CALGARY , Aug. 9, 2013 /CNW/ - Enerplus Corporation ("Enerplus") (ERF.TO) (ERF) is pleased to announce that results for the second quarter of 2013 are ahead of expectations:
• Funds flow increased by almost 20% during the quarter compared to the first quarter of 2013, and 40% compared to the second quarter last year, to approximately $205 million , driven by higher production and a significant improvement in our netback as a result of higher realized commodity prices.
• Our adjusted payout ratio decreased to 89% in the quarter. On a year-to-date basis, our adjusted payout ratio is approximately 106% before considering the proceeds of our divestment activities and reflects the improved sustainability of our business.
• Operations in both Canada and the U.S. continued to perform ahead of our expectations. Daily production was up 10% over the second quarter of 2012 and 3% higher than the first quarter of 2013, averaging 90,037 BOE/day. For the first six months of 2013, daily production has averaged 88,618 BOE/day, significantly ahead of our expectations.
• Natural gas production in both Canada and the U.S. showed the most notable increases as a result of successful drilling activity in the Wilrich and continued strong performance in the Marcellus.
• Drilling and development activities in Canada slowed during the quarter, resulting in a 20% decrease in capital spending compared to the first quarter of 2013. Approximately $140 million was invested across our portfolio with over 80% of our spending dedicated to our oil properties in both Canada and the U.S. In the first half of 2013, we've invested approximately $313 million in development capital which is about 45% of our full year budget. Our North Dakota operations continued to attract the majority of our capital investment given the strong economic returns from this region.
• Our hedging program generated approximately $21 million year-to-date in cash gains.