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Contango Announces Fourth Quarter and Year Ended 2017 Financial Results

HOUSTON, March 09, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Contango Oil & Gas Company (NYSE MKT:MCF) (“Contango” or the “Company”) announced today its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2017. Fourth Quarter 2017 Highlights Production of 4.8 Bcfe for the quarter (51.8 Mmcfed, 32 liquids); within guidance, despite late...HOUSTON, March 09, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Contango Oil & Gas Company (NYSE MKT:MCF) (“Contango” or the “Company”) announced today its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2017. Fourth Quarter 2017 Highlights Production of 4.8 Bcfe for the quarter (51.8 Mmcfed, 32 liquids); within guidance, despite late December weather related shut-ins Adjusted EBITDAX of $10.2 million for the quarter Brought one Southern Delaware Basin well on production while spudding two additional wells.  So far in 2018 we have completed one well, are completing another well, and have spud and reached total depth on another well 25 increase in year-end reserves, an increase of 37.5 Bcfe  55 increase in SEC PV-10 value of year-end reserves, an increase of $91.1 million Increased commodity price hedge protection to approximately 28 of forecasted PDP gas production and 69 of forecasted PDP oil production for 2018, and to 38 of forecasted PDP oil production for 2019Summary Fourth Quarter Financial ResultsNet loss for the three months ended December 31, 2017 was $5.6 million, or $(0.23) per basic and diluted share, compared to a net loss of $16.8 million, or $(0.69) per basic and diluted share, for the same period last year. Last year’s quarter was negatively impacted by a commodity price driven impairment charge of $6.3 million compared to a current quarter impairment charge of $0.4 million. The impairment charge for the current quarter was related to the partial impairment of an unused offshore platform in onshore storage and impairment of our Tuscaloosa Marine Shale properties, while the impairment for the prior year quarter was related to non-core undeveloped acreage that we were not likely to drill prior to expiration. Average weighted shares outstanding were approximately 24.8 million and 24.6 million for the current and prior year quarters, respectively.The Company reported Adjusted EBITDAX, as defined below, of approximately $10.2 million for the three months ended December 31, 2017, compared to $8.2 million for the same period last year. The improvement was attributable to $1.7 million more in realized proceeds from derivatives and $1.9 million less in cash G&A costs, offset in part by a $1.6 million decrease in revenues from lower production.  Revenues for the three months ended December 31, 2017 were approximately $20 million compared to $21.7 million for the same period last year, a decrease attributable to lower production during the current quarter and a 4 decrease in natural gas prices, partially offset by a 20 and 38 increase in crude oil and natural gas liquids prices, respectively. As previously reported, production for the fourth quarter of 2017 was approximately 4.8 Bcfe, or 51.8 Mmcfe per day, compared to 64.3 Mmcfe per day for the fourth quarter of 2016, and within our previously provided guidance.  This expected decrease in production can be attributed to the addition of only five new producing wells since the initiation of our drilling program in the Southern Delaware Basin beginning in late 2016. We also experienced cold weather shut-ins in some of our West Texas properties during the month of December. Crude oil and natural gas liquids production during the fourth quarter of 2017 was approximately 2,700 barrels per day, or 31.5 of total production, compared to approximately 3,080 barrels per day, or 28.8 of total production, in the fourth quarter of 2016, a decline related to the slower than planned pace of bringing on new production in our Southern Delaware Basin program.  Our first quarter 2018 production guidance is 50 – 55 Mmcfed, though we expect to commence production on two new wells in March and April.  The weighted average equivalent sales price during the three months ended December 31, 2017 was $4.20 per Mcfe, compared to $3.66 per Mcfe for the same period last year.  As previously noted, stronger prices for crude oil and natural gas liquids, and a higher percentage of liquids in the production mix, contributed to the weighted average increase.Operating expenses for the three months ended December 31, 2017 were approximately $7.0 million, or $1.47 per Mcfe, compared to $6.3 million, or $1.07 per Mcfe, for the same period last year.  Included in operating expenses are lease operating expenses, transportation and processing costs, workover expenses and production and ad valorem taxes. Operating expenses exclusive of production and ad valorem taxes for the three months ended December 31, 2017 were approximately $6.4 million, or $1.34 per Mcfe, compared to approximately $5.9 million, or $1.00 per Mcfe, for the same period last year, and below our previously provided guidance for the quarter.  The increase is due to accruing higher minimum volume charges for an ongoing throughput deficiency in our Madisonville Field.     DD&A expense for the three months ended December 31, 2017 was $11.5 million, or $2.42 per Mcfe, compared to $13.7 million, or $2.32 per Mcfe, for the same period last year, a decrease primarily attributable to lower production during the quarter.  Impairment and abandonment expense from oil and gas properties was $0.9 million for the three months ended December 31, 2017.  Of this amount, $0.1 million related to the partial impairment of an unused offshore platform in onshore storage and $0.3 million related to revised estimated reserves for our Tuscaloosa Marine Shale properties.   For the same period last year, impairment and abandonment expense from oil and gas properties was $6.3 million which related to the impairment of undeveloped leases in non-core areas.G&A expenses for the three months ended December 31, 2017 were $5.5 million, or $1.16 per Mcfe, compared to $8.0 million, or $1.36 per Mcfe, for the prior year quarter.  G&A expenses for the current and prior year quarters include $1.5 million and $2.1 million, respectively, in non-cash stock compensation expense. Other items contributing to the decrease in G&A costs for the current quarter were lower bonus accruals for the 2017 performance period and lower insurance and office costs for the current quarter. For the first quarter of 2018, we have provided guidance of $4.5 million to $5.0 million for general and administrative expenses, exclusive of non-cash stock compensation (“Cash G&A”).  Gain from affiliates for the three months ended December 31, 2017 was approximately $0.2 million, compared to a loss from affiliates of $0.3 million for the same period last year, both associated with our 37 equity interest in Exaro Energy III.   2018 Capital Program & LiquidityCapital costs incurred for the three months ended December 31, 2017 were approximately $13.6 million, which was primarily related to our Southern Delaware Basin acreage in Pecos County, Texas.  As previously reported, we have budgeted to invest approximately $52 million in 2018 to continue to develop that area with a one rig program.   We expect that program to be funded by internally generated cash flow, proceeds from non-core asset sales and/or temporary borrowings under our revolving credit facility. We will continue to monitor commodity prices, drilling results and service/supply costs during the year, and if deemed appropriate, may make adjustments to our drilling strategy for the remainder of the yearAs of December 31, 2017, we had approximately $85.4 million of debt outstanding under our credit facility, provides for a borrowing base of $115 million through May 1, 2018.  2017 Year End ReservesAs previously disclosed in our March 5, 2018 release on reserves and production, proved reserves at December 31, 2017, as estimated by William M. Cobb & Associates, Inc. and Netherland, Sewell & Associates, Inc., Contango’s independent petroleum engineering firms, in accordance with reserve reporting guidelines mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), were 189.3 Bcfe, a 25 increase over our proved reserves as of December 31, 2016, consisting of 105.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas, 3.4 million barrels of crude oil, and 4.4 million barrels of natural gas liquids.  As of December 31, 2017, the SEC PV-10 value of our proved reserves was approximately $257.3 million, compared to $166.2 million as of December 31, 2016.  As of December 31, 2017, 48 of our proved reserves were natural gas and 65 were proved developed.  The following table summarizes Contango’s total proved reserves as of December 31, 2017 (1):                       Present Value  OIL NGL Gas Total DiscountedCategory (MBbl) (MBbl) (Mmcf) (Mmcfe) at 10 ($000)Developed 3,364 3,596 82,133 123,895 200,723Undeveloped 7,285 2,011  9,586   65,359   56,560Total Proved 10,649 5,607 91,719 189,254 257,283These estimates do not include net reserves of approximately 30.7 Bcfe (PV-10 of approximately $24.4 million) attributable to our 37 equity ownership investment in Exaro as of December 31, 2017.   Derivative InstrumentsAs previously disclosed in our March 5, 2018 operations update, we took advantage of rising commodity prices and added additional minimum price protection for our forecasted monthly production volumes and now have the following financial derivative contracts in place with members of our bank group.  These contracts represent approximately 28 of our currently forecasted 2018 PDP natural gas production; 69 of our currently forecasted 2018 PDP crude oil production and 38 of our currently forecasted 2019 PDP oil production.CommodityPeriodDerivativeVolume/Month  Price/Unit     Natural GasJan – July 2018Swap370,000 MMbtu$3.07 (1) Aug – Oct 2018Swap70,000 MMbtu$3.07 (1) Nov – Dec 2018Swap320,000 MMbtu$3.07 (1)     Crude OilJan - Jun 2018Swap20,000 Bbls$56.40 (2) Jul – Oct 2018Collar20,000 Bbls$52.00 x $56.85 (2) Nov – Dec 2018Collar15,000 Bbls$52.00 x $56.85 (2) Jan – Dec 2018Collar2,000 Bbls$52.00 x $58.76 (3) Jan – Jul 2018Collar6,000 Bbls$58.00 x $68.00 (2) Nov – Dec 2018Collar5,000 Bbls$58.00 x $68.00 (2) Jan – Dec 2019Collar7,000 Bbls$50.00 x $58.00 (2) Jan – Dec 2019Collar4,000 Bbls$52.00 x $59.45 (3)Based on Henry Hub NYMEX natural gas pricesBased on Argus/LLS oil pricesBased on West Texas Intermediate oil pricesSelected Financial and Operating DataThe following table reflects certain comparative financial and operating data for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017 and 2016:    Three Months Ended  Year ended   December 31,  December 31,   2017 2016  2017 2016 Offshore Volumes Sold:                 Oil and condensate (Mbbls)    21   31 -32   99   137 -28Natural gas (Mmcf)   2,571   3,369 -24   11,189   14,211 -21Natural gas liquids (Mbbls)   76   97 -22   330   420 -21Natural gas equivalents (Mmcfe)    3,154   4,137 -24   13,762   17,552 -22                 Onshore Volumes Sold:                 Oil and condensate (Mbbls)    109   96 14   419   460 -9Natural gas (Mmcf)   689   846 -19   2,721   3,892 -30Natural gas liquids (Mbbls)   44   60 -27   187   296 -37Natural gas equivalents (Mmcfe)    1,610   1,779 -9   6,361   8,430 -25                 Total Volumes Sold:                 Oil and condensate (Mbbls)    130   127 2   518   597 -13Natural gas (Mmcf)   3,260   4,215 -23   13,910   18,103 -23Natural gas liquids (Mbbls)   120   157 -24   517   716 -28Natural gas equivalents (Mmcfe)    4,764   5,916 -19   20,123   25,982 -23                 Daily Sales Volumes:                 Oil and condensate (Mbbls)   1.4  1.4 2  1.4  1.6 -13Natural gas (Mmcf)  35.4  45.8 -23  38.1  49.5 -23Natural gas liquids (Mbbls)  1.3  1.7 -24  1.4  2.0 -28Natural gas equivalents (Mmcfe)    51.8   64.3 -19   55.1   71.0 -23                 Average sales prices:                 Oil and condensate (per Bbl) $ 55.30 $ 46.08 20 $ 48.90 $ 38.52 27Natural gas (per Mcf) $ 2.87 $ 2.98 -4 $ 2.97 $ 2.42 23Natural gas liquids (per Bbl) $ 28.59 $ 20.76 38 $ 22.97 $ 15.79 45Total (per Mcfe) $ 4.20 $ 3.66 15 $ 3.90 $ 3.01 30                                         Three Months Ended  Year Ended   December 31,  December 31,   2017 2016   2017 2016 Offshore Selected Costs ($ per Mcfe)                Lease operating expenses (1) $ 0.61 $ 0.66 -8 $ 0.72 $ 0.60 20Production and ad valorem taxes $ 0.06 $ 0.05 20 $ 0.06 $ 0.07 -14                 Onshore Selected Costs ($ per Mcfe)                Lease operating expenses (1) $ 2.78 $ 1.77 57 $ 2.32 $ 1.81 28Production and ad valorem taxes $ 0.25 $ 0.13 92 $ 0.28 $ 0.25 12                 Average Selected Costs ($ per Mcfe)                Lease operating expenses (1) $ 1.34 $ 1.00 34 $ 1.22 $ 1.00 22Production and ad valorem taxes $ 0.12 $ 0.07 71 $ 0.13 $ 0.13 0General and administrative expense (cash) $ 0.83 $ 1.00 -17 $ 0.90 $ 0.78 15Interest expense  $ 0.27 $ 0.13 108 $ 0.20 $ 0.15 33                 Adjusted EBITDAX (2) (thousands) $ 10,213 $ 8,159   $ 35,087 $ 30,142                   Weighted Average Shares Outstanding (thousands)                Basic   24,757   24,563     24,686   21,424  Diluted   24,757   24,563     24,686   21,424  LOE includes transportation and workover expenses.Adjusted EBITDAX is a non-GAAP financial measure. See below for reconciliation to net loss.       CONTANGO OIL & GAS COMPANYCONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS(in thousands)         December 31,  December 31,   2017 2016ASSETS (unaudited)Cash and cash equivalents $ — $ —Accounts receivable, net   13,059   16,727Other current assets   2,714   2,327Net property and equipment   345,957   340,382Investment in affiliates and other non-current assets   19,723   17,078       TOTAL ASSETS $ 381,453 $ 376,514       LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY      Accounts payable and accrued liabilities   46,755   55,135Other current liabilities   3,782   7,754Long-term debt   85,380   54,354Asset retirement obligations   20,388   22,618Other non-current liabilities   548   248Total shareholders’ equity   224,600   236,405       TOTAL LIABILITIES & SHAREHOLDERS’ EQUITY $ 381,453 $ 376,514                    CONTANGO OIL & GAS COMPANYCONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS(in thousands)               Three Months Ended  Year Ended   December 31,  December 31,   2017  2016  2017  2016   (unaudited)REVENUES            Oil and condensate sales $ 7,213  $ 5,842  $ 25,347  $ 23,006 Natural gas sales   9,361    12,564    41,317    43,847 Natural gas liquids sales   3,441    3,257    11,881    11,330 Total revenues   20,015    21,663    78,545    78,183              EXPENSES            Operating expenses   6,980    6,329    27,183    29,111 Exploration expenses   416    728    1,106    1,816 Depreciation, depletion and amortization   11,537    13,737    47,215    63,323 Impairment and abandonment of oil and gas properties   880    6,304    2,395    10,572 General and administrative expenses   5,513    8,030    24,161    26,802 Total expenses   25,326    35,128    102,060    131,624              OTHER INCOME (EXPENSE)            Gain (loss) from investment in affiliates, net of income taxes   222    (257)   2,697    1,545 Gain (loss) from sale of assets   (56)   (103)   2,280    (92)Interest expense   (1,278)   (757)   (4,100)   (3,802)Gain (loss) on derivatives, net   (1,249)   (2,368)   3,325    (1,632)Other income (expense)   1,302    38    1,275    (265)Total other income (expense)   (1,059)   (3,447)   5,477    (4,246)             NET LOSS BEFORE INCOME TAXES   (6,370)   (16,912)   (18,038)   (57,687)             Income tax benefit (provision)   792    68    395    (342)             NET LOSS $ (5,578) $ (16,844) $ (17,643) $ (58,029)                 Non-GAAP Financial MeasuresEBITDAX represents net income (loss) before interest expense, taxes, and depreciation, depletion and amortization, and oil & gas expenses.  Adjusted EBITDAX represents EBITDAX as further adjusted to reflect the items set forth in the table below, all of which will be required in determining our compliance with financial covenants under our credit facility.  We have included EBITDAX and Adjusted EBITDAX in this release to provide investors with a supplemental measure of our operating performance and information about the calculation of some of the financial covenants that are contained in our credit agreement.  We believe EBITDAX is an important supplemental measure of operating performance because it eliminates items that have less bearing on our operating performance and so highlights trends in our core business that may not otherwise be apparent when relying solely on GAAP financial measures.  We also believe that securities analysts, investors and other interested parties frequently use EBITDAX in the evaluation of companies, many of which present EBITDAX when reporting their results.  Adjusted EBITDAX is a material component of the covenants that are imposed on us by our credit agreement.  We are subject to financial covenant ratios that are calculated by reference to Adjusted EBITDAX.  Non-compliance with the financial covenants contained in our credit agreement could result in a default, an acceleration in the repayment of amounts outstanding and a termination of lending commitments.  Our management and external users of our financial statements, such as investors, commercial banks, research analysts and others, also use EBITDAX and Adjusted EBITDAX to assess:the financial performance of our assets without regard to financing methods, capital structure or historical cost basis;  the ability of our assets to generate cash sufficient to pay interest costs and support our indebtedness;  our operating performance and return on capital as compared to those of other companies in our industry, without regard to financing or capital structure; and  the feasibility of acquisitions and capital expenditure projects and the overall rates of return on alternative investment opportunities.EBITDAX and Adjusted EBITDAX are not presentations made in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP.  As discussed above, we believe that the presentation of EBITDAX and Adjusted EBITDAX in this release is appropriate.  However, when evaluating our results, you should not consider EBITDAX and Adjusted EBITDAX in isolation of, or as a substitute for, measures of our financial performance as determined in accordance with GAAP, such as net income (loss).  EBITDAX and Adjusted EBITDAX have material limitations as performance measures because they exclude items that are necessary elements of our costs and operations.  Because other companies may calculate EBITDAX and Adjusted EBITDAX differently than we do, EBITDAX may not be, and Adjusted EBITDAX as presented in this release is not, comparable to similarly-titled measures reported by other companies.The following table reconciles net income to EBITDAX and Adjusted EBITDAX for the periods presented:  Three Months Ended  Year Ended   December 31,  December 31,   2017  2016  2017  2016   (in thousands)Net loss $ (5,578) $ (16,844) $ (17,643) $ (58,029)Interest expense   1,278    757    4,100    3,802 Income tax provision (benefit)   (792)   (68)   (395)   342 Depreciation, depletion and amortization   11,537    13,737    47,215    63,323 Exploration expense   416    728    1,106    1,816 EBITDAX $ 6,861  $ (1,690) $ 34,383  $ 11,254              Unrealized loss (gain) on derivative instruments $ 1,593  $ 1,046  $ (2,204) $ 3,446 Non-cash stock-based compensation charges   1,540    2,142    6,100    6,457 Impairment of oil and gas properties   385    6,301    1,785    10,438 Loss (gain) on sale of assets and investment in affiliates   (166)   360    (4,977)   (1,453)Adjusted EBITDAX $ 10,213  $ 8,159  $ 35,087  $ 30,142                  Guidance for First Quarter 2018The Company is providing the following guidance for the first calendar quarter of 2018.Production 50,000 - 55,000 Mcfe per day   LOE (including transportation and workovers) $6.4 million - $6.9 million   Production and ad valorem taxes ( of Revenue) 3.0 - 3.5   Cash G&A $4.5 million - $5.0 million   DD&A Rate $2.30 - $2.55Teleconference CallContango management will hold a conference call to discuss the information described in this press release on Friday, March 9, 2018 at 9:30am Central Standard Time.  Those interested in participating in the earnings conference call may do so by calling 1-800-289-0517, (International 1-323-994-2083) and entering participation code 5264056.  A replay of the call will be available from Friday, March 9, 2018 at 12:30pm CST through Friday, March 16, 2018 at 12:30pm CDT by clicking here. Contango Oil & Gas Company is a Houston, Texas based, independent energy company whose business is to maximize production from its shallow offshore Gulf of Mexico properties and onshore properties in Texas and Wyoming, and to use that cash flow to explore, develop, exploit, produce and acquire crude oil and natural gas properties in the Texas and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States. Additional information is available on the Company's website at http://www.contango.com.This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding Contango that are intended to be covered by the safe harbor forward-looking statements provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, based on Contango’s current expectations and includes statements regarding acquisitions and divestitures, estimates of future production, future results of operations, quality and nature of the asset base, the assumptions upon which estimates are based and other expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions, strategies or statements about future events or performance (often, but not always, using words such as expects, “projects”, anticipates, plans, estimates, potential, possible, probable, or intends, or stating that certain actions, events or results may, will, should, or could be taken, occur or be achieved). Statements concerning oil and gas reserves also may be deemed to be forward looking statements in that they reflect estimates based on certain assumptions that the resources involved can be economically exploited. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections that involve a number of risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those, reflected in the statements. These risks include, but are not limited to: the risks of the oil and gas industry (for example, operational risks in exploring for, developing and producing crude oil and natural gas; risks and uncertainties involving geology of oil and gas deposits; the uncertainty of reserve estimates; the uncertainty of estimates and projections relating to future production, costs and expenses; potential delays or changes in plans with respect to exploration or development projects or capital expenditures; health, safety and environmental risks and risks related to weather such as hurricanes and other natural disasters); uncertainties as to the availability and cost of financing; fluctuations in oil and gas prices; risks associated with derivative positions; inability to realize expected value from acquisitions, inability of our management team to execute its plans to meet its goals, shortages of drilling equipment, oil field personnel and services, unavailability of gathering systems, pipelines and processing facilities and the possibility that government policies may change or governmental approvals may be delayed or withheld. Additional information on these and other factors which could affect Contango’s operations or financial results are included in Contango’s other reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Investors are cautioned that any forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from the projections in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on the estimates and opinions of management at the time the statements are made. Contango does not assume any obligation to update forward-looking statements should circumstances or management's estimates or opinions change. Initial production rates are subject to decline over time and should not be regarded as reflective of sustained production levels.   Contact:  Contango Oil & Gas Company   E. Joseph Grady – 713-236-7400Sergio Castro – 713-236-7400                             Senior Vice President and Chief Financial OfficerVice President and Treasurer  Read source: http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2018/03/09/1419920/0/en/Contango-Announces-Fourth-Quarter-and-Year-Ended-2017-Financial-Results.html?f=22&fvtc=5&fvtv=32646628

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