Newfield Exploration Company Earnings Call Insights: International Asset Side and Guidance Details

Newfield Exploration Company (NYSE:NFX) recently reported its second quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

International Asset Side

Leo Mariani – RBC: A quick question here. Just any update on the expected timing on the international asset sale?

Lee K. Boothby – Chairman, President and CEO: So we’re on schedule. We’ve said consistently we expect that the bid process will play out over the course of the summer and maybe go into early fall, and we hope to have the transactions completed before year end.

Leo Mariani – RBC: You say completed, I guess, meaning proceeds in hand or just deals that you’ve announced at that time?

Lee K. Boothby – Chairman, President and CEO: We hope to have paperwork in hand before year end.

Leo Mariani – RBC: I guess on the Uinta, obviously, you talked about railing some barrels this quarter. Just trying to get a sense, just kind of how that worked out for you guys. Were you guys able to realize any pricing benefit during the second quarter, and do you have plans to continue that program later this year?

Gary D. Packer – EVP and COO: Yes. We had not anticipated to see any of our pricing benefit early on. This early phase of our program was really meant to explore how it was going to go logistically and how the refiner was going to be able to run the crew. That’s gone very well. The logistics have worked out quite well. It’s going to be on an interim basis through the back half of the year. As I mentioned, the sort of turnaround required us to move the barrels that we did in the first half of the year. I suspect we’ll be significantly down in the second half of the year as the additional capacity of the refiners comes on.

Guidance Details

David Kistler – Simmons & Company International: Real quickly looking at the CapEx increase or I guess relative increase to the high end of your previous guidance. Looks like a decent portion of that’s allocated to international. Is that something that you expect to be recaptured as part of the sales process or is it de facto recaptured as sort of a cost plus issue?

Gary D. Packer – EVP and COO: I think certainly part of it is international and we would expect those to be captured back. But I would say that quite a bit of the increase that we are talking about on a relative basis to the high end of guidance really comes from the pace in which we are drilling the wells domestically. I think I mentioned in several of the areas we are actually drilling I think the net number is somewhere between 5 to 7 net incremental wells that we had not anticipated drilling early in the year and this is just keeping these rigs lines open. As I also mentioned, we’ve added rig count relative to our expectations in the Cana. As also we’ve seen here today they are certainly compelling and we wanted to make sure we had operational momentum as we are heading into 2014. So we elected to add couple of rigs there. Because of them being a fourth quarter add you are not seeing the production volumes in 2013 those will be moved into 2014 where we would expect to see an increase.

David Kistler – Simmons & Company International: Then one just on the Brueggen and Campbell wells would their stronger 60 and 90 day rates that you guys highlighted versus the 30 day rates. Can you talk a little bit more about what’s driving that or they may be put on pump or you mentioned that it was how you are flowing them back, but any kind of additional color there would be helpful

Lee K. Boothby – Chairman, President and CEO: Well, Dave, I’ll go ahead and jump in there, and if anybody has got anything to add, they can. I think that – remember, we’re early in the play, relatively. We’re evaluating options in the oil window. Certainly, we’ve done a number of things in terms of pushing optimization. They seem to be bearing fruit. I think the most notable was a reduction in cluster spacing down to around 75 feet. I think we’re very, very encouraged by the results. As Gary has mentioned in the call, we’ve got some more work to do in the back half of the year, but I would say the early returns and early tale of the tape look very, very positive. But with respect to any of the areas, any of our key areas where we see higher second month and third month production, remember, we’re using controlled flowback, managing drawdowns at the reservoir phase. We believe that leads to improved overall performance, higher returns and higher EUR. So, our operating teams in each of our key areas are utilizing those techniques today, and we seem to be getting repeatable results across the portfolio.

Gary D. Packer – EVP and COO: Dave, I’d look at the @NFX. There’s a graphic in there that represents some of those performance relative to our type curve. It’s pretty compelling.

A Closer Look: Newfield Exploration Company Earnings Cheat Sheet>>