NiMin Energy Corp., the Carpinteria-based oil and gas producer that is disbanding, said it narrowed its first-quarter loss to $1.5 million, compared to a loss of $8.5 million a year ago.
The company said in late April that poor stock-price performance prompted it to start dismantling the business and selling its assets. The move came two years after NiMin went public and could result in up to $72 million in payouts to shareholders.
The oil exploration and production firm and its subsidiary, Legacy Energy, agreed on April 27 to sell energy fields in the San Joaquin Basin to Southern San Joaquin Production for $27 million. That announcement came two days after NiMin revealed plans to sell its Wyoming assets to BreitBurn Energy for $98 million and dismantle the company. Both sales are still subject to shareholder approval.
For the quarter ended March 31, the loss per share was 2 cents, compared to 13 cents a year earlier. Quarterly revenues came in at $6.2 million, up 17 percent from $5.2 percent in the first quarter of 2011. NiMin attributed the revenue boost to an increase in production volumes in California, coupled with an increase in energy prices.
NiMin has not responded to previous requests for comments about the company’s dissolution.
In a news release in April, the firm said combined proceeds from the sale of its California and Wyoming assets — about $125 million — will be used to pay off its debts and liabilities before the rest is distributed to shareholders.
NiMin estimates its liabilities at $52.6 million to $55 million, leaving between $70.3 million to $72.8 million for shareholders.
The largest holders of NiMin stock are Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which owns 11.8 percent of the firm’s shares, and Richard McKenzie Jr., founder of the Connecticut-based Seven Bridges Foundation, who owns 10.9 percent. According to NiMin’s 2011 annual financial report, the company’s seven officers and directors own a total of 7.9 percent of shares.
NiMin’s shares have been trading in the $1 range since October of last year, down from a high of $2.50 in February 2011.