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Certain statements in this document or documents incorporated herein by reference constitute forward-looking statements or information (collectively Certain statements relating to the Company in this document or documents incorporated herein by reference constitute forward-looking statements or information (collectively referred to herein as "forward-looking statements") within the meaning of applicable securities legislation. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the words "believe", "anticipate", "expect", "plan", "estimate", "target", "continue", "could" "intend", "may", "potential", "predict", "should", "will", "objective", "project", "forecast", "goal", "guidance", "outlook", "effort" "seeks", "schedule" or expressions of a similar nature suggesting future outcome or statements regarding an outlook. Disclosure related to expected future commodity pricing, production volumes, royalties, operating costs, capital expenditures, and other guidance provided in the 2010 outlook section and throughout this document and the documents incorporated herein by reference constitute forward looking statements. Disclosure of plans relating to existing and future developments including but not limited to Horizon, Primrose East, Pelican Lake, Olowi Field (Offshore Gabon), and the Kirby Thermal Oil Sands Project also constitute forward-looking statements. This forward-looking information is based on annual budgets and multi-year forecasts and is reviewed and revised throughout the year if necessary in the context of targeted financial ratios, project returns, product pricing expectations and balance in project risk and time horizons. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to certain risks. The reader should not place undue reliance on these forward looking statements as there can be no assurances that the plans, initiatives or expectations upon which they are based will occur.
In addition, statements relating to "reserves" are deemed to be forward-looking statements as they involve the implied assessment based on certain estimates and assumptions that the reserves described can be profitably produced in the future. There are numerous uncertainties inherent in estimating quantities of proved crude oil and natural gas reserves and in projecting future rates of production and the timing of development expenditures. The total amount or timing of actual future production may vary significantly from reserve and production estimates.
The forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about the Company and the industry in which the Company operates, which speak only as of the date such statements were made or as of the date of the report or document in which they are contained and are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others: general economic and business conditions which will, among other things, impact demand for and market prices of the Company’s products; volatility of and assumptions regarding crude oil and natural gas prices; fluctuations in currency and interest rates; assumptions on which the Company’s current guidance is based; economic conditions in the countries and regions in which the Company conducts business; political uncertainty, including actions of or against terrorists, insurgent groups or other conflict including conflict between states; industry capacity; ability of the Company to implement its business strategy, including exploration and development activities; impact of competition; the Company’s defense of lawsuits; availability and cost of seismic, drilling and other equipment; ability of the Company and its subsidiaries to complete its capital programs; the Company’s and its subsidiaries’ ability to secure adequate transportation for its products; unexpected difficulties in mining, extracting or upgrading the Company’s bitumen products; potential delays or changes in plans with respect to exploration or development projects or capital expenditures; ability of the Company to attract the necessary labour required to build its thermal and oil sands mining projects; operating hazards and other difficulties inherent in the exploration for and production and sale of crude oil and natural gas; availability and cost of financing; the Company’s and its subsidiaries’ success of exploration and development activities and their ability to replace and expand crude oil and natural gas reserves; timing and success of integrating the business and operations of acquired companies; production levels; imprecision of reserve estimates and estimates of recoverable quantities of crude oil, bitumen, natural gas and liquids not currently classified as proved; actions by governmental authorities; government regulations and the expenditures required to comply with them (especially safety and environmental laws and regulations and the impact of climate change initiatives on capital and operating costs); asset retirement obligations; the adequacy of the Company’s provision for taxes; and other circumstances affecting revenues and expenses. Certain of these factors are discussed in more detail under the heading "Risk Factors". The Company’s operations have been, and at times in the future may be affected by political developments and by federal, provincial and local laws and regulations such as restrictions on production, changes in taxes, royalties and other amounts payable to governments or governmental agencies, price or gathering rate controls and environmental protection regulations. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should any of the Company’s assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary in material respects from those projected in the forward-looking statements. The impact of any one factor on a particular forward-looking statement is not determinable with certainty as such factors are dependent upon other factors, and the Company’s course of action would depend upon its assessment of the future considering all information then available.
Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list of important factors is not exhaustive. Unpredictable or unknown factors not discussed in this report could also have material adverse effects on forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes that the expectations conveyed by the forward-looking statements are reasonable based on information available to it on the date such forward-looking statements are made, no assurances can be given as to future results, levels of activity and achievements. All subsequent forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, attributable to the Company or persons acting on its behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements. Except as required by law, the Company assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements should circumstances or Management’s estimates or opinions change.
Special Note Regarding Currency, Production and Reserves
In this document, all references to dollars refer to Canadian dollars unless otherwise stated. Production data is presented on a before royalties basis unless otherwise stated. In addition, reference is made to oil and gas in common units called barrel of oil equivalent (“boe”). A boe is derived by converting six thousand cubic feet of natural gas to one barrel of crude oil (6 mcf:1 bbl). This conversion may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation, since the 6mcf:1bbl ratio is based on an energy equivalency at the burner tip and does not represent the value equivalency at the well head.
National Instrument 51-101 Standards for Disclosure for Oil and Gas Activities (“NI 51-101”) of the Canadian Securities Administrators imposes requirements and standards for Canadian public companies engaged in oil and gas activities. The Company has an exemption from certain provisions under NI 51-101. This exemption allows the Company to substitute SEC requirements under Regulations S-K and S-X for certain disclosures required under NI 51-101. On December 31, 2008, the SEC released its final rules for the modernization of oil and gas reporting (“Final Rule”). The material changes include the ability to include oil sands mining as an oil and gas activity, ability to use reliable technology to establish undeveloped reserves, the optional ability to report probable reserves, the requirement to track undeveloped locations, as well as the directive to use 12-month average prices and current costs. These resulting changes are more in line with the NI 51-101, however, there are material differences to the type of volumes disclosed and the basis from which the volumes are determined. NI 51-101 requires gross reserves and future net revenue under forecast pricing and costs. The SEC requires disclosure of net reserves, after royalties, under 12-month average prices and current costs. The difference between the reported numbers under the two disclosure standards can be material.
For the year ended December 31, 2009 the Company retained qualified independent reserves evaluators (“IQRE”), Sproule Associates Limited (“Sproule”), and GLJ Petroleum Consultants Ltd. (“GLJ”), to evaluate and review all of the Company’s proved, as well as probable crude oil, synthetic crude oil, bitumen, coal bed methane, NGLs and natural gas reserves and prepare Evaluation Reports on these reserves. Sproule evaluated and reviewed all of the Company’s crude oil, bitumen, natural gas, coal bed methane and NGLs reserves. GLJ evaluated all of the synthetic crude oil reserves related to the Company’s oil sands mine.
Reserves estimates provided in this presentation are working interest volumes, before royalties, and are as of December 31, 2009. The reserves volumes provided are evaluated by IQRE under SEC guidelines using 12-month average prices and current costs.
Resources Other Than Reserves
The contingent resources other than reserves (“resources”) estimates provided in this presentation are evaluated in accordance to Canadian Oil and Gas Evaluation Handbook (“COGEH”) standards as directed under NI 51-101.
These estimates are evaluated internally. No independent third party evaluation or audit was completed. Resources provided are best estimates as of December 31, 2009. The resources are evaluated using deterministic methods which represent the expected outcome with no optimism or conservatism.
Resources, as per COGEH definition, are those quantities of petroleum estimated, as of a given date, to be potentially recoverable from know accumulations using established technology or technology under development, but are not currently considered commercially viable due to one or more contingencies. There is no certainty that it will be commercially viable to produce any portion of these resources.
Due to the inherent differences in standards and requirements employed in the evaluation of reserves and contingent resources the total volumes of reserves or resources are not to be considered indicative of total volumes that may actually recovered and are provided for illustrative purposes only.
Petroleum, bitumen or natural gas initially in place volumes provided are discovered resources which include: production, reserves, contingent resources and unrecoverable volumes.
Special Note Regarding non-GAAP Financial Measures
Management's discussion and analysis includes references to financial measures commonly used in the oil and gas industry, such as cash flow, cash flow per share and EBITDA (net earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation depletion and amortization, asset retirement obligation accretion, unrealized foreign exchange, stock-based compensation expense and unrealized risk management activity). These financial measures are not defined by generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) and therefore are referred to as non-GAAP measures. The non-GAAP measures used by the Company may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. The Company uses these non-GAAP measures to evaluate the performance of the Company and of its business segments. The non-GAAP measures should not be considered an alternative to or more meaningful than net earnings, as determined in accordance with Canadian GAAP, as an indication of the Company's performance.
Volumes shown are Company share before royalties unless otherwise stated.