AEC reports record earnings for 2000

Alberta Energy Co. Ltd. (AEC), Calgary, reports record cash flow, earnings and product sales in fourth quarter 2000, and for the year as a whole. Increased production and strong commodity prices were major factors in earnings growth in 2000.


CALGARY, Feb. 21�Alberta Energy Co. Ltd. (AEC), Calgary, reports record cash flow, earnings and product sales in fourth quarter 2000, and for the year as a whole.

Increased production and strong commodity prices were major factors in earnings growth in 2000.

President and CEO Gwyn Morgan said the company in 2000 generated cash flow of $2.2 billion (Can.), up 136% from 1999. Net earnings before acquisition amortization were $1.1 billion, up 294% from 1999. Net earnings were $951 million, a five-fold increase over 1999. Revenue net of transportation, royalties, and production taxes was $5.3 billion, up 90% from $2.8 billion in 1999.

In the fourth quarter 2000, AEC generated cash flow of $925 million, an almost threefold increase over the same period in 1999. Net earnings before acquisition amortization were $507 million and net earnings were $472 million, up more than 580% from the same period in 1999.

Morgan said AEC has entered a new era of financial performance.

�Last year, we earned a return on equity of 21%, a 15% return on capital employed and our stock yielded a total return to shareholders of 60%,� he said.

�Our company�s current earning power is dramatically illustrated by comparing the last three months of 2000 with all of 1999. Our fourth quarter 2000 profit was $472 million, up 2.6 times from the $180 million earned during all of 1999.�

AEC reported more than 20% growth in upstream daily production and more than doubling of midstream operating cash flow. The company added 451 million boe to reserves, or 4.6 boe of proved and probable reserves for every barrel produced.

Natural gas sales grew in 2000 by 18% to an average 1.07 bcfd. Oil and natural gas liquids production increased 23% to an average 118,200 b/d for a combined production in 2000 of 297,000 boe/d.

The company is forecasting a 28% increase in 2001 gas sales to between 1.35 and 1.4 bcfd. That does not include any reserves additions from a gas discovery reported today in the Ladyfern region of northeastern British Columbia.

Oil and liquids sales are forecast to increase by 21% to between 140,000 and 145,000 b/d.

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