Whiting Petroleum Earnings Call Insights: Postle and Resource Potential

Whiting Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:WLL) recently reported its fourth quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.


John Freeman – Raymond James: The first question I had, Jim, you alluded to the fact that any projected outspend you have that the asset monetizations would well more than offset that. Along those lines, if you could get maybe some update on where we stand on Postle?

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James T. Brown – President and COO: Well, what I can say now today, John, is that, we are fielding strong interest in that both from, I would say, people who would like to buy and make an outright purchase there, people who want to us to continue to operate it for them, but where they would own a large interest in the property, perhaps 90% or so, and of course we continue to evaluate and have strong interest on a number of underwriters in a royalty trust there. So, we’re evaluating all of those. We have a number of excellent opportunities that we can capitalize on there. I don’t have anything to announce at this point. I would say, we’re getting down to the decision point sometime in the near future, but the asset itself, I would like to say, continues to outperform all of the original projections that we made for it and we love that asset so if we’re going to monetize it in some way, I can assure you we’re going to get a great value and that it’s going to make a great asset for someone either that we sell it to, someone that we bring in as a partner or for investors through a royalty trust. We certainly intend to make sure that that asset if it’s not owned by is it’s owned by somebody else who truly understands it and will do very well with it. If it continues to be owned by us in part after some sort of monetization I can assure that we’ll continue to do the great job that we have with it so far having more than double the production from when we acquired it.

John Freeman – Raymond James: Then moving to Tarpon obviously another huge well there and as you move to pad drilling I’m wondering if you could give some color on in your 2013 budget of the wells that you’ve got for the Northern Rockies, what percentage or ballpark number on the wells you’re expecting to drill at Tarpon this year in your budget?

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