Noble Energy, Inc. today announced its 2014 capital program and guidance, and updated certain guidance items for the fourth quarter of 2013.
Total capital expenditures are estimated at $4.8 billion for 2014, with investments allocated 70 percent to U.S. Onshore and 30 percent to Global Deepwater activities. Total sales volumes for 2014 from continuing operations are anticipated to average between 302 and 322 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBoe/d). The midpoint of this range represents an 18 percent increase over the target for 2013, after adjusting for assets divested and exchanged in 2013. Overall, liquid volumes are expected to represent 46 percent of the total volume in 2014, with the remaining product split estimated to be 29 percent U.S. natural gas and 25 percent international natural gas. No adjustments have been made for the potential divestiture of our remaining non-core assets.
Charles D. Davidson, Noble Energy’s Chairman and CEO, stated, “Noble Energy continues to deliver substantial value across the portfolio. For the third consecutive year, production is projected to grow at strong double-digit rates. We continue to accelerate development in the DJ Basin, which will receive the greatest portion of our capital program, as well as the drilling program in the wet gas area of the Marcellus Shale. The Company’s strong balance sheet and growing cash flow allow us to execute our recently sanctioned developments and continue our robust exploration and appraisal programs to further enhance the major project pipeline.”
The Company expects to invest $3.2 billion in U.S. Onshore development. In the DJ Basin, acceleration of horizontal drilling and infrastructure development continues on the Company’s contiguous acreage position in northeastern Colorado. The sanctioned integrated development plans are being implemented in the Wells Ranch and East Pony areas bringing long-term efficiencies to the DJ Basin operations. During the year, approximately 320 operated horizontal wells are anticipated to be drilled, including over 55 extended reach laterals. In the Marcellus Shale, accelerated development continues with approximately 170 joint venture wells, including almost 100 operated horizontal wells with planned average lateral lengths of over 7,000 feet in the liquids-rich areas of the play. Additional exploration activity is expected to continue at the Wilson oil prospect in northeastern Nevada. U.S. Onshore sales volumes are projected to be up 28 percent in the DJ Basin, after adjusting for the acreage exchange, and 90 percent in the Marcellus Shale driven by the growth in both horizontal programs from 2013.
Global Deepwater programs will comprise $1.5 billion of capital investment in 2014. In the Eastern Mediterranean, progress on the onshore compression terminal in Israel will continue, as well as development at the recently sanctioned Tamar Southwest discovery. For the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, the Company expects to invest in the development of the sanctioned Big Bend and Gunflint projects and the 2013 Dantzler discovery, as well as the continuation of an active exploration program. In West Africa, an exploration well is anticipated in Cameroon and there are continued plans for a Diega project sanction and development. Capital has also been allocated to offshore international new ventures including seismic in Sierra Leone and the Falkland Islands. Global Deepwater sales volumes are anticipated to increase slightly from the prior year. Sales volumes in Israel are projected to increase 15 percent with a full year of operations at Tamar. West Africa maintains recent production levels as Alen offsets other declines. The deepwater Gulf of Mexico is expected to experience natural declines in maturing properties.
UPDATED FOURTH QUARTER 2013 GUIDANCE
Noble Energy increased its fourth quarter 2013 sales volumes from continuing operations to range from 286 to 288 MBoe/d. The increase of five MBoe/d from the prior estimate is a result of better than expected sales in the U.S. Onshore, West Africa and Israel. The Company also lowered its anticipated exploration expense for the fourth quarter of 2013 as a result of successful exploration drilling in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Mediterranean. The updated range is $200 to $225 million.
Press Release, December 17, 2013