CALGARY, Alberta, March 01, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Crew Energy Inc. (TSX:CR) (“Crew” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce our operating and financial results for the three and twelve month periods ended December 31, 2017. Crew’s full audited consolidated Financial Statements and Notes, as well as Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”) for the three and twelve month periods ended December 31, 2017 are available on our website and filed on SEDAR.
Q4 & FULL YEAR 2017 HIGHLIGHTS
- Adjusted Funds Flow (“AFF”) in Q4 2017 was $34.1 million ($0.22 per diluted share), higher than both Q4 2016 and Q3 2017 as a result of higher production combined with stronger realized pricing. Annual 2017 AFF increased 37% over 2016 to $108.1 million ($0.72 per diluted share).
- Production in Q4 2017 averaged 25,270 boe per day, 13% higher than Q4 2016 and 9% higher than Q3 2017. Annual 2017 production averaged 23,061 boe per day.
- Corporate operating netbacks averaged $18.04 per boe in Q4 2017, reflecting increased realized product pricing, lower transportation costs per boe and a continued focus on optimizing netbacks by shutting-in low margin production. Annual 2017 operating netbacks of $16.74 per boe were 30% higher than in 2016.
- Realized natural gas prices for Q4 2017 and full year 2017 averaged $2.64 per mcf and $3.01 per mcf, respectively, which were 56% and 39% higher than the AECO 5A daily index for the same periods. Crew’s diversified marketing strategy coupled with our higher heat content natural gas contributed to the stronger realized prices.
- Operating netbacks for Q4 2017 at Crew’s Greater Septimus Montney area in northeast British Columbia (“NE BC”) were $19.80 per boe, 16% higher than the previous quarter.
- Exploration and development spending in Q4 2017 totaled $36.4 million, with approximately $34.7 million invested in our Montney assets, including $15.9 million allocated to infrastructure. Full year 2017 exploration and development spending totaled $238.3 million and predominantly targeted the condensate fairway at West Septimus, coupled with the West Septimus facility expansion to 120 mmcf per day that was completed on time and 8% under budget.
- Balance sheet strength and ongoing financial flexibility were maintained through year end 2017 as net debt totaled $345 million, including $300 million of new term debt with no repayment required until 2024 and only 9% drawn on Crew’s $235 million bank facility. Crew exited 2017 with a net debt to annualized fourth quarter 2017 AFF ratio of 2.5 times.
APPOINTMENT OF SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT & CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
- Crew is pleased to announce the appointment of James Taylor as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Taylor brings 20 years of progressive operational, engineering and management experience with both Imperial Oil and ExxonMobil in conventional and resource plays across North America, most recently in the Duvernay and Montney as Vice President and Engineering Manager of XTO Canada. Mr. Taylor graduated in 1998 from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Science in Geological Engineering.
FINANCIAL & OPERATING HIGHLIGHTS
($ thousands, except per share amounts)
|Three months ended
Dec. 31, 2017
|Three months ended
Dec. 31, 2016
Dec. 31, 2017
Dec. 31, 2016
|Petroleum and natural gas sales||60,146||55,051||214,154||174,719|
|Adjusted Funds Flow(1)||34,087||27,879||108,129||78,674|
|Per share - basic||0.23||0.19||0.73||0.55|
|Net income (loss)||2,342||(40,030)||34,405||(64,926)|
|Per share - basic||0.02||(0.28)||0.23||(0.45)|
|Exploration and Development expenditures||36,413||37,612||238,302||108,202|
|Property acquisitions (net of dispositions)||(1,709)||3,099||(47,906)||3,973|
|Net capital expenditures||34,704||40,711||190,396||112,175|
Dec. 31, 2017
Dec. 31, 2016
|Working capital deficiency(2)||29,143||10,006|
|Senior Unsecured Notes||293,862||147,329|
|Total Net Debt||344,982||245,371|
|Common Shares Outstanding (thousands)||149,328||146,812|
|(1) Adjusted funds flow is calculated as cash provided by operating activities, adding the change in non-cash working capital, decommissioning obligation expenditures and accretion of deferred financing costs. Adjusted funds flow is used to analyze the Company’s operating performance and leverage. Adjusted funds flow does not have a standardized measure prescribed by International Financial Reporting Standards and therefore may not be comparable with the calculations of similar measures for other companies. See “Non-IFRS Measures” contained within Crew’s MD&A.|
|(2) Working capital deficiency includes cash and cash equivalents plus accounts receivable less accounts payable and accrued liabilities.|
|Operations||Three months ended
Dec. 31, 2017
|Three months ended
Dec. 31, 2016
Dec. 31, 2017
Dec. 31, 2016
|Light crude oil (bbl/d)||399||540||495||335|
|Heavy crude oil (bbl/d)||1,808||2,188||1,836||2,459|
|Other natural gas liquids (bbl/d)||1,823||1,406||1,575||1,409|
|Natural gas (mcf/d)||111,737||97,501||102,642||100,203|
|Total (boe/d @ 6:1)||25,270||22,380||23,061||22,844|
|Average prices (1)|
|Light crude oil ($/bbl)||64.91||57.49||58.34||49.89|
|Heavy crude oil ($/bbl)||48.73||41.44||45.14||33.39|
|Natural gas liquids ($/bbl)||34.58||10.18||24.45||7.47|
|Natural gas ($/mcf)||2.64||3.53||3.01||2.71|
|Oil equivalent ($/boe)||25.87||26.74||25.44||20.90|
|(1) Average prices do not include gains and losses on financial instruments|
|Three months ended
Dec. 31, 2017
|Three months ended
Dec. 31, 2016
Dec. 31, 2017
Dec. 31, 2016
|Realized commodity hedging gain/(loss)||1.60||(0.35)||1.19||1.42|
|Operating netback (1)||18.04||17.03||16.74||12.92|
|Financing costs on long-term debt||(2.45)||(2.15)||(2.61)||(2.10)|
|Adjusted funds flow||14.66||13.55||12.83||9.41|
|Working interest wells||3.9||7.7||38.2||19.7|
|Success rate, net wells (%)||100%||91%||97%||96%|
|(1) Operating netback equals petroleum and natural gas sales including realized hedging gains and losses on commodity contracts less royalties, operating costs and transportation costs calculated on a boe basis. Operating netback and adjusted funds flow netback do not have a standardized measure prescribed by International Financial Reporting Standards and therefore may not be comparable with the calculations of similar measures for other companies.|
Increased Adjusted Funds Flow
- Q4 2017 AFF totaled $34.1 million ($0.22 per diluted share), increasing 22% (16% on a diluted per share basis) over Q4 2016, and increasing 37% (29% on a diluted per share basis) over Q3 2017.
- 2017 full year AFF totaled $108.1 million ($0.72 per diluted share), a 37% increase (33% on a diluted per share basis) compared to full year 2016.
- Higher AFF for both Q4 and full year 2017 reflect the impact of higher production volumes and higher operating netbacks relative to the same periods in 2016.
Production Growth with West Septimus Facility Expansion
- Q4 2017 production of 25,270 boe per day reflects increased volumes through the expanded West Septimus facility, coupled with strong results at West Septimus. Approximately 2,800 boe per day was shut-in to accommodate commissioning of the plant expansion and to avoid losses from producing natural gas into a very weak Canadian price environment.
- 2017 full year production averaged 23,061 boe per day, with volumes positively impacted by drilling and completions focused in the West Septimus area, offset by several extended third party pipeline and facility shut-downs in the second and early third quarters, as well as Crew’s decision to shut-in low margin natural gas volumes.
- Q4 2017 operating netbacks per boe improved 15% over Q3 2017, while full year 2017 netbacks improved 30% over 2016, a function of improved pricing, higher liquids content, cost control and a continued focus on optimizing netbacks by not producing low margin production.
- Q4 2017 commodity prices averaged $25.87 per boe, a 16% increase over the previous quarter.
- Total liquids prices increased to $54.04 per bbl, 31% higher than Q4 2016 and 28% higher than Q3 2017. This reflects strengthening oil prices as West Texas Intermediate (“WTI”) crude, valued in Canadian dollars, increased over both periods. An increase in higher-valued condensate production as a percentage of total production in Q4 also enhanced Crew’s total liquids price.
- The realized natural gas price of $2.64 per mcf was 56% higher than the AECO 5A daily index average of $1.69 per mcf. Crew’s natural gas price benefited from approximately 40% of production being priced at Chicago City Gate, which significantly exceeded prices received for natural gas at Canadian pricing points. Crew’s higher heat content Montney natural gas also yields approximately 20% more value than is reflected in benchmark prices due to the presence of larger amounts of butane and propane remaining in the gas.
- 2017 average wellhead prices increased to $25.44 per boe, 22% higher than 2016, having a meaningful impact on netbacks.
- 2017 average total liquids price was $46.57 per boe, 39% higher than 2016 due to increasing world oil prices.
- Crew’s realized natural gas price increased to $3.01 per mcf in 2017 up from $2.71 per mcf in 2016. The Company’s 2017 realized natural gas price benefited from Crew’s diversified natural gas marketing arrangements as the realized price was significantly higher than the 2017 Canadian natural gas benchmark AECO 5A price of $2.16 per mcf.
Capital Expenditures Focused at West Septimus
- Q4 2017 exploration and development expenditures of $36.4 million was directed to drilling five (3.9 net) natural gas wells, completion of three (3.0 net) Montney natural gas wells and the recompletion of three (3.0 net) heavy oil wells in Lloydminster. Approximately $15.9 million was invested in infrastructure.
- 2017 full year exploration and development expenditures totaled $238.3 million and included:
- $175 million for the drilling of 40 (38.2 net) wells, including four (4.0 net) oil wells, 35 (33.2 net) natural gas wells and one (1.0 net) dry and abandoned well. A total of 37 (37.0 net) wells were completed in 2017 and 20 (18.6 net) wells were recompleted.
- Approximately $53 million of capital was directed to facilities and infrastructure, including the West Septimus facility expansion that was completed with an infrastructure partner participating for a 72% share in the expansion, a pipeline installation to debottleneck the gathering system at Septimus and several infield gathering system upgrades and road improvements.
- Proceeds of $49 million were realized in 2017 from the successful disposition of Crew’s non-core Montney assets at Goose (18,400 acres of undeveloped land with no production or reserves). Disposition proceeds were used to help finance the 2017 capital program and support balance sheet flexibility through 2017.
Maintaining Financial Flexibility and Balance Sheet Strength
- Year end 2017 net debt totaled $345.0 million, representing 2.5 times annualized Q4 AFF, and includes:
- $294 million (net of $6 million of deferred financing costs) of term debt that was re-financed and upsized in early 2017. The new terms include an annual interest charge of 6.5%, no annual financial tests and no repayments required until 2024.
- Bank facility drawings of $22 million or 9% of Crew’s $235 million facility, which was reviewed in the fourth quarter and maintained at $235 million. In conjunction with the Q4 review, the lenders removed the financial covenants that previously governed the facility.
- Crew’s $80 to $85 million 2018 capital budget is expected to be funded by funds from operations with minimal draws from the excess capacity on the bank facility.
TRANSPORTATION, MARKETING & HEDGING
Enhanced Market Diversity & Evolving Sales Portfolio
- Through full year 2017, approximately 40% of Crew’s production received Chicago City Gate pricing, which was up 20% year-over-year due to strong industrial and retail demand and exceeded the Canadian benchmark AECO 5A by 41%. Canadian natural gas prices were significantly impacted in 2017 by rising industry production, third party pipeline maintenance and a meaningful shortage of takeaway capacity.
- Crew’s Montney assets are uniquely positioned for physical connectivity to all three major natural gas export pipeline systems, providing flexibility and access to different markets, including firm service on the TCPL Nova system effective April 1, 2018. Over the past five years Crew has expanded its natural gas marketing portfolio to include multiple North American sales points at favourable terms through 2020 and beyond.
- Natural gas pricing exposure through Q1 2018 will be approximately 44% Chicago City Gate, 40% AECO 5A, 9% Alliance ATP and 7% Station 2. From Q2 2018 through the remainder of the year, Crew has additional market exposure with approximately 40% Chicago City Gate, 19% AECO, 12% Alliance ATP, 13% Dawn, 8% Malin, 4% Nymex Henry Hub and 4% Sumas.
Natural Gas & Liquids Hedging
- Approximately 24% of budgeted 2018 volumes are hedged at $2.50 per GJ or approximately $2.64 per mcf which increases to approximately $3.10 per mcf after adjusting for Crew’s heat conversion.
- 2,250 bbls per day of WTI are hedged at an average price of C$71.77 per barrel and 400 bbls per day of OPIS Conway propane hedged at US$0.7863 per gallon or approximately $33.03 US per bbl.
Crew plans to continue layering in hedge contracts for 2018 and 2019 to manage risk and protect AFF. See “Hedge Summary” in Crew's recent corporate presentation for full details of Crew's risk management contract positions as of March 1, 2018, available on Crew's website.
OPERATIONS & AREA OVERVIEW
NE BC Montney - Greater Septimus
- In response to challenging natural gas markets throughout 2017, Crew‘s development focus shifted to the ultra condensate-rich (“UCR”) and transition areas at West Septimus, where higher condensate and liquids rates provide more favourable economics.
- In 2017, Crew drilled 35 (33.2 net) and completed 33 (33.0 net) Montney wells predominantly targeting the liquids-rich fairway at West Septimus. In Q4 2017, the Company drilled five (3.9 net) natural gas wells and completed three (3.0 net) natural gas wells at Greater Septimus.
- Crew is currently completing six (4.7 net) wells at West Septimus and expects to commence flowback and clean-up of the wells prior to spring break up.
- At West Septimus, 2017 PDP, 1P and 2P reserves increased materially by 68%, 16% and 26%, respectively, over year end 2016 reflecting the focused capital investment in the area.
Greater Septimus Operational Statistics
|Production & Drilling||Q4
|Average daily production (boe/d)||20,193||18,154||15,558||17,440||17,307|
|Wells drilled (gross / net)||5 / 3.9||13 / 12.3||5 / 5.0||10 / 10.0||8 / 7.7|
|Wells completed (gross / net)||3 / 3.0||14 / 14.0||9 / 9.0||3 / 3.0||5 / 4.0|
($ per boe)
|Realized commodity hedge gain / (loss)||1.74||2.97||0.77||(0.41||)||(0.39||)|
NE BC Montney - Groundbirch
- Development of the Groundbirch area has slowed due to prevailing market conditions. The area is well positioned for mid-to-longer term production growth based on infrastructure capital being invested.
- Crew is proceeding with the installation of strategic pipeline infrastructure from the West Septimus facility through our Groundbirch acreage and connecting into the existing TCPL Saturn meter station. This will afford flexibility to meet the majority of the transportation arrangements through 2019 without additional processing capacity at Groundbirch. The construction of a Groundbirch processing plant will be further analyzed in the context of longer term structural changes to commodity prices.
NE BC Montney - Tower
- Overall production in the Tower area averaged 1,308 boe per day in the fourth quarter of 2017, which included 372 bbls of oil per day.
- During Q1 2018, a strategic partner is expected to complete construction of a water handling facility at Tower in which Crew will be the anchor tenant. With strengthening oil prices and reduced operating costs associated with improved water handling, Tower’s economics represent an attractive option for future development.
AB / SK Heavy Oil - Lloydminster
- Crew’s previously announced sales process in respect of its Lloydminster asset is ongoing, while netbacks in the area continue to improve as benchmark crude oil prices increase.
- Production in the area averaged 1,809 boe per day in Q4, with minor amounts of workover capital expended, including the recompletion of three (3.0 net) oil wells. Q4 year-over-year declines were 17% with minimal capital expenditures.
Value Optimization Remains the Focus
- Crew’s 2018 capital budget of $80 to $85 million is expected to approximate 2018 AFF based on current projections and assumptions. Crew expects to maintain ample liquidity with planned draws on our credit facility anticipated not to exceed 25% at any point during the year.
- Targeting average production of 23,500 to 24,500 boe per day, weighted 24% to liquids and 76% to natural gas. At least 1,500 boe per day of low-margin natural gas production is assumed to remain shut-in throughout the year, with the potential to reduce or increase shut-in volumes in response to sustained price changes.
- Forecast drilling four (4.0 net) and completing 15 (13.2 net) condensate and UCR wells at West Septimus. The restriction of well productivity will be tested to reduce pressure drawdown in the reservoir, which could enhance total condensate recoveries. In 2018, Crew also plans to drill 30% to 50% longer lateral length horizontal wells (2,500 to 2,700 metres), implement tighter spacing between fracs and increase the number of stages per well.
Increasing Liquids Production and Margin Expansion
- Liquids production is expected to represent 50 to 60% of Crew’s total revenue in 2018, highlighted by an over 30% increase in forecast condensate production in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of 2017.
- Focus remains on optimizing netbacks and returns by drilling in the UCR area targeting wells that are expected to pay out in approximately 12 months at current prices, and shutting-in low margin production.
Maintaining Flexibility to Respond to Market Conditions
- Crew’s 2018 capital program will be reviewed on a continuing basis by management and the Board of Directors. The Company is well positioned to efficiently adjust the program in response to changing market conditions.
- With a successful history of executing over $700 million of strategic dispositions, Crew continues to pursue asset sales to improve the Company’s financial flexibility and capital allocation optionality.
We thank our employees and directors for their commitment and dedication through these challenging market conditions, and we thank all of our shareholders and bondholders for their continued support of Crew.
Information Regarding Disclosure on Oil and Gas Reserves and Operational Information
Information presented herein in respect of reserves and related information is based on our independent reserves evaluation for the year ended December 31, 2017 prepared by Sproule Associates Limited, details of which were provided in our press release issued on February 8, 2018. Our oil and gas reserves statement for the year ended December 31, 2017, which will include complete disclosure of our oil and gas reserves and other oil and gas information in accordance with NI 51-101, will be contained within our Annual Information Form which will be available on our SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com. The recovery and reserve estimates contained herein are estimates only and there is no guarantee that the estimated reserves will be recovered. In relation to the disclosure of estimates for individual properties, such estimates may not reflect the same confidence level as estimates of reserves and future net revenue for all properties, due to the effects of aggregation. The Company's belief that it will establish additional reserves over time with conversion of probable undeveloped reserves into proved reserves is a forward-looking statement and is based on certain assumptions and is subject to certain risks, as discussed below under the heading "Forward-Looking Information and Statements".
This press release contains metrics commonly used in the oil and natural gas industry, such as “adjusted funds flow” and "operating netbacks". These terms do not have standardized meanings or standardized methods of calculation and therefore may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies, and therefore should not be used to make such comparisons. Such metrics have been included herein to provide readers with additional information to evaluate the Company’s performance, however such metrics should not be unduly relied upon. Management uses oil and gas metrics for its own performance measurements and to provide shareholders with measures to compare Crew's operations over time. Readers are cautioned that the information provided by these metrics, or that can be derived from the metrics presented in this press release, should not be relied upon for investment or other purposes.
Forward-Looking Information and Statements
This news release contains certain forward–looking information and statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws. The use of any of the words "expect", "anticipate", "continue", "estimate", "may", "will", "project", "should", "believe", "plans", "intends" “forecast” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking information or statements. In particular, but without limiting the foregoing, this news release contains forward-looking information and statements pertaining to the following: the estimated volumes, including shut-ins, and product mix of Crew's oil and gas production; production estimates including 2018 average production target; commodity price expectations including Crew’s estimates of natural gas pricing exposure; Crew's commodity risk management programs including plans for additional hedging in 2018 and 2019; marketing and transportation plans; future liquidity and financial capacity; future results from operations and operating metrics; potential for lower costs and efficiencies going forward; future development, exploration, acquisition and disposition activities (including drilling, completion and infrastructure plans and associated timing and cost estimates); the amount and timing of capital projects; the potential sale of our heavy oil assets; 2018 capital expenditure and operational plans and priorities, including drilling, completion and infrastructure plans and associated timing and costs; and Crew’s 2018 budget and methods of funding our capital program.
The reserve estimates provided herein are estimates only and there is no guarantee that the estimated reserves will be recovered. In addition, forward-looking statements or information are based on a number of material factors, expectations or assumptions of Crew which have been used to develop such statements and information but which may prove to be incorrect. Although Crew believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements or information are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements because Crew can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. In addition to other factors and assumptions which may be identified herein, assumptions have been made regarding, among other things: that Crew will continue to conduct its operations in a manner consistent with past operations; results from drilling and development activities consistent with past operations; the quality of the reservoirs in which Crew operates and continued performance from existing wells; the continued and timely development of infrastructure in areas of new production; the accuracy of the estimates of Crew’s reserve volumes; certain commodity price and other cost assumptions; continued availability of debt and equity financing and cash flow to fund Crew’s current and future plans and expenditures; the impact of increasing competition; the general stability of the economic and political environment in which Crew operates; the general continuance of current industry conditions; the timely receipt of any required regulatory approvals; the ability of Crew to obtain qualified staff, equipment and services in a timely and cost efficient manner; drilling results; the ability of the operator of the projects in which Crew has an interest in to operate the field in a safe, efficient and effective manner; the ability of Crew to obtain financing on acceptable terms; field production rates and decline rates; the ability to replace and expand oil and natural gas reserves through acquisition, development and exploration; the timing and cost of pipeline, storage and facility construction and expansion and the ability of Crew to secure adequate product transportation; future commodity prices; currency, exchange and interest rates; regulatory framework regarding royalties, taxes and environmental matters in the jurisdictions in which Crew operates; and the ability of Crew to successfully market its oil and natural gas products.
The forward-looking information and statements included in this news release are not guarantees of future performance and should not be unduly relied upon. Such information and statements, including the assumptions made in respect thereof, involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to defer materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking information or statements including, without limitation: changes in commodity prices; changes in the demand for or supply of Crew's products, the early stage of development of some of the evaluated areas and zones the potential for variation in the quality of the Montney formation; unanticipated operating results or production declines; changes in tax or environmental laws, royalty rates or other regulatory matters; changes in development plans of Crew or by third party operators of Crew's properties, increased debt levels or debt service requirements; inaccurate estimation of Crew's oil and gas reserve volumes; limited, unfavourable or a lack of access to capital markets; increased costs; a lack of adequate insurance coverage; the impact of competitors; and certain other risks detailed from time-to-time in Crew's public disclosure documents (including, without limitation, those risks identified in this news release and Crew's Annual Information Form).
The forward-looking information and statements contained in this news release speak only as of the date of this news release, and Crew does not assume any obligation to publicly update or revise any of the included forward-looking statements or information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable securities laws.
Barrel of oil equivalents or BOEs may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A BOE conversion ratio of 6 mcf: 1 bbl is based on an energy equivalency conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent a value equivalency at the wellhead. Given that the value ratio based on the current price of crude oil as compared to natural gas is significantly different than the energy equivalency of 6:1, utilizing the 6:1 conversion ratio may be misleading as an indication of value.
Crew is a growth-oriented oil and natural gas producer, committed to pursuing sustainable per share growth through a balanced mix of financially responsible exploration and development complemented by strategic acquisitions. The Company’s operations are primarily focused in the vast Montney resource, situated in northeast British Columbia, and include a large contiguous land base. Crew's liquids-rich Septimus and West Septimus areas ("Greater Septimus") along with Groundbirch and the light oil area at Tower in British Columbia offer significant development potential over the long-term. The Company has access to diversified markets with operated infrastructure and access to multiple pipeline egress options. Crew’s common shares are listed for trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange (“TSX”) under the symbol “CR”.
Financial statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the three and twelve month periods ended December 31, 2017 and 2016 are filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and are available on the Company’s website at www.crewenergy.com.
FOR DETAILED INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
|Dale Shwed, President and C.E.O.||Phone: (403) 266-2088
|John Leach, Senior Vice President and C.F.O.|