Talisman Energy Review

By Eric Fox | May 19, 2010 AAA

Talisman Energy (NYSE:TLM) highlighted its continuing transformation to what the company calls "long-term, profitable growth" during a series of analyst meetings held for investors. The company hopes to achieve production growth of 5-10% in 2011, through the development of core properties in North America, Southeast Asia and the North Sea.

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North America

Talisman Energy has spent the last few years building large positions in several emerging unconventional resource plays in North America. The company has 218,000 acres in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, and expects to exit 2010 with production from here of between 250-300 million cubic feet equivalent (mmcfe) per day.

Talisman Energy is also developing the Montney Shale in British Columbia, where it has 170,000 acres under lease, and expects production between 40 and 60 mmcfe per day by the end of the year. Other operators in the Montney Shale include Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ)

Talisman Energy is also kicking off the development of two other shale plays. The company is running a one-rig program in the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas, and is drilling five horizontal test wells in the Canadian portion of the Utica Shale in Quebec.

Forest Oil (NYSE:FST) is also testing acreage prospective for the Utica Shale in Quebec, and has 330,000 gross acres under lease.

While Talisman Energy was establishing these positions, the company was selling off much of its conventional asset base. The company will have just under half its production from shale basins by 2011, up from nothing in 2008. This has also lowered the company's breakeven point from $8.50 per Mcf in 2008, to an estimated $3-$4 per Mcf by 2011.

North Sea

Talisman Energy has an established core operation in the North Sea, and many other prospects in English and Norwegian waters. The company will use this inventory to sustain production over the next decade of between 110,000 and 140,000 barrels oil equivalent (BOE) per day.

One of these projects is the Yme Field in Norway. This is a redevelopment of a field originally owned by Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO) that was shut down at the beginning of the decade. Talisman Energy expects the first oil from here in the second half of 2010.

Southeast Asia

In Southeast Asia, Talisman Energy has recent obtained new licenses to expand their operations through Vietnam and Indonesia. The company also has sanctioned projects or licenses to explore in Malaysia, Australia. The company expects 8-10% production growth through 2014 in this region. Within the last year, Talismans land, production, and 2P reserves have increased in Southeast Asia.

Europe

Another potential upside for Talisman Energy is the development of shale gas in Europe. The company has interests in three separate concessions in Poland. The company plans to conduct seismic and three test wells through 2012.

The strategy update provided by Talisman Energy at its recent analyst meeting shows good progress on the company's plan to achieve sustainable, profitable growth at a cost structure competitive with its peers. (For more oil and gas stock analysis, check out Granite Wash Attracts More Capital.)

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