CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwired – March 7, 2017) – NuVista Energy Ltd. (“NuVista” or the “Company”) (TSX:NVA) is pleased to announce results for the three months and year ended December 31, 2016 and provide an update on our future business plans.
2016 Success Provides Foundation For NuVista Long Term Strategy
Operationally, 2016 was a very strong year for NuVista. We have:
- Achieved record production in the Wapiti Montney formation;
- Materially increased our Montney natural gas and condensate production and reserves with significant Finding and Development (“F&D”) cost improvement;
- Continued our successful development and delineation program at Bilbo and Elmworth;
- Identified two emerging development blocks at Gold Creek and Pipestone and booked our first reserves at Pipestone;
- Articulated a five year growth plan to 60,000 Boe/d complete with well inventory and egress commitments;
- Began testing extended reach horizontal drilling and higher frac intensity technology;
- Divested our final material non-core property;
- Further diversified our access to downstream gas markets;
- Protected corporate netbacks with our rolling commodity hedging program; and
- Managed a very strong balance sheet, exiting 2016 with nothing drawn on our bank line.
These factors have allowed NuVista to grow despite the low commodity price environment of the past two years. With prices stabilizing somewhat, we are now in a strong position to accelerate growth as previously announced, towards our five year plan. NuVista has a material position in the Wapiti Montney play, which with prudent management has the ability to deliver top financial returns to shareholders over the long term and across many commodity cycles. Our strategy is to actively manage the balance sheet to allow accelerated spending flexibility when commodity prices and returns are strong. When commodity prices are low, we moderate our pace to spend the minimum required amount to protect the business. We maintain flexibility to handle near term events while adhering to our long term growth foundations. We ensure strong alignment for every employee through our compensation structure which is linked to key financial metrics and shareholder returns.
Significant Operating Highlights for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2016:
- Met our 2016 guidance with average annual production of 24,638 Boe/d despite over 825 Boe/d of various planned and unplanned third party restrictions, and selling 3,200 Boe/d of production associated with the W6 Sweet Cretaceous asset divestiture in June of 2016. These shortfalls were mostly offset by stronger than forecast well performance throughout the year and accelerated capital after the W6 asset sale. 2016 average production was 10% higher than 2015. Production for the fourth quarter of 2016 was 24,716 Boe/d, an increase of 6% compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, or 18% excluding the effect of divestitures;
- Delivered 2016 funds from operations of $137.8 million ($0.87/share, basic and diluted), a 10% increase from $125.0 million ($0.84/share, basic and diluted) in 2015 due to increased production volumes and condensate weighting offset by weaker commodity pricing. This result significantly exceeds the previous guidance range of $125 – $130 million. NuVista achieved funds from operations of $40.7 million ($0.24/share, basic and diluted) for the fourth quarter of 2016, up 25% and 30% from $32.5 million ($0.21/share, basic and diluted) and $31.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2015 and the third quarter of 2016 respectively;
- Successfully executed an annual capital program of $189.1 million, below the previous guidance range of $200 – $215 million due primarily to weather-deferred activity in the fourth quarter of 2016. Drilled 20 (20 net) wells in our Montney condensate rich resource play;
- Continued to decrease well costs as drill times improved due to our continual application of new technologies, improved efficiencies and logistics, as well as service providers maintaining their support in this commodity price environment. NuVista’s capital cost performance has continued to show improvement. A three-well pad in Elmworth was achieved with an all-in drill, complete, and equip cost of $5.1 million per well. In 2016, NuVista had an average drilling cost of $1,670 per horizontal meter. This represents a 22% reduction over the prior year and includes two recent record wells in Elmworth at $1,100/m. NuVista’s completion costs in 2016 averaged $975/Tonne, a reduction of 26% compared to the prior year.
- Realized total annual cash costs including operating costs, transportation, royalties, G&A, and interest of $16.03/Boe, a 9% reduction compared to 2015; and
- Achieved annual G&A costs of $1.84/Boe, a reduction of 25% and 42% compared to 2015 and 2014 respectively.
Significant Reserves Highlights for 2016
NuVista is pleased to announce a significant increase in our reserves value as a result of the 2016 year end independent evaluation of our reserves by GLJ Petroleum Consultants Ltd (“GLJ”) (the “GLJ Report”). 2016 marked the completion of our transition to a pure-play condensate rich Montney company. Dispositions and continued Montney development have resulted in 99% of our reserves now being booked in the Montney. In 2016, we have been focused on converting undeveloped locations to producers in Bilbo and Elmworth. Gold Creek reserves were largely unchanged after a year of low activity, however we have commenced a very active drilling program in this area in 2017. At Pipestone, NuVista is just months away from spudding our first well, but industry has already been very active in the area providing positive proven results directly offsetting our acreage.
We have increased our condensate weighting, underpinning our improving net backs and exposure to a recovery in global oil prices despite a volatile natural gas market. The net present value (“NPV”) of NuVista’s reserves has increased materially while F&D cost performance has continued to improve significantly. For the year ended December 31, 2016 NuVista:
- Increased Proved Developed Producing (“PDP”) reserves 30% from 29.2 to 37.9 MMBoe excluding the 8.2 MMBoe effect of 2016 non-core dispositions. Total Proved plus Probable (“TP+PA”) reserves increased from 229.1 to 257.4 MMBoe excluding the 23.7 MMBoe effect of 2016 dispositions. Net of dispositions, the PDP and TP+PA reserves increases were 1% and 2% respectively, however the respective NPV before tax discounted at 10% (“NPVBT10”) values increased materially from $297 million and $1,058 million to $388 million and $1,165 million. These increases, net of divestitures, of 31% and 10% for PDP and TP+PA NPVBT10 values respectively were despite a reduction in the GLJ forecast pricing assumptions as compared to the prior year;
- Replaced 2.0x production on a PDP basis excluding the effect of dispositions, or 4.1x on a TP+PA basis. Replacement of produced and divested volumes combined was 1.0x and 1.2x on a PDP and TP+PA basis, respectively;
- Achieved record low PDP F&D costs in 2016 of $10.80/Boe, a 47% reduction versus 2015. TP+PA F&D was $8.39/Boe. The PDP recycle ratio based on fourth quarter 2016 funds from operations netback of $17.90/Boe was 1.7x, or 1.4x based on full year 2016 funds from operations netback. The corresponding recycle ratios for TP+PA reserves were 2.1x and 1.8x respectively;
- Maintained TP+PA Future Development Capital (“FDC”) flat versus 2015, at $1.6 billion. This is accompanied by a continued decrease in the ratio of FDC to funds from operations from 15.6x at year end 2014 to 12.9x for 2015 and 11.8x for 2016;
- Booked eight TP+PA locations on our Pipestone block, for a total of 9.0 MMBoe. This underpins our confidence in the future development potential of the block and corroborates our belief that the block is condensate rich in nature; and
- Achieved positive PDP technical revisions of 5% based on production performance.
NuVista is pleased to note that our Montney PDP and TP+PA reserves have grown at a compounded annual growth rate of 130% and 84% respectively over the past 5 years. As the proportion of reserves attributed to the Montney has increased, so has the weighting to condensate which now forms 25% of the Company’s reserves, up from 19% in 2015.
Credit Facility and Other Items
- Exited 2016 with nothing drawn on the Company’s $200 million credit facility. Net debt, including senior unsecured notes and working capital deficiency, was $82.7 million and net debt to annualized fourth quarter funds from operations was 0.5x;
- Continued to prudently and selectively add to our hedge positions for 2017, 2018, and 2019. We currently possess hedges which in aggregate cover 64% of 2017 projected liquids production within price collars of $65.73 to $68.80/Bbl, and 59% of 2017 projected gas production at a price of $3.23/Mcf. Both of these percentage figures relate to production net of royalty volumes. Combined with our AECO-NYMEX basis hedges, NuVista has no exposure to AECO pricing through to September, and well under 10% of gas volumes exposed to AECO for the full year of 2017;
- In October, NuVista announced an accelerated growth plan and a gas plant agreement with SemCAMS ULC to provide capacity to over 60,000 Boe/d over the next five years. Associated Nova transportation contracts were also signed; and
- Contracted for 40,000 GJ/d of delivery service on the Nova system to the Alberta/BC border which will allow for gas exports to northern California. This service is anticipated to commence in late 2018 after the Sundre Crossover project is completed by Nova. This capacity coupled with NuVista’s existing Alliance Pipeline capacity to Chicago will provide for a more diverse portfolio of gas markets and prices beyond AECO. NuVista will continue to evaluate other downstream gas marketing opportunities as they arise.
NuVista will continue drilling with five rigs until spring breakup and then reduce to approximately three rigs in operation for the second half of 2017. As previously noted, 2016 capital spending was approximately $18 million below the midpoint of 2016 guidance primarily as a result of weather-deferred activity. These deferred costs are being incurred in 2017. As a result, we expect 2017 capital expenditures to be at the higher end of our existing capital spending guidance range of $260 – $300 million.
Due to some uncertainty in the quarterly phasing of planned maintenance outages, our original guidance was 26,000 – 29,000 Boe/d for each of the first three quarters of 2017. As planned, 5 new wells came on stream in Bilbo in the first quarter. After minor delays, these wells came on-stream in early March as opposed to early February. As a result, first quarter production is expected to be at or slightly below the lower end of our guidance range. As of the first week of March, production has already reached 27,000 Boe/d. The initial productivity of the new wells appears very strong therefore the guidance ranges for the remainder of the year and full year are unchanged. Annual 2017 production guidance is 28,000 – 31,000 Boe/d.
NuVista has top quality assets and every team member is focused upon relentless improvement. We are excited to continue pursuing our 5 year growth plan to 60,000 Boe/d. We would like to thank our staff, contractors, and suppliers for their continued dedication and delivery, and we thank our board of directors and our shareholders for their continued guidance and support.
Please note that our corporate presentation is being updated and will be available at www.nuvistaenergy.com by March 8, 2017. NuVista’s financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2016, notes to the financial statements and management’s discussion and analysis will be filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) under NuVista Energy Ltd. on or before Wednesday, March 8, 2017 and can also be accessed on NuVista’s website.
|Three months ended December 31||Year ended December 31|
|($ thousands, except per share and per $/Boe)||2016||2015||% Change||2016||2015||% Change|
|Oil and natural gas revenues||$||74,538||$||55,592||34||$||257,252||$||225,685||14|
|Funds from operations (1)||40,697||32,544||25||137,841||124,989||10|
|Per basic and diluted share||0.24||0.21||14||0.87||0.84||4|
|Net income (loss)||1,135||(69,074||)||(102||)||(1,653||)||(172,925||)||(99||)|
|Per basic and diluted share||0.01||(0.45||)||(102||)||(0.01||)||(1.16||)||(99||)|
|Net debt (1)||82,692||220,625||(63||)|
|Proceeds on property dispositions||2,082||12,947||(84||)||75,983||26,858||183|
|Weighted average common shares outstanding – basic||167,938||153,305||10||157,977||148,523||6|
|End of period common shares outstanding||172,746||153,310||13|
|Natural gas (MMcf/d)||96.3||96.4||–||97.0||94.3||3|
|Condensate & oil (Bbls/d)||7,258||5,421||34||6,892||5,042||37|
|NGLs (Bbls/d) (2)||1,402||1,875||(25||)||1,575||1,648||(4||)|
|Condensate, oil & NGLs weighting||35||%||31||%||34||%||30||%|
|Condensate & oil weighting||29||%||23||%||28||%||23||%|
|Average selling prices (3) & (4)|
|Natural gas ($/Mcf)||3.74||3.55||5||3.54||3.64||(3||)|
|Condensate & oil ($/Bbl)||58.21||45.28||29||49.81||51.34||(3||)|
|Oil and natural gas revenues||32.78||25.88||27||28.53||27.59||3|
|Realized gain on financial derivatives||1.02||5.15||(80||)||2.92||5.23||(44||)|
|Operating netback (1)||20.80||18.05||15||18.38||18.56||(1||)|
|Funds from operations netback (1)||17.90||15.15||18||15.28||15.28||–|
|Share trading statistics|
|Average daily volume||693,415||582,682||19||549,049||456,570||20|
|(1)||See “Non-GAAP measurements”.|
|(2)||Natural gas liquids (“NGLs”) include butane, propane and ethane.|
|(3)||Product prices exclude realized gains/losses on financial derivatives.|
|(4)||The average NGLs selling price is net of tariffs and fractionation fees.|
Summary of Corporate Reserves Data
The following table provides summary reserve information based upon the GLJ Report using the published GLJ January 1, 2017 price forecast:
|Natural Gas(2)||Natural Gas
|Company Gross||Company Gross||Company Gross||Company Gross|
|Total proved plus probable||1,050,121||82,255||86||257,361|
|(1)||Numbers may not add due to rounding.|
|(2)||Includes conventional natural gas and shale gas and coal bed methane.|
|(3)||Includes light, medium crude oil.|
The following table is a summary reconciliation of the 2016 year end working interest reserves with the working interest reserves reported in the 2016 year end reserves report:
|Balance, December 31, 2015||491,521||35,901||72||117,894|
|Exploration and development(2)||137,859||11,576||–||34,552|
|Balance, December 31, 2016||547,046||42,587||65||133,826|
|Total proved plus probable|
|Balance, December 31, 2015||1,052,372||77,196||135||252,727|
|Exploration and development(2)||138,076||12,868||0||35,880|
|Balance, December 31, 2016||1,050,121||82,255||86||257,361|
|(1)||Numbers may not add due to rounding.|
|(2)||Reserve additions for drilling extensions, infill drilling and improved recovery.|
|(3)||Includes conventional natural gas, shale gas and coal bed methane.|
|(4)||Includes light, medium crude oil.|
The following table summarizes the future development capital included in the GLJ Report:
|($ thousands, undiscounted)||Proved||Proved plus
The following table outlines NuVista’s corporate finding and development costs in more detail:
|3 Year-Average (1)||2016 (1)||2015 (1)|
|Proved plus||Proved plus||Proved plus|
|After reserve revisions and including changes in future development capital|
|Finding and development costs ($/Boe)||$11.48||$8.42||$10.13||$8.39||$8.11||$3.69|
|(1)||F&D costs are used as a measure of capital efficiency. The calculation for finding and development costs includes all exploration and development capital for that period (as outlined in the Company’s year end financial statements) plus the change in future development capital for that period. This total capital including the change in the future development capital is then divided by the change in reserves for that period including revisions for that same period. The aggregate of the exploration and development costs incurred in the most recent financial year and the change during the year in estimated future development costs generally will not reflect total finding and development costs related to reserve additions for the year.|
As noted earlier in the highlights, PDP F&D results have improved dramatically over prior years, reaching a record low PDP F&D of $10.80/Boe in 2016 with a corresponding PDP full year recycle ratio of 1.4x. The corresponding recycle ratios for Total Proved and TP+PA reserves were 1.5x and 1.8x respectively. Total Proved and TP+PA F&D costs were favorable in 2016 notwithstanding the increase from 2015. This increase in 2016 is merely due to the anomalously low numbers achieved in 2015 due to a large one-time reduction in FDC due to cost efficiency gains.
Summary of Corporate Net Present Value Data
The estimated net present values of future net revenue before income taxes associated with NuVista’s reserves effective December 31, 2016 and based on published GLJ future price forecast as at January 1, 2017 as set forth below are summarized in the following table:
The estimated future net revenue contained in the following table does not necessarily represent the fair market value of the reserves. There is no assurance that the forecast price and cost assumptions contained in the GLJ Report will be attained and variations could be material. The recovery and reserve estimates described herein are estimates only. Actual reserves may be greater or less than those calculated.
|Before Income Taxes|
|Discount Factor (%/year)|
|Reserves category (1) ($ thousands)||0%||5%||10%||15%||20%|
|Total proved plus probable||3,167,092||1,822,825||1,164,566||804,354||588,562|
|(1)||Numbers may not add due to rounding.|
The following table is a summary of pricing and inflation rate assumptions based on published GLJ forecast prices and costs as at January 1, 2017:
|Year||AECO Gas Price ($Cdn/ Mmbtu)||Edmonton Condensate ($Cdn/Bbl)||Edmonton Propane ($Cdn/Bbl)||Edmonton Butane ($Cdn/Bbl)||WTI Cushing Oklahoma ($US/Bbl)||Edmonton Par Price 40 API ($Cdn/Bbl)||Inflation Rates %
|Exchange Rate(2) ($US/$Cdn)|
|(1)||Inflation rate for costs.|
|(2)||Exchange rate used to generate the benchmark reference prices in this table.|
ADVISORIES REGARDING OIL AND GAS INFORMATION
This news release contains the term barrels of oil equivalent (“Boe”). Natural gas is converted to a Boe using six thousand cubic feet of gas to one barrel of oil. Boes may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. The foregoing conversion ratios are based on an energy equivalency conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent a value equivalency at the wellhead. As well, given than the value ratio based on the current price of crude oil to natural gas is significantly different from the 6:1 energy equivalency ratio, using a conversion ratio on a 6:1 basis may be misleading as an indication of value.
This news release contains a number of additional oil and gas metrics prepared by management, including finding and development costs and recycle ratios, which do not have standardized meanings or standard methods of calculation and therefore such measures may not be comparable to similar measures used by other companies. Such metrics have been included herein to provide readers with additional measures to evaluate NuVista’s performance on a comparable basis with prior periods; however, such measures are not reliable indicators of the future performance of NuVista and future performance may not compare to the performance in previous periods. Details of how finding and development costs have been calculated are included in the body of this press release. Recycle ratio has been calculated by dividing fourth quarter 2016 funds from operations netback and full year funds from operations netback (refer to Non-GAAP Measurements) by finding and development costs per boe for the year.
FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION AND STATEMENTS
This press release contains forward-looking statements and forward-looking information (collectively, “forward-looking statements”) within the meaning of applicable securities laws. The use of any of the words “will”, “expects”, “believe”, “plans”, “potential” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. More particularly and without limitation, this press release contains forward looking statements, including management’s assessment of NuVista’s future strategy, plans, opportunities and operations, forecast production and production mix, our hedging policy and plans, drilling, development, completion and tie-in plans and timing and results therefrom, planned throughput capacity, plans to manage NuVista’s balance sheet strength and flexibility, plans to accelerate growth and provide long-term profitable growth, repeatable value creation and deliver top financial returns, commodity price expectations, future processing capacity and anticipated future outages and holdbacks, future drilling and completions costs, future supply and service costs, the timing, allocation and efficiency of NuVista’s capital program and the results therefrom, anticipated potential and growth opportunities associated with NuVista’s asset base and industry conditions.
By their nature, forward-looking statements are based upon certain assumptions and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond NuVista’s control, including the impact of general economic conditions, industry conditions, current and future commodity prices, currency and interest rates, anticipated production rates, borrowing, operating and other costs and funds from operations, the timing, allocation and amount of capital expenditures and the results therefrom, anticipated reserves and the imprecision of reserve estimates, the performance of existing wells, the success obtained in drilling new wells, the sufficiency of budgeted capital expenditures in carrying out planned activities, competition from other industry participants, availability of qualified personnel or services and drilling and related equipment, stock market volatility, effects of regulation by governmental agencies including changes in environmental regulations, tax laws and royalties; the ability to access sufficient capital from internal sources and bank and equity markets; and including, without limitation, those risks considered under “Risk Factors” in our Annual Information Form.
Within this new release, references are made to terms commonly used in the oil and natural gas industry. Management uses “funds from operations”, “funds from operations per share”, “funds from operations netback”, “net debt”, “net debt to annualized fourth quarter funds from operations”, “operating netback”, “annual cash costs” and “funds from operations netback” to analyze operating performance and leverage. These terms do not have any standardized meaning prescribed by GAAP and therefore may not be comparable with the calculation of similar measures for other entities. These terms are used by management to analyze operating performance on a comparable basis with prior periods and to analyze the liquidity of NuVista.
Funds from operations are based on cash flow from operating activities as per the statement of cash flows before changes in non-cash working capital, asset retirement expenditures, environmental remediation expense and note receivable impairment (recovery). Funds from operations as presented is not intended to represent operating cash flow or operating profits for the period nor should it be viewed as an alternative to cash flow from operating activities, per the statement of cash flows, net earnings (loss) or other measures of financial performance calculated in accordance with GAAP. For more details on non-GAAP measures, including a reconciliation to GAAP measures refer to our Management’s Discussion and Analysis.
Funds from operations per share is calculated based on the weighted average number of common shares outstanding consistent with the calculation of net loss per share. Operating netback equals the total of revenues including realized financial derivative gains/losses less royalties, transportation and operating expenses calculated on a Boe basis. Funds from operations netback is operating netback less general and administrative, restricted stock units, deferred share units and interest expenses calculated on a Boe basis. Net debt is calculated as long-term debt plus senior unsecured notes plus adjusted working capital. Adjusted working capital is current assets less current liabilities and excludes the current portions of the financial derivative assets or liabilities and asset retirement obligations. Net debt to annualized fourth quarter funds from operations is net debt divided by annualized fourth quarter funds from operations. Annual cash costs equals the total of royalties, transportation, operating expenses, general and administrative costs and interest costs calculated on a Boe basis.
The reserves estimates prepared herein have been evaluated by an independent qualified reserves evaluator in accordance with National Instrument 51-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Oil and Gas Activities and the Canadian Oil and Gas Evaluation Handbook (“COGE Handbook”) and are effective as of December 31, 2016. All reserves information has been presented on a gross basis, which is the Company’s working interest share before deduction of royalties and without including any royalty interests of the Company. The reserves have been categorized accordance with the reserves definitions as set out in the COGE Handbook.
Further information will be included in our Annual Information Form which will be filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) under NuVista Energy Ltd. on or before March 31, 2017.
Jonathan A. Wright
President and CEO
NuVista Energy Ltd.
Ross L. Andreachuk
VP, Finance and CFO