Triangle Petroleum Corporation (TPLM.OB), a Canadian based petroleum exploration company currently focused on Canadian shale gas, today reported fourth quarter and fiscal year (ending January 31) financial and operational results. The numbers, given below in US dollars, show the company in an improved financial position, due largely to the successful payoff of all outstanding debt.

Triangle managed to pay off $10 million in principal, and $2.2 million in interest, leaving the company with no outstanding debt. This final debt payoff represents a significant strengthening in the balance sheet from the previous year, and puts Triangle in a good position to continue its program of aggressive shale gas exploration in Eastern Canada.

The company reported net income of $2.4 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, compared to a net loss of $14.3 million for the same quarter of the previous year, largely from a gain on the extinguishment of debt and a decline in impairments of unproven oil and gas properties. Fourth quarter revenue actually fell to $.04 million, from $.07 million for the same quarter of the previous year, with the decline due to lower prices and production resulting from an earlier sale of its interest in a shale well.

For the full fiscal year, ended January 31, Triangle incurred a net loss of $13.8 million, compared with a net loss of $29.6 million for fiscal 2008. The improvement was due primarily to gains on debt extinguishment and a decrease in costs associated with impairments of unproven oil and gas properties, together with a decrease in accretion of discounts on convertible debentures. Fiscal year revenue declined to $0.4 million, from $0.6 million the previous year.

Triangle’s CFO, Shaun Toker, commented, “In this period of financial market uncertainty and commodity price weakness, we are extremely pleased to have significantly improved our balance sheet shortly before year-end. Being debt-free provides us with maximum flexibility to move forward at a measured pace as we focus our efforts on our Eastern Canadian shale gas project. We will manage our cash prudently and expect our capital investment program for fiscal 2010 will be directed almost exclusively to that area.”