OK. I contacted investor relations @ARP and they did indeed confirm that the total partnership raise for 2012 was $125MM. They further indicated that they expect a larger raise in 2013 after they have the benefit of results from the wells they expect to drill in the Marcellus, Utica and Mississippi Lime with the partnership funds.
I am not sure how the ARP drilling budget for 2013 (not partnership monies) compares to previous years. But that would be interesting to know.
Unfortunate that the amount raised was that low, however, as you allude to, until the recent acquisitions, ARP had very little attractive inventory. They now have a smattering of liquids rich plays like the Mississippi Lime and Barnett combo area which will likely have to be put into the private drilling partnerships because dry gas plays are dead. Disappointing that the raise was so low, but they closed it and they can now focus on 2013.
They now have plenty of inventory to promote the partnerships.
The drilling budget is hard to compare because after the Chevron deal, they were primarily holding legacy production.
I would note that they must be very confident in their inventory set with a budget that is tremendously higher than I anticipated...note that maintenance capex is only around $28 million.
I am not sure what is driving the large budget, either a desire to lock up acreage (thought most of it was already HBP) or they simply are bullish on the prospects.
I suspect that NG prices was the main reason for only having 125MM in drilling partnerships. Outside of folks previously invested and understanding of the way hedges work, it would be a tough sell to attract folks when the average person knows NG prices are way down.
Morgan Stanley used 250MM in partnership raises yearly in the projections they had released earlier this week. So thats a 100% increase.
The partnerships are normally closed twice per year; one by June and the second at the end of the year. I suspect they are referring to the year-end program. Sure hope so as this would be a record low over the last 5- 6 years. I would await clarification before assuming it was only a $125MM raise.