Tulsa-based oil and gas producer WPX Energy Inc. reported Monday that total proved reserves at year’s end grew 9 percent over 2010.

The Williams Cos. Inc. spinoff, which went public in early January, reached nearly 5.3 trillion cubic feet equivalent — oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids — as of Dec. 31. The company added 931 billion cubic feet equivalent to the reserves through drilling last year, 57 percent higher than the 2010 drilling addition of 528 bcfe.

WPX increased its percentage of oil and natural gas liquids in the proved reserves mix for 2011. The company said 77 percent of its total proved reserves was in natural gas, down from 83 percent in the previous year.

“Oil and gas liquids are rapidly taking a more prominent space in our portfolio, becoming the primary driver for reserves growth,” CEO Ralph Hill said in a statement.

The company also forecast spending up to $1.2 billion on capital projects in 2012. The original forecast was a range of $1.2 billion to $1.8 billion made prior to the downturn in natural gas prices.

Nearly all of the WPX capital spending is marked for its core areas in the Bakken Shale of North Dakota, Piceance Basin of Colorado and Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. The company said it plans to add a sixth rig in the Bakken Shale by midyear. The rig count will be decreased slightly in the Piceance and Marcellus.

Oil and NGL production will account for about 65 percent of the capital spending, according to WPX.

The company is scheduled to release its first stand-alone earnings report Feb. 23.

Rod Walton 918-581-8457


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