From PDC Energy:

DENVER, Feb. 27, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PDC Energy, Inc. ("PDC" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:PDCE) today reported its 2012 fourth quarter and year-end financial and operating results.

In mid-February 2013, the Company flow tested its second horizontal Utica Shale well in Guernsey County, Ohio. The Detweiler 42-3H well tested through tubing at a peak rate of 2,197 barrels of oil equivalent ("Boe") per day on a 20/64" choke with an average rate of 2,039 Boe per day for 24 consecutive hours. The Detweiler 42-3H well flow test was conducted following a 60-day resting period. Based upon composition analysis, the gas being produced is 1,263 BTU rich gas. Assuming full ethane recovery with a natural gas shrink of 21%, the composition mix of the production is 49% condensate, 26% NGLs and 25% residue gas. The well was drilled to a lateral length of 3,868 feet and completed with 13 frac stages. The Company is currently drilling a three-well pad in Guernsey County, which will be followed by two horizontal wells in Washington County, Ohio.

2012 Highlights

PDC focused on expanding its inventory of liquid-rich projects in 2012 and increasing its ratio of oil and natural gas liquids ("NGLs") to total production. Some of the key events that took place during the year were:

Total proved reserves at year-end 2012 increased 14% from year-end 2011 to approximately 1.2 trillion cubic feet equivalent (Tcfe). Oil and NGLs made up 48% of proved reserves at year-end 2012.

Total 3P (proved, probable and possible) reserves increased approximately 70% from year-end 2011 to 3.6 Tcfe at year-end 2012.

PDC acquired approximately 30,000 net acres and related production in the core Wattenberg Field.

The Company increased its inventory of drilling locations to over 1,400 proved and probable locations in the core Wattenberg Field through downspacing and the Wattenberg Field acquisition.

PDC completed its acquisition of approximately 45,000 net acres in the emerging liquid-rich Utica Shale play in southeastern Ohio and began a drilling program to delineate and de-risk its leasehold position.

The Company strengthened its balance sheet and liquidity in 2012 through a series of transactions:

PDC closed the divestiture of its Permian Basin assets for $189 million.

The Company closed an equity offering of 6.5 million shares of common stock for net proceeds of approximately $164 million.

In October, PDC completed a private placement of $500 million of 7.75% Senior Notes due in 2022. Additionally, in November, the Company redeemed its $203 million of 12% Senior Notes due in 2018.

The Company's available liquidity position as of December 31, 2012 was $399 million, compared to $196 million as of December 31, 2011.

In February 2013, PDC announced an agreement to sell its non-core Colorado natural gas assets for approximately $200 million, positioning the Company to accelerate development of its liquid-rich horizontal programs in the core Wattenberg Field and Utica Shale. Completion of the expected sale will further strengthen the Company's liquidity position.

James Trimble, Chief Executive Officer and President, commented, "We have made major strides in the last 14 months to reshape PDC Energy and position the Company for organic liquid-rich growth. We added to our excellent inventory of liquid-rich projects in the core Wattenberg Field and Utica Shale, divested non-core assets, and improved our capital structure and liquidity position. Our efforts during 2012 should allow us to execute our 2013 capital plan to accelerate liquids production and improve our operating margins. Pro-forma for the planned sale of non-core Colorado natural gas assets, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013, our year-end 2012 proved reserves are approximately 52% liquids. Our production in 2013 is also expected to be over 50% liquids, which accomplishes our goal of a better balanced portfolio of liquids and natural gas. Looking forward, we will focus on horizontal drilling within our three core areas in the Wattenberg, Utica and Marcellus Shale as we continue our efforts to make PDC an increasingly dynamic E&P company and add value for our shareholders."