Black Stone Minerals, L.P. (NYSE:BSM) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Nov 05, 2019 • 10:00 am ET


Black Stone Minerals, L.P. (NYSE:BSM) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Thomas L. Carter

for natural gas and lower NGL realizations.

Distributable cash flow was down a bit for the quarter, but we were able to maintain our distribution at $0.37 per common unit, while generating excess distribution coverage, which allowed us to pay down $23 million of debt in the quarter. At the end of the third quarter, we had a total of 97 drilling rigs operating on our acreage. Over 60% of those are running in the Midland and Delaware Basins. Both the Haynesville and the Bakken had 10% or more share of our rig count, with the balance spread across the entire portfolio.

We continue to see good levels of permitting activity and well additions, despite the general slowdown in drilling activity. During the quarter, we added 4.8 net wells on our acreage. Consistent with what we've seen over the last year, the largest contributors were the Midland and Delaware Basins with 1.7 net wells, the Haynesville, Bakken and Eagle Ford contributed a further 2.1 net wells, with the remaining net wells coming from outside the top 4 plays.

In 2018, we added 21 net wells across our acreage, which was a Company-record. Year-to-date, we've added little over 16 net wells. So, I think we have a great chance to meet or beat that record in 2019. In fact, we're aware of approximately 10 net wells in the Permian alone that have recently been completed or are in the process of being completed. So, those wells could potentially move that number up meaningfully, if we see them come in this year.

In terms of permitting activity, we saw 454 horizontal permits added on our acreage during the third quarter, which was down slightly from 474 last quarter. The decrease related to fewer Eagle Ford permits, permitting activity was flat in both the Midland, Delaware area and the Haynesville, and we actually saw an increase in permitting in the Bakken. We didn't have any meaningful acquisitions during this quarter. The macro environment is frankly tough right now. And in response to that, we've pulled in our horns some on acquisition --- on the acquisition front and are being more selective. We haven't seen anything that we can't live without. We're being a bit more defensive at the moment. And while we're in that mode, we will prioritize paying down the revolver, which will position us for future acquisitions or share repurchases.

Last quarter, we discussed the slowdown in activity in the Shelby Trough, particularly on the part of BPX, formerly BP Lower 48. Following our earnings call, we received a number of inbound calls from various parties inquiring about that project. The level of genuine interest is encouraging and we're in discussions now with a few of those groups. Our focus has been on getting activity moving out there again as quickly as possible and I think things are proceeding well on that front. Obviously, the Shelby Trough is an important asset to us and has long-term implications on cash flow profile