BAKERSFIELD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 8, 2006
Berry Petroleum Company (NYSE:BRY) announced that it has
entered into a definitive agreement with EnCana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc.
(NYSE:ECA) to jointly develop a portion of EnCana's North Parachute
Ranch property in the Piceance Basin of western Colorado. Berry will
fund the drilling of 90 natural gas wells on EnCana's valley lands and
will acquire 4,300 gross acres elsewhere in the North Parachute Ranch
property with a working interest of 95% and a net revenue interest of
Robert F. Heinemann, president and chief executive officer of
Berry, said, "We are excited to have the opportunity to expand our
reserves and drilling inventory in the prolific Piceance Basin.
Berry's asset base is rapidly becoming balanced between natural gas
and crude oil. The Company estimates it now has proved and probable
reserves of almost 850 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent in
this basin when combined with the Grand Valley field acquisition
completed earlier this year. This project has the size and scale to
materially grow Berry's natural gas production in the Rockies. With an
inventory of 400 drilling locations, Berry plans to invest over $750
million of development capital over the next several years in this
Dan Anderson, vice president of Rocky Mountain production, added,
"We are pleased to partner with EnCana on this joint development
project and look forward to maximizing the production and reserves
from this new asset. In addition to the capital for the 90
participation wells, Berry will invest $24 million in 2006 to drill
and complete wells on the Company's acquired acreage. We have two rigs
available to start drilling in July and anticipate having a total of
six rigs in 2006 as part of a continuous drilling program in the
basin. We expect the productivity of the North Parachute Ranch wells
to be comparable to wells in our adjacent Grand Valley project.
Initial natural gas production from these wells ranges from 1.3
million to 2 million cubic feet per day."
About Berry Petroleum Company
Berry Petroleum Company is a publicly traded independent oil and
gas production and exploitation company with its headquarters in
Bakersfield, California and a regional office in Denver, Colorado.
Safe harbor under the "Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
Any statements in this news release that are not historical facts
are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties.
Words such as "will," "plans," "estimates," "expect," "anticipate,"
and forms of those words and others indicate forward-looking
statements. Important factors which could affect actual results are
discussed in PART 1, Item 1A. Risk Factors of Berry's 2005 Form 10-K
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, under the heading
"Other Factors Affecting the Company's Business and Financial Results"
in the section titled "Management's Discussion and Analysis of
Financial Condition and Results of Operations."
Berry Petroleum Company
Robert F. Heinemann or Ralph J. Goehring, 661-616-3900
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