EnCana's North American proved natural gas reserves grow 24 percent to 10.5 trillion cubic feet

Drill bit production replacement of gas exceeds 200 percent

CALGARY, Feb. 16 /CNW/ - EnCana Corporation (TSX & NYSE: ECA) delivered
strong growth in North American natural gas reserves and sales in 2004. Proved
gas reserves increased 24 percent to 10.5 trillion cubic feet and the
company's daily gas sales increased 17 percent to 3.0 billion cubic feet per
day. Organic gas production replacement was 204 percent. When acquisitions and
divestitures are included, EnCana's gas production replacement was
286 percent, meaning that the company added more than 3 trillion cubic feet of
proved reserves compared to the 1.1 trillion cubic feet produced in 2004.
EnCana's total proved gas, oil and natural gas liquids (NGLs) reserve
additions, net of acquisitions and divestitures, were 3.2 trillion cubic feet
equivalent, excluding the downward bitumen reserves revision based on year-end
pricing announced February 1, 2005. All of EnCana's proved reserves estimates
are prepared by independent qualified reserves evaluators.

IMPORTANT NOTE: EnCana's year-end reserves and operating results follow
U.S. protocols, which report reserves and sales on an after-royalties basis.
All financial information contained in this news release is in U.S. dollars
and is based on preliminary, unaudited financial results.
"Our natural gas resource plays continue to deliver strong growth in
production and reserves. During the past year, we undertook several major
steps in sharpening our strategic focus on North American unconventional
resources. The acquisition of Tom Brown, Inc. and the sale of our U.K. North
Sea assets were major strides in accomplishing that objective. With the
addition of 2.2 trillion cubic feet of proved reserves through the drill bit
plus another 0.9 trillion cubic feet of net reserve additions through
acquisitions and divestitures, we have grown the underlying value of the
company and net asset value of each share," said Gwyn Morgan, EnCana's
President & Chief Executive Officer.
The company's divestiture of its U.K. North Sea assets and mature
conventional Canadian oil properties offset drill bit reserve additions of
oil. This means that essentially all of the company's proved reserves growth
in 2004 was North American natural gas.
Three years of strong production replacement at profitable costs
"During each year of EnCana's operations, production replacement has
averaged nearly 200 percent, excluding the 2004 bitumen revision. In 2004 the
combination of drilling, acquisitions and divestitures generated a reserve
replacement cost of $1.40 per thousand cubic feet equivalent, excluding the
bitumen revision, compared with EnCana's average netback after operating and
administration costs of $4.00 per thousand cubic feet equivalent. This yields
a recycle ratio of almost 2.9 times, which is a strong indicator of the value
our teams have created. Even though demand for services has fuelled overall
industry cost inflation and the rising Canadian dollar has increased costs, we
have achieved very consistent and competitive reserve replacement costs over
the past three years averaging $1.42 per thousand cubic feet equivalent," said
Randy Eresman, EnCana's Chief Operating Officer.
2004 natural gas and oil sales increase 16 percent
EnCana's 2004 natural gas, oil and NGLs sales increased 16 percent to
average 4.6 Bcfe per day (760,000 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day),
which is comprised of 3.0 billion cubic per day of gas sales and 260,000
barrels of oil and NGLs sales per day. This is at the upper end of the
investor guidance of between 4.35 Bcfe and 4.59 Bcfe per day (725,000 and
765,000 BOE per day). EnCana drilled 4,955 net wells in 2004, comprised of
4,343 development and 612 exploration wells.
Bitumen reserve additions of 76 million barrels, before revision
While delivering profitable results for the year as a whole, bitumen
production from oilsands was subject to abnormally low prices at year end. As
previously announced on February 1, 2005, due to the requirements of the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that year-end pricing be used for the
calculation of reserve estimates, EnCana removed approximately 363 million
barrels of Foster Creek bitumen reserves from the proved category. This
revision included approximately 76 million barrels of bitumen reserves which
EnCana has included as reserve additions in 2004. The SEC rules require that
reserves be evaluated on the single day field price of the commodity at the
effective date of the evaluation - December 31, 2004, which was a day when
oilsands prices were less than 15 percent of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) -
the North American benchmark for light crude oil pricing. Historically,
bitumen prices have averaged about 50 percent of WTI and if January 2005
prices, which averaged 30 percent of WTI, were used in the reserve calculation
no negative revision of EnCana's bitumen reserves would have occurred. The
company plans to continue to invest in expansion of its oilsands production.
Oil and NGLs additions in 2004 offset by divestiture of conventional
oil reserves
EnCana discovered and acquired about 233 million barrels of proved oil
and NGLs reserves in 2004, essentially equal to the 231 million barrels of
conventional oil reserves sold. About 55 percent of the sold reserves were
contained in the company's $2.1 billion sale of its U.K. North Sea properties.
Excluding the bitumen revisions, EnCana added 182 million barrels organically,
which represents a 191 percent production replacement.
The company previously announced plans to divest of its Ecuador and Gulf
of Mexico assets in 2005, which accounted for reserves of 183 million barrels
of oil equivalent at year-end 2004. Accordingly, the U.K. and Ecuador results
have been treated as discontinued operations for financial reporting purposes.
Gas reserves additions found in North American resource plays
EnCana's gas reserves additions were primarily in Cutbank Ridge in
British Columbia, coalbed methane and shallow gas in southern Alberta, Jonah
and Piceance in the U.S. Rockies, plus Fort Worth, East Texas and the Permian
in Texas. Oil reserve additions were primarily in the Tahiti discovery in the
Gulf of Mexico and Foster Creek in Alberta.
Capital investment in reserve additions
In 2004, EnCana achieved net reserve additions of 3.16 trillion cubic
feet of gas equivalent through net capital investment of $4,434 million,
resulting in a reserve replacement cost of $1.40 per thousand cubic feet
equivalent, excluding the downward revision of bitumen reserves.
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2004 proved reserves reconciliation
---------------------------------------------------------
Natural gas
(Bcf)
Canada USA UK Total
---------------------------------------------------------
Start
of year 5,256 3,129 26 8,411
Revisions & improved
recovery 67 (252) - (185)
Extensions & discoveries 1,422 1,009 - 2,431
Acquisitions 65 1,150 10 1,225
Divestitures (215) (82) (25) (322)
Production (771) (318) (11) (1,100)
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Subtotal 5,824 4,636 - 10,460
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% Change 11 48 - 24
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Bitumen revision due to
low Dec. 31, 2004 prices - - - -
---------------------------------------------------------
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End of year 5,824 4,636 - 10,460
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% Change 11 48 - 24
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Proved reserves categorization - After bitumen revision
---------------------------------------------------------
Developed 4,406 2,496 - 6,902
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Undeveloped 1,418 2,140 - 3,558
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Total 5,824 4,636 - 10,460
---------------------------------------------------------
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Proved reserves categorization - Before bitumen revision
---------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------------
Developed 4,406 2,496 - 6,902
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Undeveloped 1,418 2,140 - 3,558
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Total 5,824 4,636 - 10,460
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2004 proved reserves reconciliation
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Crude oil and Natural Gas Liquids Total
(MMbbls) Bcfe
Canada USA Ecuador UK Total
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Start
of year 629.4 41.6 161.7 124.5 957.2 14,154
Revisions & improved
recovery 31.1(1) 0.2 (11.5) - 19.8 (66)
Extensions & discoveries 93.6(1) 47.6 21.2 - 162.4 3,405
Acquisitions 29.4 11.7 - 10.1 51.2 1,532
Divestitures (97.3) (5.4) - (128.4) (231.1) (1,708)
Production (56.6) (4.7) (28.1) (6.2) (95.6) (1,674)
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Subtotal 629.6 91.0 143.3 - 863.9 15,643
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% Change 0 119 (11) - (10) 11
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Bitumen revision due to
low Dec. 31, 2004 prices (362.7) - - - (362.7) (2,176)
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End of year 266.9 91.0 143.3 - 501.2 13,467
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% Change (58) 119 (11) - (48) (5)
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Proved reserves categorization - After bitumen revision
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Developed 210.2 31.5 122.5 - 364.2 9,087
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Undeveloped 56.7 59.5 20.8 - 137.0 4,380
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Total 266.9 91.0 143.3 - 501.2 13,467
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Proved reserves categorization - Before bitumen revision
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Developed 263.6 31.5 122.5 - 417.6 9,408
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Undeveloped 366.0 59.5 20.8 - 446.3 6,235
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Total 629.6 91.0 143.3 - 863.9 15,643
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1. Includes 75.8 million barrels of additions during 2004 subject to
bitumen revision due to low Dec. 31, 2004 prices.
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Cumulative
Capital investment ($ millions) 2004(2) 2003 2002(3) 2002-04
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Finding and development 4,792 4,095 2,549 11,436
Acquisitions 3,469 558 719 4,746
Divestitures (3,827) (312) (385) (4,524)
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Net capital investment 4,434 4,341 2,883 11,658
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Total reserve additions (Bcfe) 3,163 2,893 2,147 8,203
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Reserve replacement cost ($/Mcfe) 1.40 1.50 1.34 1.42
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Finding and development cost 1.44 1.43 1.41 1.43
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Finding, development and
acquisition cost 1.70 1.46 1.33 1.54
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2. 2004 reserve additions presented here are before the downward
revision in bitumen reserves, announced February 1, 2005, totaling
362.7 million barrels. All 2004 and cumulative cost metrics are before
the bitumen revision.
3. All references to production, sales and financial information for
full year 2002 in this news release text and tables for EnCana are
presented on a pro forma basis as if the merger of PanCanadian Energy
Corporation ("PanCanadian" or "PCE") and Alberta Energy Company Ltd.
("AEC") had occurred at the beginning of 2002. Reserves and capital
investment results exclude EnCana's former interest in Syncrude which was
sold in 2003 and is treated as a discontinued operation.
EnCana sales highlights
-----------------------
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Operating Highlights
(for the period ended
December 31) Q4 Q4 % %
(After royalties) 2004 2003 change 2004 2003 change
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Continuing operations
North America Natural
Gas (MMcf/d)
Production (excluding
Tom Brown) 2,833 2,662 + 6 2,802 2,523 + 11
Tom Brown production 280 - n/a 172 - n/a
Inventory withdrawal/
(injection) (26) - n/a (6) 30 n/a
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Natural gas sales
(MMcf/d) 3,087 2,662 + 16 2,968 2,553 + 16
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North America Oil and
NGLs (bbls/d) 159,470 174,471 - 9 166,417 165,895 0
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Discontinued operations
U.K. natural gas
(MMcf/d) 22 20 + 10 30 13 + 131
U.K. oil and NGLs
(bbls/d) 10,260 15,067 - 32 15,973 10,128 + 58
Ecuador (bbls/d) 77,876 77,352 + 1 77,933 46,521 + 68
Syncrude (bbls/d) - - - - 7,629 -
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Total natural gas sales
(MMcf/d) 3,109 2,682 + 16 2,998 2,566 +17
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Total oil and NGLs
sales (bbls/d) 247,606 266,890 - 7 260,383 230,173 + 13
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Total sales (MMcfe/d) 4,595 4,283 + 7 4,560 3,947 + 16
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Total sales (BOE/d) 765,773 713,890 + 7 760,050 657,840 + 16
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Per share sales growth + 19
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Fourth quarter 2004 sales up 7 percent from 2003
EnCana's fourth quarter sales increased 7 percent to average 4.6 Bcfe per
day, which included a 16 percent increase in gas sales to 3.1 billion cubic
feet per day and a 7 percent decrease in oil and NGLs sales to 248,000 barrels
per day due to divestitures of the company's conventional oil properties in
Western Canada and the U.K. North Sea. EnCana drilled 958 net wells in the
fourth quarter of 2004, comprised of 811 development wells and 147 exploration
wells.
Resource plays continue strong growth across North America
Production from EnCana's key resource plays grew by 34 percent in 2004
compared to 2003, led by strong production growth in some of the company's
largest and most prolific plays: 73 percent growth in the Piceance, 61 percent
in Greater Sierra, and 17 percent in the 30-year-old Shallow Gas resource play
in southern Alberta. In some of the company's newest resource plays, fourth
quarter growth rates are significant due partly to the plays being in their
early days: Cutbank Ridge up twelve-fold in the past year, coalbed methane up
close to three-fold and Fort Worth up close to 286 percent. For oil, Foster
Creek in-situ oil production increased 32 percent in 2004 compared to 2003 and
an expansion is under construction that is expected to see production double
to 60,000 barrels of oil per day by the end of 2006. At Pelican Lake, 2004
production increased 19 percent to average 18,900 barrels of oil per day.

Growth from key North American resource plays
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Daily Production
--------------------------------------
Resource Play 2004
--------------------------------------
2004 Q4 Q3 Q2 Q1
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Natural Gas (MMcf/d)
Jonah 389 404 373 387 394
Piceance 261 291 282 251 218
East Texas 50 83 81 36 -
Fort Worth 27 34 31 23 21
Greater Sierra 230 211 244 247 216
Cutbank Ridge 40 50 45 41 22
CBM 17 27 19 11 10
Shallow Gas 592 629 595 590 554
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Oil (Mbbls/d)
Foster Creek 29 28 29 30 28
Pelican Lake 19 23 22 15 15
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Total (MMcfe/d) 1,892 2,034 1,976 1,858 1,696
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% change from prior period 33.6 2.9 6.4 9.6 7.1
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Daily Production
--------------------------------------
Resource Play 2003
--------------------------------------
2003 Q4 Q3 Q2 Q1
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Natural Gas (MMcf/d)
Jonah 374 389 376 356 375
Piceance 151 199 157 144 103
East Texas - - - - -
Fort Worth 7 19 12 - -
Greater Sierra 143 175 144 136 118
Cutbank Ridge 3 6 2 2 2
CBM 4 7 3 3 2
Shallow Gas 507 538 509 499 483
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Oil (Mbbls/d)
Foster Creek 22 26 22 20 19
Pelican Lake 16 15 16 17 15
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Total (MMcfe/d) 1,416 1,584 1,434 1,360 1,287
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% change from prior period 10.5 5.4 5.7
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Drilling activity in key North American resource plays
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Net Wells Drilled
-----------------------------------------------
Resource Play 2004 2003
--------------------------------------- Full
2004 Q4 Q3 Q2 Q1 Year
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Natural Gas
Jonah 70 21 17 21 11 59
Piceance 250 47 66 66 71 284
East Texas 50 23 20 7 - -
Fort Worth 36 8 10 10 8 5
Greater Sierra 187 18 13 21 135 199
Cutbank Ridge 50 17 12 4 17 20
CBM 577 126 272 98 81 267
Shallow Gas 1,552 222 384 416 530 2,366
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Oil
Foster Creek 11 7 - - 4 8
Pelican Lake 92 - 33 30 29 134
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Total net wells 2,875 489 827 673 886 3,342
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Reserves base 100 percent externally evaluated
EnCana's board of directors has a reserves committee of independent
members which reviews the qualifications and appointment of the independent
qualified reserve evaluators. The committee also reviews the procedures for
providing information to the evaluators. All booked reserves are based upon
annual evaluations of the fundamental geological and engineering data by the
independent qualified reserve evaluators. EnCana believes this is the most
stringent standard of reserves governance available to the industry, and that
it goes well beyond external reviews or audits of reserves. "Independent
reserve evaluation has been a cornerstone procedure since the beginning of
EnCana's operations," Morgan said.
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Independent qualified reserve evaluators
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Operating regions Evaluator
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Canadian Foothills & Frontier McDaniel & Associates Consultants Ltd.
Gilbert Laustsen Jung Associates Ltd.
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Canadian Plains McDaniel & Associates Consultants Ltd.
Gilbert Laustsen Jung Associates Ltd.
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USA Netherland, Sewell & Associates, Inc.
DeGolyer and MacNaughton
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Ecuador Gilbert Laustsen Jung Associates Ltd.
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EnCana 2004 financial results scheduled for February 23
EnCana is scheduled to report its fourth quarter and 2004 financial and
operating results on February 23, 2005. A conference call is scheduled for
11:00 a.m. Mountain Time (1 p.m. Eastern Time) on February 23, 2005. Details
of the conference call will be published prior to the call. EnCana has posted
supplemental information on the company's 2004 sales volumes on its Web site,
www.encana.com.
EnCana Corporation
With an enterprise value of approximately US$34 billion, EnCana is one of
North America's leading natural gas producers, the largest holder of gas and
oil resource lands onshore North America and is a technical and cost leader in
the in-situ recovery of oilsands bitumen. EnCana delivers predictable,
reliable, profitable growth from its portfolio of long-life resource plays
situated in Canada and the United States. Contained in unconventional
reservoirs, resource plays are large contiguous accumulations of hydrocarbons,
located in thick or areally extensive deposits, that typically have low
geological and commercial development risk, low average decline rates and very
long producing lives. The application of technology to unlock the huge
resource potential of these plays typically results in continuous increases in
production and reserves and decreases in costs over multiple decades of
resource play life. EnCana common shares trade on the Toronto and New York
stock exchanges under the symbol ECA.
RESERVE COST DEFINITIONS - Production replacement is calculated by
dividing reserve replacement by production in the same period. Reserve
replacement is calculated by summing the total proved reserves added over a
given period, in this case calendar year 2004, through one or more of
revisions, improved recovery, extensions, discoveries and acquisitions net of
divestitures. Reserve replacement cost is calculated by dividing total capital
invested in finding, development and net acquisitions by reserve replacement
in the same period. Finding and development cost is calculated by dividing
total capital invested in finding and development activities by additions to
proved reserves, before acquisitions and divestitures, which is the sum of
revisions, extensions and discoveries. Finding, development and acquisition
cost is calculated by dividing total capital invested in finding, development
and acquisition activities by additions to proved reserves, before
divestitures, which is the sum of revisions, extensions, discoveries and
acquisitions. Proved reserves added in 2004 included both developed and
undeveloped quantities. Additions to EnCana's proved undeveloped reserves were
consistent with EnCana's resource play focus. The company estimates that
approximately 75 percent of its proved undeveloped reserves will be developed
within the next three years. 2004 finding, development and acquisition capital
includes investment in long lead time projects. EnCana uses the aforementioned
metrics as indicators of relative performance, along with a number of other
measures. Many performance measures exist, all measures have limitations and
historical measures are not necessarily indicative of future performance.
ADVISORY REGARDING RESERVES DATA AND OTHER OIL AND GAS INFORMATION -
EnCana's disclosure of reserves data and other oil and gas information is made
in reliance on an exemption granted to EnCana by Canadian securities
regulatory authorities which permits it to provide such disclosure in
accordance with U.S. disclosure requirements. The information provided by
EnCana may differ from the corresponding information prepared in accordance
with Canadian disclosure standards under National Instrument 51-101 (NI 51-
101). EnCana's reserves quantities represent net proved reserves calculated
using the standards contained in Regulation S-X of the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission. Further information about the differences between the
U.S. requirements and the NI 51-101 requirements is set forth under the
heading "Note Regarding Reserves Data and Other Oil and Gas Information" in
EnCana's Annual Information Form.
In this news release, certain crude oil and NGLs volumes have been
converted to cubic feet equivalent (cfe) on the basis of one barrel (bbl) to
six thousand cubic feet (Mcf). Also, certain natural gas volumes have been
converted to barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) on the same basis. BOE and cfe
may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A conversion ratio of
one bbl to six Mcf is based on an energy equivalency conversion method
primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent equivalency at
the well head.
ADVISORY REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS - In the interests of
providing EnCana shareholders and potential investors with information
regarding EnCana, including management's assessment of EnCana's and its
subsidiaries' future plans and operations, certain statements contained in
this news release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the
"safe harbour" provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements in this news release include,
but are not limited to: future economic performance (including per share
growth and underlying value); anticipated growth in reserves, production and
sales; anticipated divestitures of reserves in Ecuador and the Gulf of Mexico;
anticipated life of proved reserves; potential capital expenditures and
investment; expected expansion of the Foster Creek project and anticipated
production for Foster Creek in 2006; anticipated financial results; estimated
development of proved undeveloped reserves within the next three years; and
anticipated growth from resource plays and the expected characteristics of
those resource plays.
Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking
statements, as there can be no assurance that the plans, intentions or
expectations upon which they are based will occur. By their nature, forward-
looking statements involve numerous assumptions, known and unknown risks and
uncertainties, both general and specific, that contribute to the possibility
that the predictions, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking
statements will not occur, which may cause the company's actual performance
and financial results in future periods to differ materially from any
estimates or projections of future performance or results expressed or implied
by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include,
among other things: volatility of oil and gas prices; fluctuations in currency
and interest rates; product supply and demand; market competition; risks
inherent in the company's marketing operations, including credit risks;
imprecision of reserve estimates and estimates of recoverable quantities of
oil, natural gas and liquids from resource plays and other sources not
currently classified as proved reserves; the company's ability to replace and
expand oil and gas reserves; its ability to generate sufficient cash flow from
operations to meet its current and future obligations; its ability to access
external sources of debt and equity capital; the timing and the costs of well
and pipeline construction; the company's ability to secure adequate product
transportation; changes in environmental and other regulations or the
interpretations of such regulations; political and economic conditions in the
countries in which the company operates, including Ecuador; the risk of war,
hostilities, civil insurrection and instability affecting countries in which
the company operates and terrorist threats; risks associated with existing and
potential future lawsuits and regulatory actions made against the company; and
other risks and uncertainties described from time to time in the reports and
filings made with securities regulatory authorities by EnCana. Although EnCana
believes that the expectations represented by such forward-looking statements
are reasonable, there can be no assurance that such expectations will prove to
be correct. Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list of important factors
is not exhaustive. Furthermore, the forward-looking statements contained in
this news release are made as of the date of this news release, and EnCana
does not undertake any obligation to update publicly or to revise any of the
included forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information,
future events or otherwise. The forward-looking statements contained in this
news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement.

For further information:

Investor contact:
EnCana Corporate Development
Sheila McIntosh
Vice-President, Investor Relations
403-645-2194

Tracy Weeks
Manager, Investor Relations
403-645-2007

Paul Gagne
Manager, Investor Relations
403-645-4737

Media contact:
Alan Boras
Manager, Media Relations
403-645-4747

ECA stock price

TSX $14.90 Can -0.220

NYSE $11.65 USD -0.200

As of 2017-11-20 10:09. Minimum 15 minute delay