During the three-month period ended December 31, 2012, the Company produced 29,516 barrels of oil and sold 29,901 barrels for total oil sales of $3,109,206, or $103.98 per barrel. Total recorded production revenue net of royalties at 5% (or $5.39 per barrel) was $2,948,042. Production costs during the three-month period ended December 31, 2012 totalled $1,782,939, or $59.63 per barrel, generating a field netback of $38.96 per barrel during the fourth quarter. NZEC calculates the netback as the oil sale price less fixed and variable operating costs and a 5% royalty. The decrease in the field netback compared to previous quarters is the result of decreased oil production related to well declines in the Copper Moki wells, a lower average realized oil price in the quarter, as well as higher fixed production costs as the Company undertook various additional production tests with the objective of optimizing production from its Copper Moki wells. The Company also placed an additional well into production late in Q4 which added to overall fixed production costs. During the three-month period ended December 31, 2012, fixed operating costs represented approximately 85% of total production costs. During the period, NZEC placed three of its four producing wells on artificial lift. Artificial lift along with the installation of permanent production facilities at the Company's well sites is expected to reduce production costs in the longer term, since the wells will require reduced maintenance and manpower, while production equipment rental costs will be reduced significantly. Installation of the Company's permanent surface facilities at the Copper Moki site is still underway and the Company continues to investigate opportunities to optimize oil production from the wells.
During the year ended December 31, 2012, the Company produced 162,444 barrels of oil and sold 162,077 barrels. Three wells commenced production in 2012. Additionally, pre-production recoveries generated from oil sales during the start-up and testing phase of the wells was treated as a cost recovery of the capitalized well development costs. Total recoveries on the oil produced and sold during the start-up and testing phase amounted to $2,449,231 ($95.80 per barrel).
The aggregate volume of oil produced during the year ended December 31, 2012, including pre-production testing, was 188,011 barrels with 187,643 barrels sold, taking into consideration the opening period inventory balances, resulting in positive cash flow from oil sale and pre-production recoveries of $13,809,143. The average field netback during the year ended December 31, 2012 was $70.08 per barrel.
At April 19, 2013, the Company had $11.3 million in estimated net working capital. This includes US$35 million that has been placed on deposit to satisfy the balance of the purchase price of the acquisition of assets from Origin, as summarized below in Property Review, Origin Agreement. The Company has secured a US$34.5 million operating line of credit against the US$35 million deposit and to date has drawn down US$25.7 million.
Subsequent to the period end, NZEC initiated completion activities at two wells that had been drilled in Q4-2012, resulting in a new oil discovery; drilled two new exploration wells, finishing six wells of the anticipated eight-well program; released its drill rig; retracted previously-announced production guidance; appointed a new Chief Financial Officer; announced the resignation of a Director for personal health reasons; announced approval from New Zealand's Overseas Investment Office related to the acquisition of the Waihapa Production Station from Origin; and completed a reserves update.
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