New Gas Pricing Announcement by the President of Argentina
On November 28, 2012, the President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, announced the creation of a new gas pricing program under which "Old Gas" would continue to be paid at current prices, while any incremental gas or "New Gas" would receive $7.50/MMBtu (approximately $7.75/mcf). The implementation of this program or one similar would have a significant and positive impact on Crown Point's capital programs and its financial netbacks on its Tierra del Fuego Concessions. For comparison, Crown Point's average natural gas price for the year ended August 31, 2012 was approximately $2.33/MMBtu ($2.41/mcf).
There is no certainty that the pricing announcement for new gas will be formally approved and put into effect on the terms announced or at all.
TIERRA DEL FUEGO, ARGENTINA
The Company's 25.78% working interest in the Tierra del Fuego area of Argentina covers approximately 489,000 acres (126,000 net acres) in the Austral Basin and includes the Las Violetas, Angostura Sur and Rio Cullen exploitation concessions. The primary term of all three licenses expires in November 2016, however, the Company and its partners have negotiated a ten year extension (to November 2026) with the provincial government authorities of Tierra del Fuego. The extension and its terms are currently awaiting ratification by the provincial legislature.
Crown Point's operational focus at Tierra del Fuego is on increasing production and reserves from the higher priced Gas Plus areas. Currently, approximately 10% of Crown Point's natural gas production flows from a Gas Plus designated reservoir and is sold at a price of $4.10/MMBtu (approximately $4.24/mcf), as compared to an average price of $2.10/MMBtu (approximately $2.17/mcf) for its remaining natural gas production. Crown Point's average natural gas price for the year ended August 31, 2012 was approximately $2.33/MMBtu ($2.41/mcf).
DEVELOPMENT AND DRILLING PLANS
Development and drilling operations will commence in Tierra del Fuego after the ten year extension to 2026 has been approved.
Crown Point and its partners plan to drill six to eight new wells per year for the next three to four years. The majority of these wells will target the areas which are currently designated as Gas Plus areas as well as other 3D seismically defined areas which would also qualify as Gas Plus eligible at $4.10/MMBtu (approximately $4.24/mcf). The Company plans to acquire additional 3D seismic on the Las Violetas, Angostura Sur and Rio Cullen concessions starting in 2014. The proposed Las Violetas 3D seismic program is designed to fully evaluate and identify drilling targets over areas and trends, which have been mapped using older 2D seismic. The Angostura Sur and Rio Cullen seismic programs are following up exploration leads from existing 2D seismic and geological information.
Management believes that Crown Point's Tierra del Fuego concessions are high quality natural gas weighted assets possessing the capability to deliver increased levels of production and reserves in an increasing natural gas price market. If the new pricing program, announced by the President of Argentina is implemented and is available to Crown Point and its partners, it is likely that the Tierra del Fuego capital spending plans would be revised to include additional drilling and 3D seismic acquisition designed to accelerate growth in production and reserves.
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