Noble Energy Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2011 Results, Including Record Sales Volumes and Proved Reserves

Press Release

Feb 9, 2012
Noble Energy Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2011 Results, Including Record Sales Volumes and Proved Reserves

HOUSTON, Feb. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --  Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NBL) reported today a fourth quarter 2011 net loss of $296 million, or $1.67 per share diluted, on revenues of $985 million.  Results for the quarter included an asset impairment charge and an unrealized commodity derivatives loss.  Excluding these items, fourth quarter adjusted net income(1) was $211 million, or $1.18 per share diluted.  The Company reported net income of $52 million during the final quarter of 2010, or $0.29 per share diluted, on revenues of $783 million.  Adjusted net income(1) for the fourth quarter of 2010 was $185 million, or $1.04 per share diluted.  

Discretionary cash flow(1) for the fourth quarter 2011 was $677 million compared to $538 million for the similar quarter in 2010.  Net cash provided by operating activities was $385 million, compared to $494 million, and capital expenditures(2) were $1.0 billion.

Key highlights for the fourth quarter of 2011 include:

  • Record sales volume of 233 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBoe/d) and 222 MBoe/d for the year
  • Increased DJ Basin volumes to 66 MBoe/d with horizontal production exiting the quarter at 17 MBoe/d, a 48 percent increase over the prior quarter exit rate
  • Produced 74 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) net in the Marcellus Joint Venture (JV)
  • Started up the Aseng oil project offshore Equatorial Guinea, and exited the year producing 19 thousand barrels of oil per day (MBbl/d) net
  • Announced a world-class discovery offshore Cyprus with a gross mean resource estimate of seven trillion cubic feet (Tcf)
  • Successfully appraised the Leviathan discovery offshore Israel resulting in an increase in the gross mean resource estimate to 17 Tcf or 6 Tcf net
  • Recorded year-end proved reserves of 1.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BBoe), up 11 percent from 2010
  • Further strengthened the balance sheet through an upsized $3 billion credit facility and issuance of $1 billion 10-year bonds resulting in year-end liquidity of approximately $4.5 billion

Noble Energy reported full year 2011 net income of $453 million, or $2.54 per share diluted, compared to net income of $725 million, or $4.10 per share diluted, in 2010.  Adjusted net income(1) for 2011 was $947 million, or $5.31 per share diluted, up from $746 million, or $4.22 per share diluted, in 2010.  Discretionary cash flow(1) was $2.5 billion for the year, up 26 percent from 2010, and net cash provided by operating activities for the year was $2.2 billion, up 12 percent from 2010.  Total year capital expenditures(2) were $3.0 billion.

Charles D. Davidson, Noble Energy's Chairman and CEO, commented, "Noble Energy closed out 2011 with record production for the fourth quarter while significantly progressing our inventory of major projects.  First production was reached at Aseng offshore Equatorial Guinea seven months ahead of schedule and 13 percent below budget.  We are positioned to deliver production from Galapagos and South Raton in the Gulf of Mexico in the first half of 2012.  We continue to mature our Eastern Mediterranean portfolio, where the development at Tamar is progressing on schedule and on budget and the recent appraisal drilling at Leviathan has increased the estimated resources of the field.  The discovery at Cyprus, along with the Tanin discovery announced this week, increased gross estimated mean resources discovered in the Levant Basin to approximately 35 Tcf.  Balancing our growing international portfolio are two lower-risk onshore U.S. developments.  Production out of the DJ Basin continues to grow led by the horizontal program which completed 25 wells in the fourth quarter.  The Marcellus JV is growing production, and we began to operate our first rig in early 2012 in the wet gas portion of the acreage.  Financially, we have increased our liquidity position to support our major project developments.  We are exceptionally well positioned for continued growth and delivery of value to our shareholders."

Fourth quarter 2011 sales volumes averaged 233 MBoe/d, up eight percent from the fourth quarter 2010 excluding volumes from Ecuador, which we exited in 2011. The sales volume split for the fourth quarter 2011 was 40 percent liquids, 29 percent international natural gas, and 31 percent U.S. natural gas.

Noble Energy's U.S. volumes totaled 127 MBoe/d for the fourth quarter 2011, up seven percent from the same quarter last year.  The increase was attributed to the addition of the Marcellus JV and continued growth in the horizontal Niobrara play in the DJ Basin.  Natural production declines were experienced in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and various onshore natural gas properties.  

Sales volume from the Company's international assets was 106 MBoe/d for the final quarter of 2011, an increase of eight percent from the fourth quarter of 2010 excluding volumes from Ecuador.  The increase was due to the early startup of the Aseng oil project offshore Equatorial Guinea and higher sales from the Mari-B field which continued to produce at high levels to satisfy Israeli natural gas demand.  

Crude oil and condensate prices were up significantly from the fourth quarter of 2010.  Noble Energy's global crude oil price averaged $101.12 per barrel, up 22 percent versus the fourth quarter 2010.  Natural gas realizations in the U.S. averaged $3.42 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) and in Israel averaged $5.10 per Mcf.  Natural gas liquid pricing in the U.S. averaged $46.11 per barrel for the quarter, representing 48 percent of the Company's average U.S. crude oil realization.  

Total production costs per barrel of oil equivalent (Boe), including lease operating expense (LOE), production and ad valorem taxes, and transportation were $7.88 per Boe, up 13 percent from the last quarter of 2010.  LOE and depreciation, depletion, and amortization (DD&A) per Boe were $5.08 and $13.20, respectively.  The unit rates were impacted by the Company's mix of sales volumes, particularly with the startup of Aseng offshore Equatorial Guinea and the increased production from the DJ Basin.  Production and ad valorem taxes reflected stronger liquid commodity prices and higher volumes.  Exploration expense for the fourth quarter 2011 was $85 million, which included costs associated with the Bwabe dry hole offshore Cameroon.  The Company's adjusted effective tax rate for the fourth quarter 2011 was 33 percent, with 43 percent deferred.

The Company recorded a $620 million asset impairment related to onshore U.S. dry natural gas properties, primarily in the Piceance Basin, as a result of declining natural gas prices.  Other operating expenses of $41 million were mostly due to costs associated with disposition of surplus inventory and expected legal settlements.  Non-operating expenses included a $22 million deferred compensation charge associated with the quarterly value change of Noble Energy stock held in a benefit program.  

PROVED RESERVES

Estimated reserves at the end of 2011 were approximately 1.2 BBoe, up 11 percent from 2010.  Reserves in the U.S. accounted for 47 percent of the total, with International the remaining 53 percent.  Reserves are split 31 percent global liquids, 42 percent international natural gas, and 27 percent U.S. natural gas.  

Noble Energy added total proved reserves of 198 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBoe) in 2011, including revisions.  These additions replaced 244 percent of 2011 production.

U.S. net additions of 120 MMBoe resulted in 279 percent replacement of U.S. production and were driven by the acquisition of the Company's Marcellus JV and the horizontal drilling program in the DJ Basin.  These net additions included negative revisions of 45 MMBoe primarily associated with the reduction of undeveloped vertical locations in the DJ Basin as the Company continues to transition rigs to horizontal drilling and reduced activity levels in dry gas fields due to lower natural gas prices.  

The international portfolio added net 78 MMBoe of reserves, or 205 percent replacement of international production, with 80 MMBoe of additions from the successful appraisal drilling results at Tamar offset slightly by revisions in non-core areas.  

(1)

A Non-GAAP measure, see attached Reconciliation Schedules

(2)

Capital expenditures for the fourth quarter and full year 2011 exclude a non-cash accrual related to construction progress to date on the Aseng FPSO and the Marcellus acquisition.



WEBCAST AND CONFERENCE CALL INFORMATION

Noble Energy, Inc. will host a webcast and conference call at 9:00 a.m. Central time today. The webcast is accessible on the 'Investors' page at www.nobleenergyinc.com. Conference call numbers for participation are 888-299-7208 and 719-325-2149. A replay will be available on the website.  

Noble Energy is a leading independent energy company engaged in worldwide oil and gas exploration and production. The Company has core operations onshore in the U.S., primarily in the DJ Basin and Marcellus Shale, in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, offshore Eastern Mediterranean, and offshore West Africa. Noble Energy is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is traded under the ticker symbol NBL.  Further information is available at www.nobleenergyinc.com.

This news release contains certain non-GAAP measures of financial performance that management believes are good tools for internal use and the investment community in evaluating the company's overall financial performance.  These non-GAAP measures help facilitate comparison of company operating performance across periods and with peer companies.  

This news release contains certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "anticipates," "believes," "expects," "intends,"  "will," "should," "may," and similar expressions may be used to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are not statements of historical fact and reflect Noble Energy's current views about future events. They include estimates of oil and natural gas reserves and resources, estimates of future production, assumptions regarding future oil and natural gas pricing, planned drilling activity, future results of operations, projected cash flow and liquidity, business strategy and other plans and objectives for future operations. No assurances can be given that the forward-looking statements contained in this news release will occur as projected, and actual results may differ materially from those projected. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates and assumptions that involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. These risks include, without limitation, the volatility in commodity prices for crude oil and natural gas, the presence or recoverability of estimated reserves, the ability to replace reserves, environmental risks, drilling and operating risks, exploration and development risks, competition, government regulation or other actions, the ability of management to execute its plans to meet its goals and other risks inherent in Noble Energy's business that are discussed in its most recent annual report on Form 10-K and in other reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These reports are also available from Noble Energy's offices or website, http://www.nobleenergyinc.com. Forward-looking statements are based on the estimates and opinions of management at the time the statements are made. Noble Energy does not assume any obligation to update forward-looking statements should circumstances or management's estimates or opinions change.

The Securities and Exchange Commission requires oil and gas companies, in their filings with the SEC, to disclose proved reserves that a company has demonstrated by actual production or conclusive formation tests to be economically and legally producible under existing economic and operating conditions. The SEC permits the optional disclosure of probable and possible reserves, however, we have not disclosed the Company's probable and possible reserves in our filings with the SEC. We use certain terms in this news release, such as "estimated resources", "gross estimated resource," and "gross mean resource estimate." These estimates are by their nature more speculative than estimates of proved, probable and possible reserves and accordingly are subject to substantially greater risk of being actually realized. The SEC guidelines strictly prohibit us from including these estimates in filings with the SEC. Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosures and risk factors in our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and in other reports on file with the SEC, available from Noble Energy's offices or website, http://www.nobleenergyinc.com.  

Schedule 1

Noble Energy, Inc.

Reconciliation of Net Income (Loss) to Adjusted Earnings

(in millions, except per share amounts, unaudited)





























Three Months Ended


Year Ended



December 31,


December 31,



2011

Per Diluted Share [6]


2010

Per Diluted Share


2011

Per Diluted Share


2010

Per Diluted Share














Net Income (Loss)


$ (296)

$     (1.67)


$   52

$      0.29


$ 453

$      2.54


$ 725

$      4.10

Unrealized (gains) losses on commodity













   derivative instruments


162

0.91


145

0.81


22

0.13


(70)

(0.39)

Asset impairments [1]


620

3.46


44

0.25


759

4.25


144

0.81

(Gain) loss on divestitures [2]


1

0.01


1

0.01


(25)

(0.14)


(113)

(0.63)

Drilling rig expense [3]


-

-


-

-


18

0.10


27

0.15

Other adjustments


-

-


2

0.01


4

0.02


4

0.02

Total Adjustments before tax


783

4.38


192

1.08


778

4.36


(8)

(0.04)














Income Tax Effect of Adjustments  [4]


(276)

(1.54)


(59)

(0.33)


(284)

(1.59)


29

0.16














Adjusted Earnings [5]


$  211

$      1.18


$ 185

$      1.04


$ 947

$      5.31


$ 746

$      4.22



























Weighted average number of shares outstanding













   Diluted [6]


177



178



179



177















[1]   Impairments for 2011 related to our Piceance, Tri-State, East Texas, and Iron Horse developments, all onshore US assets, due to a significant decline in the natural gas prices, specifically during fourth quarter of 2011. Impairments for 2010 related to our Iron Horse development, an onshore US area, our non-core New Albany Shale assets, our investment in the Noa/Noa South development, offshore Israel and certain other Gulf of Mexico assets.


[2]  Gain on divestitures in 2011 relates to the transfer of assets and exit from Ecuador and in 2010 relates to the sale of non-core US onshore assets.


[3]  Amount for 2011 represents stand-by rig expense incurred prior to receiving permit to resume drilling activities in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Amount for 2010 represents costs to terminate a deepwater Gulf of Mexico drilling rig contract due to the Federal Deepwater Moratorium.


[4]  The net tax effects are determined by calculating the tax provision for GAAP Net Income, which includes the adjusting items, and comparing the results to the tax provision for Adjusted Earnings, which excludes the adjusting items.  The difference in the tax provision calculations represents the tax impact of the adjusting items listed here. The calculation is performed at the end of each quarter and, as a result, the tax rates for each discrete period may be different.


[5]  Adjusted earnings should not be considered a substitute for net income (loss) as reported in accordance with GAAP.  Adjusted earnings is provided for comparison to earnings forecasts prepared by analysts and other third parties. Our management believes, and certain investors may find, that adjusted earnings is beneficial in evaluating our financial performance as it excludes the impact of significant non-cash items. We believe such measures can facilitate comparisons of operating performance between periods and with our peers.


[6]  The diluted weighted average number of shares outstanding used to calculate "Adjusted Earnings Per Diluted Share" for the three months ended December 31, 2011 was 179 million shares.



Schedule 2

Noble Energy, Inc.

Summary Statement of Operations

(in millions, except per share amounts, unaudited)












Three Months Ended


Year Ended



December 31,


December 31,



2011


2010


2011


2010

Revenues









Crude oil and condensate


$   653


$  482


$ 2,373


$ 1,795

Natural gas


216


187


899


834

NGLs


68


61


264


203

Income from equity method investees


48


33


195


118

Other revenues


-


20


32


72

Total revenues


985


783


3,763


3,022

Operating Expenses









Lease operating expense


109


93


397


376

Production and Ad Valorem taxes


38


29


146


125

Transportation expense


22


18


75


69

Exploration expense


85


78


279


245

Depreciation, depletion and amortization


283


221


965


883

General and administrative


87


83


341


277

(Gain) loss on divestitures


1


1


(25)


(113)

Asset impairments


620


44


759


144

Other operating expense, net


41


14


86


64

Total operating expenses


1,286


581


3,023


2,070

Operating Income (Loss)


(301)


202


740


952

Other (Income) Expense









(Gain) loss on commodity derivative instruments


137


123


(42)


(157)

Interest, net of amount capitalized


14


11


65


72

Other expense (income), net


18


(1)


2


6

Total other (income) expense


169


133


25


(79)

Income (Loss) Before Taxes


(470)


69


715


1,031

Income Tax Provision (Benefit)


(174)


17


262


306

Net Income (Loss)


$  (296)


$    52


$    453


$    725










Earnings (Loss) Per Share, Basic


$ (1.67)


$ 0.29


$   2.57


$   4.15

Earnings (Loss) Per Share, Diluted


(1.67)


0.29


2.54


4.10










Weighted Average Number of Shares Outstanding, Basic


177


175


176


175

Weighted Average Number of Shares Outstanding, Diluted


177


178


179


177



Schedule 3

Noble Energy, Inc.

Volume and Price Statistics

(unaudited)












Three Months Ended


Year Ended



December 31,


December 31,



2011


2010


2011


2010

Crude Oil and Condensate Sales Volumes (MBbl/d)









United States


39


37


38


39

Equatorial Guinea


19


13


14


11

North Sea


8


10


8


10

China


4


4


4


4

Total consolidated operations


70


64


64


64

Equity method investee


2


1


2


2

Total sales volumes


72


65


66


66

Crude Oil and Condensate Realized Prices ($/Bbl)









United States


$   95.45


$ 80.52


$   95.19


$ 75.03

Equatorial Guinea


105.90


86.11


107.57


78.44

North Sea


112.90


89.28


112.97


80.24

China


109.37


80.77


106.19


75.15

Consolidated average realized prices


$ 101.12


$ 83.02


$ 100.93


$ 76.46










Natural Gas Sales Volumes (MMcf/d)









United States


432


402


388


400

Equatorial Guinea


250


243


245


226

Israel


150


131


173


130

North Sea


4


4


5


6

Ecuador


-


17


-


25

Total sales volumes


836


797


811


787

Natural Gas Realized Prices ($/Mcf)









United States


$     3.42


$   3.57


$     3.90


$   4.17

Equatorial Guinea


0.27


0.27


0.27


0.27

Israel


5.10


3.87


4.86


4.03

North Sea


9.09


5.83


8.11


5.35

Average realized prices


$     2.81


$   2.61


$     3.04


$   3.00










Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) Sales Volumes (MBbl/d)









United States


16


15


15


14

Equity method investee


6


7


5


5

Total sales volumes


22


22


20


19

Natural Gas Liquids Realized Prices ($/Bbl)









United States


$   46.11


$ 43.88


$   48.35


$ 41.21










Barrels of Oil Equivalent Volumes (MBoe/d)









United States


127


119


117


119

Equatorial Guinea


61


53


56


49

Israel


25


22


29


22

North Sea


9


10


9


11

Ecuador


-


3


-


4

China


4


4


4


4

Total consolidated operations


226


211


215


209

Equity method investee


7


8


7


7

Total barrels of oil equivalent (Mboe/d)


233


219


222


216

Barrels of oil equivalent volumes (MMBoe)


21


20


81


79



Schedule 4

Noble Energy, Inc.

Condensed Balance Sheets

(in millions)








December 31,



2011


2010

Assets





Current Assets





Cash and cash equivalents


$   1,455


$   1,081

Accounts receivable, net


783


556

Other current assets


180


201

   Total current assets


2,418


1,838

Net property, plant and equipment


12,782


10,264

Goodwill


696


696

Other noncurrent assets


548


484

Total Assets


$ 16,444


$ 13,282






Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity





Current Liabilities





Accounts payable - trade


$   1,343


$      927

 Other current liabilities


925


495

   Total current liabilities


2,268


1,422

Long-term debt


4,100


2,272

Deferred income taxes


2,059


2,110

Other noncurrent liabilities


752


630

Total Liabilities


9,179


6,434






Total Shareholders' Equity


7,265


6,848

Total Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity


$ 16,444


$ 13,282



Schedule 5

Noble Energy, Inc.

Discretionary Cash Flow and Reconciliation to Operating Cash Flow

(in millions, unaudited)





















Three Months Ended


Year Ended



December 31,


December 31,



2011


2010


2011


2010










Adjusted Earnings [1]


$    211


$ 185


$    947


$    746

Adjustments to reconcile adjusted earnings to discretionary cash flow:









Depreciation, depletion and amortization


283


221


965


883

Exploration expense


85


78


279


245

(Income)/distributions from equity method investments, net


7


15


30


21

Deferred compensation (income) expense


23


11


8


15

Deferred income taxes


44


17


204


31

Stock-based compensation expense


15


14


58


54

Other


9


(3)


9


(14)

Discretionary Cash Flow [2]


$    677


$ 538


$ 2,500


$ 1,981










Reconciliation to Operating Cash Flows









Net changes in working capital


(259)


24


(156)


158

Cash exploration costs


(37)


(77)


(175)


(187)

Current tax expense of earnings adjustments


5


4


-


12

Stand-by rig expense [3]


-


-


(18)


(27)

Other adjustments


(1)


5


19


9

Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities


$    385


$ 494


$ 2,170


$ 1,946










Capital expenditures (accrual based)


$ 1,039


$ 596


$ 3,024


$ 2,143

Increase in FPSO lease obligation


10


78


66


266

Marcellus Shale Asset Acquisition [4]


75


-


1,308


-

DJ Basin Asset Acquisition


-


-


-


498

Total Capital Expenditures (Accrual Based)


$ 1,124


$ 674


$ 4,398


$ 2,907










Proceeds from Divestitures


$         -


$   12


$      77


$    564










[1]  See Schedule 1, Reconciliation of Net Income to Adjusted Earnings.


[2]  The table above reconciles discretionary cash flow to net cash provided by operating activities. Adjustments for capitalized interest were retrospectively removed from our discretionary cash flow calculation as of March 31, 2011. While discretionary cash flow is not a GAAP measure of financial performance, our management believes it is a useful tool for evaluating our overall financial performance. Among our management, research analysts, portfolio managers and investors, discretionary cash flow is broadly used as an indicator of a company's ability to fund exploration and production activities and meet financial obligations. Discretionary cash flow is also commonly used as a basis to value and compare companies in the oil and gas industry.


[3]  Amount for 2011 represents stand-by rig expense incurred prior to receiving permit to resume drilling activities in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Amount for 2010 represents costs to terminate a deepwater Gulf of Mexico drilling rig contract due to the Federal Deepwater Moratorium


[4]  Year ended December 31, 2011, includes $69 million representing our initial investment in CONE Gathering LLC.



Schedule 6

Noble Energy, Inc.

Effect of Commodity Derivative Instruments

(in millions, unaudited)










Three Months Ended


Year Ended



December 31,


December 31,



2011


2010


2011


2010

Reclassification from Accumulated Other









  Comprehensive Loss (AOCL) to Revenue [1]









Crude Oil


$      -


$     5


$       -


$    19

Natural Gas


-


-


-


1

Total Revenue Decrease


$      -


$     5


$       -


$    20










(Gain) Loss on Commodity Derivative Instruments









Crude oil









Realized


$     8


$   19


$    44


$    23

Unrealized


173


94


5


35

Total crude oil


$ 181


$ 113


$    49


$    58

Natural gas









Realized


$ (33)


$ (41)


$ (108)


$ (110)

Unrealized


(11)


51


17


(105)

Total natural gas


(44)


10


(91)


(215)

Total (Gain) Loss on Commodity Derivative Instruments


$ 137


$ 123


$   (42)


$ (157)










Summary of Cash Settlements









Realized (gain) on commodity derivative instruments


$ (25)


$ (22)


$   (64)


$   (87)

Amounts reclassified from AOCL


-


5


-


20

Cash settlements (received) paid


$ (25)


$ (17)


$   (64)


$   (67)










[1]  The amounts reclassified from AOCL represented deferred unrealized hedge gains and losses.  All hedge gains or losses had been reclassified to revenues by December 31, 2010.



Schedule 7

Noble Energy, Inc.

Supplemental Data

(in millions)

(Unaudited)













2011 Costs Incurred in Oil and Gas Activities


United States

Int'l [1]

Total

Property acquisition costs





Proved



$                392

$       -

$    392

Unproved


942

40

982

Total acquisition costs


1,334

40

1,374

Exploration costs


241

352

593

Development costs [2]


1,511

955

2,466

   Subtotal costs incurred


3,086

1,347

4,433

Increase in FPSO Lease Obligation


-

66

66

Total costs incurred


$             3,086

$ 1,413

$ 4,499













Reconciliation to Capital Spending (accrual basis)




Total costs incurred




$ 4,499

Exploration overhead




(95)

Lease rentals




(4)

Asset retirement obligations




(128)

Total oil and gas spending




4,272

CONE LLC Investment




69

Other capital




57

Total capital spending (accrual basis)




$ 4,398













Proved Reserves [4]


United States

Int'l [3]

Total

Total Barrel Oil Equivalents (MMBoe)





Beginning reserves - December 31, 2010


496

596

1,092

Revisions of previous estimates


(45)

(5)

(50)

Extensions, discoveries and other additions


97

83

180

Purchase of minerals in place


68

-

68

Sale of minerals in place


-

-

-

Production


(43)

(38)

(81)

Ending reserves - December 31, 2011


573

636

1,209







Proved Developed Reserves (MMBoe)





December 31, 2010


312

190

502

December 31, 2011


333

171

504







[1]  International includes Equatorial Guinea, Israel, Cameroon, Cyprus, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, North Sea, China, France and Nicaragua.


[2]  Includes ARO costs of $115 million for United States and $13 million for Int'l.


[3]  International includes Equatorial Guinea, Israel, North Sea and China.


[4]  Netherland, Sewell & Associates, Inc. performed an audit of approximately 90% of Noble Energy's year-end 2011 total proved reserves and concluded the Company's estimates of proved reserves, in the aggregate, are reasonable and have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted petroleum engineering and evaluation principles.



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