Empire Petroleum reported a 4% increase in sale of oil volumes in the first quarter of the year but also recorded a net loss of $2.5 million or 11 cents a share.
Volumes sales rose to 2,206 barrels of oil equivalent a day compared to 2,112 Boe/d in the first quarter a year earlier.
But it wasn’t enough to offset the loss. The company stated its adjusted net loss was $1.9 million or 8 cents a diluted share. The loss came on reported revenue of $10.1 million which was down from the $10.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2022. Empire blamed lower realized pricing as compared to the fourth quarter and a lower sequential loss on derivates.
Empire ended the first quarter with $7.1 million of liquidity including $6.8 million in cash and working capital of $2.3 million.
“While we clearly would have liked to see higher sequential pricing for crude oil and natural gas, the first quarter marked a solid start to 2023 on multiple fronts,” said Mike Morrisett, President and Chief Executive Officer.
“We were pleased to record higher sales volumes both year-over-year and sequentially, as well as keep LOE and G&A per Boe substantially level excluding non-recurring items. ”
He went on to state the company is shaping its remaining efforts in 2023 as a result of its pilot program in North Dakota. For the three months ended March 31, 2023, the company invested approximately $2.2 million in capital expenditures primarily related to the well enhancement project in North Dakota.
Morrisett said leadership has come away with a clear direction on how to best tailor the 2023 capital spending program, including an expansion of some of its efforts.
“This includes a combination of activities, including drilling and completions, workovers, recompletions and related infrastructure. To ensure enhancement of our development efforts, we have focused on adding depth to our technical, operations and administrative teams. All of these experienced professionals were targeted to join Empire based on their respective proven histories of success, and we feel fortunate to have them as part of our expanded team.”
General and administrative expenses, excluding share-based compensation expense, were $3.0 million, or $15.23 per Boe, in the first quarter of 2023 versus $2.7 million, or $13.65 per Boe, for the fourth quarter of 2022. Included in the first quarter of 2023 was $0.4 million, or $1.89 per Boe, of cash severance costs associated with departure of the company’s previous Chief Executive Officer. Excluding these costs, Empire’s cash general and administrative expenses per Boe declined slightly.
An updated Company presentation will be posted by Friday, May 19 to the Company’s website under the Investors Relations section.