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Record Production of 58.1 MBOE/D Exceeds Guidance as Midstream Transactions Enhance Cash Position and Marketing Strategy

Sanchez Energy Corporation (SN) (“Sanchez Energy” or the “Company”), today announced operating results for the fourth quarter of 2015 and updates to the 2016 capital budget. Highlights from operations include:

  • Record production of 5.4 million barrels of oil equivalent reported by Sanchez Energy for an average production of 58,115 barrels of oil equivalent per day (“BOE/D”) during the fourth quarter of 2015
  • Better than expected production results during the fourth quarter of 2015 were driven by Catarina production of 46,030 BOE/D, the highest quarterly production level recorded to date from the asset, as well as strong performance from new wells in the Cotulla area
  • Record quarterly average daily production of 58,115 BOE/D
  • Average well costs at Catarina for the fourth quarter of 2015 were $3.5 million per well
  • Completed the 50-well annual drilling commitment at Catarina for the period July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016, which provides the Company with significant financial flexibility in 2016
  • Closed the Western Catarina Midstream Divestiture during the fourth quarter of 2015 for approximately $345 million in cash
  • Entered a joint venture with Targa Resources Partners LP (NGLS) (“Targa”) during the fourth quarter of 2015 to construct a cryogenic processing plant and high pressure gathering pipelines near Catarina, which is expected to provide a path to improved yields, lower processing fees, and significant marketing benefits
  • 2016 Capital Budget guidance lowered to $200 – $250 million that is expected to maintain nearly flat year-over-year average production, a reduction of $50 million from prior estimates resulting from improved well results and cost efficiencies

MANAGEMENT COMMENTS

“2015 was a strong year for Sanchez Energy,” said Tony Sanchez, III, Chief Executive Officer of Sanchez Energy. “Record-high production and improved well economics, including efficiency gains leading to as much as 60% lower well costs, in addition to two pivotal midstream transactions have positioned us with the financial flexibility and tailwinds for our expected continued success in 2016’s commodity price environment and beyond.”

“During the fourth quarter of 2015, we continued to realize significant operational success, which resulted in higher production levels and declining well costs,” he continued. “Production for the fourth quarter of 2015 averaged approximately 58,115 BOE/D, significantly above the high end of our guidance range of 48,000 to 52,000 BOE/D for the quarter. Results were driven by Catarina production of 46,030 BOE/D, the highest quarterly production level recorded to date from the asset, as well as strong performance from new wells in the Cotulla area. Our fourth quarter of 2015 record production represents an increase of approximately 32% when compared to fourth quarter of 2014 production. For the full year, our 2015 average production was approximately 52,560 BOE/D, an increase of approximately 72% over 2014 average daily production.”

“At Catarina, well performance continues to exceed our initial expectations as we have extended the efficiency gains realized since acquiring the asset in 2014. We are now routinely drilling and completing wells at Catarina for approximately $3.5 million per well, which represents a reduction of almost 60% when compared to average well costs around the time of our acquisition.”

“As of January 1, 2016, we have successfully met the 50 well drilling commitment at Catarina for the period July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016. Since we can bank up to 30 wells drilled during the remaining term of this commitment period towards the next annual drilling commitment period, which runs from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017, we have significant financial flexibility to execute our plans in 2016. At the same time, efficiency gains and cost reduction efforts continue to deliver positive results, which improve our well economics and should promote continuing success in today’s commodity price environment.”

“Based on the strength of our 2015 operating performance, we are reducing our 2016 upstream capital spending guidance to a range of $200 million to $250 million, a $50 million reduction from our previous estimates. Our 2016 upstream capital budget is expected to maintain production roughly equal to that of 2015.”

“During the fourth quarter of 2015, we also closed two important midstream transactions that are expected to better position Sanchez Energy for the future. The first, the Western Catarina Midstream Divestiture, improved our cash position heading into 2016 by approximately $345 million. The second, a joint venture with Targa to construct a cryogenic processing plant and a high pressure gathering pipeline near Catarina, is expected to provide a path to improved yields, lower processing fees, and significant marketing benefits in the years to come. Since the joint venture assets are expected to provide stable cash flows over time, we will continue to explore potential alternative financing or other options to maintain our liquidity as the project develops. We look forward to updating the investment community as our plans advance.”

OPERATIONS UPDATE

During the fourth quarter of 2015, the Company spud 14 gross wells (13.5 net) wells, and completed 29 gross wells (29 net wells). At Catarina, fourth quarter of 2015 development was focused primarily in Western and South-Central Catarina.

Well costs at Catarina in the fourth quarter of 2015 averaged approximately $3.5 million per well. Well costs at Catarina continue to trend down, with recent pad averages below $3.5 million per well. Well cost reductions have come primarily as a result of efficiency improvements, which have been realized without modifications to well design.

As of December 31, 2015, the Company had 621 gross (505 net) producing wells with 15 gross (11.5 net) wells in various stages of completion, as detailed in the following table:

Project Area Gross
Producing Wells
Gross
Wells Waiting/ Undergoing Completion
Catarina 287 8
Marquis 103
Cotulla / Wycross 145
Palmetto 72 7
TMS / Other 14
Total 621 15

PRODUCTION UPDATE

The Company’s estimated total production for the fourth quarter of 2015 was approximately 5,347 thousand barrels of oil equivalent (“MBOE”) (58,115 BOE/D), which represents an approximately 32% increase over the fourth quarter of 2014. The Company’s fourth quarter of 2015 production significantly exceeded the high end of the Company’s production guidance for the quarter, which ranged from 48,000 to 52,000 BOE/D. The Company’s production mix during the fourth quarter of 2015 consisted of approximately 34% oil, 35% natural gas, and 31% natural gas liquids (“NGLs”). Total production volumes are summarized in the following table:

Q4 2015   Q4 2014   % Change   Q4 2015   Q3 2015   % Change
Total Production Volumes
Oil (MBbls) 1,793 1,822 -2% 1,793 1,671 7%
Natural Gas (MMcf) 11,377 6,621 72% 11,377 10,090 13%
NGLs (MBbls) 1,657 1,113 49% 1,657 1,509 10%
Total Production Volumes (MBOE) 5,347 4,038 32% 5,347 4,862 10%
Average Daily Production Volumes
Oil (Bbls/d) 19,488 19,806 -2% 19,488 18,166 7%
Natural Gas (Mcf/d) 123,665 71,964 72% 123,665 109,671 13%
NGLs (Bbls/d) 18,016 12,093 49% 18,016 16,400 10%
Total Production Volumes (BOE/D) 58,115 43,893 32% 58,115 52,844 10%

ABOUT SANCHEZ ENERGY CORPORATION

Sanchez Energy Corporation is an independent exploration and production company focused on the acquisition and development of unconventional oil resources in the onshore U.S. Gulf Coast, with a current focus on the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas where we have assembled approximately 200,000 net acres, and the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale. For more information about Sanchez Energy Corporation, please visit our website: www.sanchezenergycorp.com.