Noble Affiliates Natural Gas Reserves Increase / Oil Reserves Down

Article excerpt

ARDMORE, Okla. - Natural gas reserves increased significantly in 1985, while oil reserves declined slightly, for a net increase on an oil equivalent basis, Noble Affiliates Inc. of Ardmore saidFriday.

George J. McLeod, president and chief executive officer, said that natural gas reserves increased by 14 percent to 302.6 billion cubic feet in 1985, from 265.6 billion cubic feet at the end of 1984. The 37 billion cubic feet of new gas replaced production by a factor of 1.4.

Crude oil reserves, he said, declined 8 percent to 28.8 million barrels.

Three potentially significant discoveries located offshore California, Tunisis and Indonesia are still being evaluated and no reserves have been attributed to them.

"The company more than replaced oil and gas reserves on a barrel equivalent basis," McLeod said. "This is a particularly noteworthy accomplishment because exploration expenditures in 1985 declined31 percent to $89.5 million in comparison to the 1984 expenditures of $130.3 million," he added.

Noble participated in drilling a total of 167 wells in 1985, with 60 exploratory wells resulting in 18 discoveries during the year.

Also on Friday, McLeod issued a statement taking exception to the notice by Standard & Poor's that Noble was one of 13 energy companies being placed on the Standard & Poor's creditwatch list. Standard & Poor's stated that the common traits of the 13 companies being placed on creditwatch was "aggressive leverage structures, uncertain cash flow prospects, or both."

Noble was one of three Oklahoma-based companies included in the 13 firms placed on creditwatch by Standard & Poor's. The others were Phillips Petroleum Co. …

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