Enerplus Corp. (NYSE: ERF; TO: ERF) has increased its annual average production forecast for 2013 to 89,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOE/d) from 87,500 BOE/d.

The increase is based upon continued strong operational performance during the months of October and November. Production volumes during the fourth quarter are expected to average 92,000 BOE/day due primarily to higher natural gas production.

In addition, the board of directors of Enerplus has approved the capital program for 2014 which includes the following highlights:

  • The company expects to deliver 10% production growth in 2014, targeting annual average production between 96,000 BOE/day and 100,000 BOE/day;
  • Crude oil production is expected to grow by 12%, resulting in a production mix of 48% crude oil and NGLs and 52% natural gas;
  • Capital spending is planned at $760 million, up 11% from 2013, with two thirds of our program directed to crude oil projects;
  • Based upon our forecast exit volumes, capital efficiencies have significantly improved in 2013 to under $30,000 /BOE/day. The company expects to achieve similar capital efficiencies in 2014; and
  • The company expects a reduction in both operating costs and general and administrative costs per BOE.

    Production Growth

Enerplus forecasts average production in 2014 will range between 96,000 BOE/day and 100,000 BOE/day. The mid-point of this range reflects a 10% increase in production volumes year-over-year and 9% per share. Crude oil and NGLs production is expected to increase by 12%. The company expects continued growth from our U.S. oil properties at Fort Berthold where production will increase by roughly 15% in 2014, driving light crude oil volumes to represent 67% of total oil production. NGLs are expected to be 4% of total production. The company's total corporate natural gas production is expected to average just over 300 MMcf/day next year, up 7% from 2013, with the majority of the growth attributable to the Marcellus.

As a result of the growth in production from our Bakken/Three Forks and Marcellus properties, over 50% of corporate production volumes will be attributable to U.S. assets. The company's production mix is expected to remain at 48% crude oil and NGLs and 52% natural gas. With the acquisition of additional interests in the Marcellus combined with the growth in earlier stage plays in North Dakota and the Wilrich, corporate production decline rate is expected to marginally increase to 25% in 2014 from 24% in 2013.

Enerplus Corp. is an independent energy company engaged in the exploration and development of crude oil and natural gas in the U.S. and Canada. The company is headquartered in Calgary.