NEP's newest addition, Tiancheng Drilling and Oil Services

On October 1st, China Northest Petroleum (NEP), announced that they acquired another company, Tiancheng Drilling Engineering Co. Ltd. As NEP put it in their press release, the "Acquisition Expands Company's Vertical Integration Within China's Oil E&P Industry." At the time I was interested to see the purchase, but also curious as to what the net financial effect would be, so I decided to wait until the Q3 10-Q before coming to a conclusion.

In the initial press release we received some nuggets of info on the new company and what it might add to NEP's overall revenues and earnings. Some highlights are listed below:

-NEP paid $13mil in cash for the entire company
-Seven rigs in operation.
-320 employees
-Capacity to drill 220 wells annually
-One of three PetroChina- licensed private drilling operators
-NEP has not utilized Tiancheng for drilling services in the past.
-2008 revenue of approximately $14.7 million, net profit of $5.2 million
-cash flow positive from operations.

For me the two key points from this release were the $5.2mil profit and the fact that they were also cash flow positive from operations. $5.2mil is extremely good considering it only cost $13mil to buy the whole company, so I wondered if perhaps 2009 was not being so kind to Tiancheng and thus I couldn't wait for the 10-Q to come out.
On Monday we were finally able to see Tiancheng's results during the first nine months of the year, and NEP also provided us with some addition pieces of information about their acquisition throughout the 10-Q. I've copied some from pages 28-29 below:

"Tiancheng enters into drilling contracts with PetroChina and other private oil companies to provide oilfield drilling services, and generates revenue based on the depth of each well drilled for clients. Clients will typically pay 30% of the total projected drilling costs as a down payment to start the drilling process, and pay the remaining balance within 12 months according to the specific contract term.
In the first nine months of 2009, Tiancheng has completed contracts to drill 80 shallow wells, which include 74 wells for state-owned PetroChina Jilin Branch and six wells for non-state-owned Daqing Shunwei Energy Development Co. Ltd. The total drilling depth accomplished this year is 105,896 meters (~347,428 feet), with the revenue of $14,700,455 and net income of $4,820,661 or $0.22 in fully-diluted, pro forma EPS for nine months ended September 30, 2009. Tiancheng currently has existing contracts to drill 86 additional wells, and more contracts are under negotiation to increase the utilization of rigs and continue to grow sales revenue"

Page 8 also shows the combined 3-month and 9-month results of the two companies. Below are three tables showing revenues and net income for NEP and Tiancheng as separate entities, and then results of the combined company if the transaction had occurred at the beginning of 2009.

A couple things also popped out at me looking at the numbers:
1. through the first 9 months Tiancheng completed 80 wells, generating $14.7mil in revenues, or about $185k per well.
2. NEP expects to generate about $13mil in Q4, which would mean completing 70 wells if the average revenue per well stayed the same.

It will be interesting to find out how almost as many wells will be done in the 4th Q as during the rest of the year. I assume that they are fully booked at the moment and that earlier some of their rigs were not being fully used, or perhaps some of the rigs were only purchased mid-year. Another possibility is the fact that drilling can be difficult during the rainy season.

What is clear to me is that this was a phenomenal purchase by NEP's management. Not only does this diversify the company's source of revenues, the purchase also increases the top line of the combined company by about 50% and the bottom line by 65% for 2009 (using Q4 est provided)!! NEP now has another steady source of cashflows that will allow it to continue its expansion program even if oil prices fall into the $40s again.

PS: Watch for my 2010 pr0jections post coming in the next couple days.

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