5.

Highlight of Business Operations:

The following is a discussion of our financial condition, results of operations, liquidity and capital resources. This discussion should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto, included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed for the year ended December 31, 2008 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 24, 2009. The terms “Abraxas” or “Abraxas Petroleum” refer to Abraxas Petroleum Corporation and its subsidiaries other than Abraxas Energy Partners, L.P., which we refer to as “Abraxas Energy Partners” or the “Partnership”, and its subsidiary, Abraxas Operating, LLC, which we refer to as “Abraxas Operating” and the terms “we”, “us”, “our” or the “Company” refer to Abraxas Petroleum Corporation and all of its consolidated subsidiaries including Abraxas Energy Partners and Abraxas Operating. The operations of Abraxas Petroleum and the Partnership are consolidated for financial reporting purposes with the interest of the 51.8% non-controlling owners presented as non-controlling interest. Abraxas owns the remaining 48.2% of the partnership interests.

Under the terms of the Partnership Credit Facility, Abraxas Energy Partners was required to enter into derivative contracts for specified volumes, which equated to approximately 85% of the estimated oil and gas production through December 31, 2011 and 60% of the estimated oil and gas production from its net estimated proved developed producing reserves for calendar year 2012. By removing a significant portion of price volatility on its future oil and gas production, the Partnership believes it will mitigate, but not eliminate, the potential effects of changing commodity gas prices on its cash flow from operations for those periods. The Partnership intends to enter into derivative contracts in the future to reduce the impact of price volatility on its cash flow. The prices at which future production is hedged will be dependent upon commodity prices at the time the agreement is entered into, which may be substantially higher or lower than current oil and gas prices. Accordingly, future commodity derivative contracts may not protect us from significant declines in oil and gas prices. We have not designated any of these derivative contracts as a hedge as prescribed by applicable accounting rules.

Production Volumes. Because our proved reserves will decline as oil and gas are produced, unless we find, acquire or develop additional properties containing proved reserves or conduct successful exploration and development activities, our reserves and production will decrease. Approximately 85% of the estimated ultimate recovery of Abraxas and 92% of the Partnership s, or 92% of our consolidated proved developed producing reserves as of December 31, 2008 had been produced. Based on the reserve information set forth in our reserve estimates as of December 31, 2008, Abraxas average annual estimated decline rate for its net proved developed producing reserves is 18% during the first five years, 13% in the next five years, and approximately 7% thereafter. Based on the reserve information set forth in our reserve estimates as of December 31, 2008, the Partnership s average annual estimated decline rate for its net proved developed producing reserves is 10% during the first five years, 8% in the next five years and approximately 8% thereafter. These rates of decline are estimates and actual production declines could be materially higher. While Abraxas has had some success in finding, acquiring and developing additional revenues, Abraxas has not always been able to fully replace the production volumes lost from natural field declines and prior property sales. For example, in 2006, Abraxas replaced only 7% of the reserves it produced. In 2007, however, we replaced 219% of the reserves we produced and in 2008, we replaced 555% of the reserves we produced primarily as a result of the St. Mary property acquisition in January 2008. Our ability to acquire or find additional reserves in the near future will be dependent, in part, upon the amount of available funds for acquisition, exploration and development projects.

Exploration and Development Activity. We believe that our high quality asset base, high degree of operational control and inventory of drilling projects position us for future growth. Our properties are concentrated in locations that facilitate substantial economies of scale in drilling and production operations and more efficient reservoir management practices. At December 31, 2008, we operated properties accounting for approximately 83% of our reserves, giving us substantial control over the timing and incurrence of operating and capital expenditures. We have identified 234 additional drilling locations (of which 109 were classified as proved undeveloped at December 31, 2008) on our existing leasehold, the successful development of which we believe could significantly increase our production and proved reserves. Over the five years ended December 31, 2008, we drilled or participated in drilling 77 gross (34.8 net) wells, of which 94.8% resulted in commercially productive wells.

Our future oil and gas production, and therefore our success, is highly dependent upon our ability to find, acquire and develop additional reserves that are profitable to produce. The rate of production from our oil and gas properties and our proved reserves will decline as our reserves are produced unless we acquire additional properties containing proved reserves, conduct successful development and exploration activities or, through engineering studies, identify additional behind-pipe zones or secondary recovery reserves. We cannot assure you that our exploration and development activities will result in increases in our proved reserves. In 2006, for example, Abraxas replaced only 7% of the reserves it produced. In 2007, however, we replaced 219% of our reserves, and in 2008, we replaced 555% of our reserves, primarily as the result of the St. Mary property acquisition in January 2008. If our proved reserves decline in the future, our production may also decline and, consequently, our cash flow from operations, and the amount that Abraxas is able to borrow under its credit facility and that the Partnership will be able to borrow under its credit facility will also decline. In addition, approximately 65% of Abraxas and 39% of the Partnership s estimated proved reserves at December 31, 2008 were undeveloped. By their nature, estimates of undeveloped reserves are less certain. Recovery of such reserves will require significant capital expenditures and successful drilling operations. We may be unable to acquire or develop additional reserves, in which case our results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.

Borrowings and Interest. The Partnership had indebtedness of approximately $123.7 million under the Partnership Credit Facility and $40 million under its Subordinated Credit Agreement as of June 30, 2009. On July 31, 2009, the Partnership repaid $28.7 million of indebtedness after which, the Partnership had $95.0 million outstanding under the Partnership Credit Facility and no availability. At June 30, 2009, Abraxas had indebtedness of $5.9 million and availability of $575,000 under its Credit Facility. At July 31, 2009, in connection with the monetization and repayment of $28.7 million of indebtedness, Abraxas Energy had indebtedness of approximately $95.0 million and no availability under its credit facility. If interest expense increases as a result of higher interest rates or increased borrowings, more cash flow from operations would be used to meet debt service requirements. As a result, we would need to increase our cash flow from operations in order to fund the development of our numerous drilling opportunities which, in turn, will be dependent upon the level of our production volumes and commodity prices. In order to mitigate its interest rate exposure, the Partnership entered into an interest rate swap, effective August 12, 2008, to fix its floating LIBOR-based debt. The Partnership s two-year interest rate swap arrangement for $100 million at a fixed rate of 3.367% expires on August 12, 2010. This interest rate swap was amended in February 2009 lowering the Partnership s fixed rate to 2.95%.

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