Maurel & Prom: Certified Group Reserves Rise by 74% to 288 Mboe at 1/1/2011 From 165 Mboe at 1/1/2010 (Oil and Gas)

Mar 28, 2011, 03:07 ET from Maurel & Prom

PARIS, March 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --

- Major Potential Linked in Particular to New Discoveries in 2010 and the Acquisition of Assets in Nigeria: 419 Mboe (Excluding Mafia Deep)

- Non-Recurring Exploration Expenses of EUR211m

Notice:

The Group's reserves correspond to commercially exploitable volumes of hydrocarbons revealed by exploration and delineation wells. P1+P2 reserves net of royalties have been certified by DeGolyer & MacNaughton for Gabon (31/7/2010 for Onal, Omko, Ombg and Omgw fields and 1/1/2011 for Omoc and Omoc-North fields) and Venezuela (1/1/2010), RPS-APA (2007) for Tanzania and Gaffney & Cline for Nigeria (1/1/2011).

Resources are classified as volumes of hydrocarbons revealed by drilling which are not part of a development plan or sales agreement. Hydrocarbon resources have been evaluated by Gaffney & Cline in Nigeria (1/1/2011), GLJ in Colombia (1/1/2011) and Schlumberger (2011) for the Bigwa Rufiji Mafia permit in Tanzania. P3 reserves have been evaluated by DeGolyer & MacNaughton (1/1/2011) in Gabon, Ryder Scott in Sicily and by RPS-APA (2007) in Tanzania.

In accordance with historic accounting principles for the Group, reserves and resources are presented as Maurel & Prom's working interest net of royalties before taxes for each type of contract (production sharing agreement, concession contract, etc).

The gas/oil conversion factor used is 5.61.

P1+P2 reserves net of royalties 288 Mboe (oil + gas)

As at 1 January 2011, the Group's reserves (oil + gas) came to 288 Mboe, up 74% compared with 1/1/2010.

The table below shows the sharp increase in Group reserves due mainly to the success of the exploration-assessment programme under the Omoueyi permit in Gabon (Onal + satellites) and the incorporation of reserves from the acquisition of assets in Nigeria by Seplat (M&P 45%).

                             P1+P2 reserves net of royalties at 1/1/2011

    in Mboe    01/01/2010 acquisition production revision  01/01/2011 P1  P2
             %
          retained
    ONAL    85%    87.2                  -3.3      1.4       85.3  44.5  40.8
    OMKO    85%    12.7                  -0.3      0.8       13.2   7.5   5.7
    OMBG    85%     4.2                  -0.1                 4.1   0.8   3.3
    OMGW    85%     5.1                  -0.6      3.9        8.4   4.0   4.4
    OMOC
    -North  85%                                   27.5       27.5   9.8  17.7
    OMOC    85%                                   34.7       34.7  12.3  22.4
    BANIO  100%     0.5                  -0.1                 0.4   0.4   0.0
    GABON
    (OIL)         109.7                  -4.4     68.3      173.6  79.2  94.5
    OIL+ 20.25%              27.3        -0.5     -0.1       26.7   8.5  18.2
    CONDENSATE
    GAS  20.25%              31.1                  1.6       32.7   6.0  26.7
    NIGERIA                  58.4        -0.5      1.5       59.4  14.4  44.9
    OIL  26.35%     5.7                  -0.2                 5.5   3.5   2.0
    GAS  26.35%     4.8                  -0.2                 4.6   2.8   1.8
    VENEZUELA      10.5                  -0.4                10.1   6.3   3.8
    MNAZI
    BAY  38.22%    44.6                  -0.1                44.5  16.5  28.0
    GAS
    TANZANIA       44.6                  -0.1                44.5  16.5  28.0
    TOTAL OIL +   115.4      27.3        -5.1     68.2      205.8  91.2 114.7
    CONDENSATES
    TOTAL GAS      49.4      31.1        -0.3      1.6       81.7  25.3  56.5
    TOTAL         164.8      58.4        -5.4     69.8      287.5 116.5 171.2

The assessment results of the OMOC discoveries, conducted in March 2009, and OMOC-North, contribute to the 68 million barrel increase in Gabon reserves.

The incorporation of the fields in Nigeria, acquired in late July 2010, allows the Group to increase its reserves by 58 Mboe, including gas, corresponding to Gaffney & Cline's evaluation at the time the assets were acquired and confirmed in its report dated 11 March 2011. These figures should increase substantially as work progresses on discovered and undeveloped fields (C1+C2 resources earmarked for transformation to P1+P2 reserves), without prejudging the results of the exploration programme.

Proven (P1) oil reserves were 91.2 Mboe at 1/1/2011 versus 50.5 Mboe at 1/1/2010, up 81%. Probable (P2) oil reserves were 114.7 Mboe at 1/1/2011 versus 65.8 Mboe at 1/1/2010, up 74%.

Certified Group reserves at 1/1/2011 are therefore 288 Mboe, an increase of 122.7 Mboe, after taking the year's production into account.

Major potential confirmed on discoveries: 419 Mboe

The resources shown in the following table have been evaluated by Gaffney & Cline in Nigeria, by DeGolyer and MacNaughton in Gabon, by Schlumberger in Tanzania and by GLI in Colombia and show an evaluation of resources linked to discoveries, or to wells that have revealed the presence of hydrocarbons, which which have not yet been assessed.

                          Hydrocarbon resources (M&P share, net of royalties)
                            Type of          01/01/2011           Type of
                           Hydrocarbon                            resource
                                          millions of barrels
    GABON     ONAL         85%  Oil               25                   P3
              OMKO         85%  Oil                4                   P3
              OMBG         85%  Oil               14                   P3
              OMGW         85%  Oil                4                   P3
              OMOC-North   85%  Oil               19                   P3
              OMOC         85%  Oil               26                   P3
    COLOMBIA  Sabanero    100%  Oil               33
              CPO-17       50%  Oil    in process of evaluation     C1+C2
    NIGERIA   OML 4,
              38, 41    20.25%   Oil + Condensate 53                C1+C2
              OML 4,
              38, 41    20.25%  Gas              222 Bcf (40 Mboe)  C1+C2
    TANZANIA  Mnazi Bay 38.22%  Gas              579 Bcf (103 Mboe)    P3
    SICILY    Fiume
              Tellaro      60%  Gas               98 Mboe              P3
    SUB-TOTAL                     -              419 Mboe               -
    TANZANIA  Bigwa Rufiji
              Mafia        60%  Gas       1,0 Tcf (184 Mboe) < x     GIIP
                                            < 2,2 Tcf (388 Mboe)

In Colombia, the recent discovery at Sabanero was evaluated by the independent expert GLI and allows the Group to benefit from 33 million barrels in resources. Following the positive drilling results of the first stratigraphic well under the CPO-17 exploration permit, the related resources are in the process of being evaluated.

In Nigeria, the hydrocarbon resources correspond to discovered undeveloped fields (C1+C2). A development plan for these resources is in process of being prepared. In 2011 the operator Seplat (M&P 45%) will prioritise and direct its efforts to maximise production of P1+P2 reserves by implementing the necessary works to transfer C1s to P1s and C2s to P1 and P2.

In Tanzania, the volume of local natural gas for the Mafia-Deep well was evaluated by Schlumberger between 1.97 Tcf and 4.15 Tcf (or 1.0 Tcf and 2.2 Tcf net of royalties as the Group's working interest). Additional studies will need to be carried out to determine what proportion of these resources are commercially viable. Maurel & Prom has no plans to fund such studies and is looking for a partner to do so.

None of these resources take into account the potential from future exploration activity, which the Group intends to pursue in these countries.

Exploration expenses

Refocusing its activity to attain a lower-risk profile, made possible by the acquistion of assets in Nigeria, has led the Group to farm out operations allowing it to considerably reduce its exploration budget.

This decision, coupled with mediocre results in 2009 and 2010, has seen the Group posting exploration expense in the region of EUR211 M (EUR135 M under write-offs and EUR76 M as provisions) at 31/12/2010. Those amounts will be examined during next Board of Directors.

Accounting standards require oil companies to immediately post to expenses the corresponding amount of exploration infrastructure works. Any increase in reserves is reflected in future cash flow.

For fiscal 2010, this non-recurring expense is in line with the more than 60 million barrel increase in Group reserves (excluding Nigeria).

    Glossary

    Certified reserves these reserves are certified by an independent
                       auditor, in Maurel & Prom share of reserves after
                       deducting royalties.
    P1 reserves        Proven reserves with at least 90% of chance to be
                       produced
    P2 reserves        Probable reserves with at least 50% of chance to be
                       produced
    P3 reserves        Possible reserves with at least 10% of chance to be
                       produced
    Resources          resources are the quantities of hydrocarbons that do
                       not yet have commercial outlets under contract.
    C1+C2 resources    C1+C2 resources are the quantities of hydrocarbons
                       linked to discoverd fields but not appraised or/and
                       connected to the production centre.

This document may contain forward-looking statements regarding the financial position, results, business and industrial strategy of Maurel & Prom. By nature, forward-looking statements contain risks and uncertainties to the extent that they are based on events or circumstances that may or may not happen in the future. These projections are based on assumptions we believe to be reasonable, but which may prove to be incorrect and which depend on a number of risk factors such as, fluctuations in crude oil prices, changes in exchange rates, uncertainties related to the valuation of our oil reserves, actual rates of oil production and the related costs, operational problems, political stability, legislative or regulatory reforms, or even wars, terrorism and sabotage.

Maurel & Prom is listed on Euronext Paris - Compartment A - CAC(R) Mid 60 - SBF120(R) - CAC(R) Mid & &Small - CAC(R) All-Tradable - CAC(R) All-Share ISIN FR0000051070 / Bloomberg MAU.FP / Reuters MAUP.PA

    Next meeting:
    31/3/2011 Net income 2010 (after close of trading)
    1/4/2011 Analyst presentation (10 am)
    12/5/2011 General Meeting (10 am)

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SOURCE Maurel & Prom