Move to Divest San Juan Basin Holdings Pays Off for Tulsa’s WPX Energy

The divestiture of it its assets in New Mexico’s San Juan Basin apparently paid off for Tulsa’s WPX Energy as it reported first-quarter 2018 product revenue of $407 million. And the company’s exploration in the Delaware Basin resulted in an 8 percent increase over the previous quarter, plus a 149 percent jump from production a year ago.

First-quarter oil volumes from WPX’s two remaining basins totaled 65,800 barrels a day including nearly 34,000 from the Delaware Basin. Production would have been higher had it not been for significant winter weather in the Williston Basin which delayed the timing of first sales on the 7-well Arikara pad by nearly 50 days.

Once online, the Arikara wells showed strong results with cumulative volumes of more than 406,000 Boe after 30 days of initial production despite being choked back considerably due to takeaway limitations imposed by winter road restrictions.

WPX management anticipates second quarter oil volumes to grow 16 percent. The company said the growth “essentially replaces the San Juan Gallup oil production in just one quarter.”

The forecast is based on recent strong well performance in both of WPX’s basins. WPX completed 25 gross operated wells (24 net) in the Delaware Basin in the first quarter, including the 2-mile Quinn 37-36C 5H lateral that posted a 24-hour high of 3,843 Boe/d (73% oil) during initial production.

WPX reported an unaudited first-quarter 2018 net loss from continuing operations available to common shareholders of $30 million, or a loss of $0.07 per share on a diluted basis. The loss was driven by $69 million of net losses associated with its hedge book resulting from higher forward oil prices.

“The market is seeing just how much infrastructure matters in the Permian, which we’ve articulated since we entered the basin three years ago with our RKI acquisition that included gas gathering and water systems,” says Rick Muncrief, WPX chairman and chief executive officer.

“We’re also witnessing impressive recoveries in the Williston Basin with record-setting wells that are among the best in the Lower 48, even though severe winter weather impacted some of our timing there. And we’re also adjusting our capital structure by proactively paying down debt, which transfers value to our equity holders.