CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwire – Nov. 13, 2012) – Chinook Energy Inc. (TSX:CKE) (“Chinook” or the “Company”) is pleased to report its financial and operating results for the three months ended September 30, 2012. A complete copy of our condensed financial statements for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2012 and 2011 along with management’s discussion and analysis related thereto will be filed on SEDAR and be available on the Company’s website at www.chinookenergyinc.com.
Q3 2012 FINANCIAL AND OPERATING RESULTS
During the third quarter, Chinook continued to build on the momentum carried forward from the prior quarter with ongoing drilling and completion activity in Tunisia and further defining the focus of rationalizing our Canadian activities, through asset dispositions. Our success in this regard and the effect on the third quarter and nine month financial and operational results for Chinook are as follows:
Third quarter (“Q3”) production averaged 11,964 barrels of oil equivalent per day (“boe/d”) up approximately 4% from second quarter 2012 (“Q2”) production of 11,548 boe/d on the strength of increased Tunisia volumes and down approximately 17% year-over-year from 14,443 boe/d in the third quarter of 2011, mainly attributed to Canadian non-core asset dispositions. Corporate production contribution from Tunisia was 2,148 boe/d, or 18% of total corporate production in Q3, up from 14% in Q2 and from 9% of total corporate production year-over-year.
Q3 sales volumes averaged 12,377 boe/d, with the 413 boe/d difference between our production and sales volumes resulting from a decrease in Tunisian inventory. Production is measured in the field versus sales volumes being measured at the point when crude oil is loaded onto a tanker after being transported and stored at a terminal facility at the port of La Skhira. The portion of crude oil production remaining stored in tanks at a terminal facility at each reporting date is reported as inventory. Inventory at the end of Q3 was approximately 37,000 bbls.
Production volumes in Q3 were weighted 61% towards natural gas where our average price received was $2.57 per thousand cubic feet ($2.22 per thousand cubic feet for western Canadian natural gas and $15.20 per thousand cubic feet for Tunisian natural gas), up 24% from an average Q2 price of $2.08 per thousand cubic feet and down 33% year-over-year from an average price of $3.84 per thousand cubic feet in the third quarter 2011. Thirty-two percent of Q3 sales volumes were oil weighted and received an average price of $95.61 per barrel ($80.23 per barrel for western Canadian crude oil and $105.82 per barrel for Tunisian crude oil). Tunisia sales volumes contributed 21% of total company sales volumes and 66% of our $20.94 million cash flow in Q3.
Q3 capital expenditures in the field totaled $21.78 million, of which $18.24 million was spent in Tunisia and $3.54 million in Canada. Capital expenditures were up 82% from the second quarter of 2012. As part of our ongoing Canadian non-core asset disposition program, we completed approximately $1.45 million in dispositions of approximately 23 boe/d in Q3 bringing our 2012 non-core disposition total to $73.20 million, with associated production of approximately 1,060 boe/d or approximately $69,000 per flowing barrel of oil equivalent. Subsequent to the end of the quarter, we have entered into agreements for an additional $33 million in dispositions of approximately 545 boe/d which would bring our 2012 non-core disposition total to $104.2 million, or approximately $65,000 per flowing barrel of oil equivalent.
Net debt at September 30, 2012 was $80.43 million, up approximately 4% from Q2 and down 47% year-over-year from third quarter 2011 net debt of $151.01 million. As a result of our continued debt reduction through 2011 and 2012, our balance sheet remains strong and our net debt to annualized Q3 cash flow is less than 1.0 times, not including the cash flow associated with the inventoried production at the end of Q3.
|Financial and Operating Highlights|
|Three months ended September 30||Nine months ended September 30|
|Natural gas liquids (bbl/d)||1,141||1,343||1,155||1,453|
|Natural gas (mcf/d)||43,839||56,364||46,215||56,375|
|Average daily production (boe/d)||11,964||14,443||12,367||14,428|
|Average oil price ($/bbl)||$||95.61||$||94.19||$||96.15||$||91.25|
|Average natural gas liquids price ($/bbl)||$||56.42||$||67.15||$||61.03||$||64.04|
|Average natural gas price ($/mcf)||$||2.57||$||3.84||$||2.31||$||3.90|
|Corporate Netbacks (1)|
|Average commodity pricing ($/boe)||$||44.67||$||45.63||$||41.07||$||44.08|
|Net production expenses ($/boe) (1)||$||(18.38||)||$||(20.25||)||$||(16.97||)||$||(16.91||)|
|Cash G&A ($/boe) (1)||$||(2.54||)||$||(1.80||)||$||(3.07||)||$||(2.03||)|
|Corporate netbacks ($/boe) (1)||$||21.25||$||18.34||$||17.66||$||18.18|
|Wells Drilled (net)|
|Total wells drilled (net)||1.11||8.10||7.09||19.70|
|FINANCIAL ($ thousands, except per share amounts)|
|Petroleum and natural gas revenue, net of royalties||$||48,012||$||53,920||$||126,500||$||145,489|
|Cash flow (1)||$||20,935||$||22,114||$||49,939||$||61,054|
|Per share – basic and diluted ($/share)||$||0.10||$||0.10||$||0.23||$||0.29|
|Per share – basic and diluted ($/share)||$||(0.06||)||$||(0.02||)||$||(0.25||)||$||(0.03||)|
|Net debt (1)||$||80,428||$||151,014||$||80,428||$||151,014|
|Common Shares (thousands)|
|Weighted average during period|
|– basic and diluted||214,188||214,188||214,188||214,188|
|Outstanding at period end||214,188||214,188||214,188||214,188|
|(1) Cash flow, net debt, corporate netback, net production expense and cash G&A are not IFRS measures. These terms do not have any standardized meanings as prescribed by IFRS and, therefore, may not be comparable with the calculations of similar measures presented by other companies.|
Q3 ACTIVITY AND OPERATIONAL UPDATE
Bir Ben Tartar Concession
Successful results from our activity on the Bir Ben Tartar Concession (“BBT Concession”) continued in Q3 with the drilling and completion of our second horizontal well at TT-13 which was spudded on July 7, 2012 and subsequently completed on September 4, 2012. Gross production over the first 10 days averaged 3,251 (1,756 net) barrels of oil per day (“bopd”) and was subsequently restricted to 1,500 (810 net) bopd due to capacity constraints and limitations on crude oil trucking and surface water handling.
Gross production from the first horizontal well at TT-16 averaged 897 (484 net) bopd over the first 10 days of production, 825 (446 net) bopd over the first 30 days of production and 715 (386 net) bopd over the first 60 days of production and is currently producing at a restricted rate of 465 (250 net) bopd after 115 days of production.
The third horizontal well at TT-11 was spud on September 1, 2012 and completion operations commenced on October 22, 2012. Production over the first 17 days averaged 1,199 (646 net) bopd and the well is currently producing 950 (512 net) bopd.
The fourth and final 2012 horizontal well on the BBT Concession was spud on October 19, 2012 at TT-10. As current production from the BBT Concession exceeds current crude oil trucking and surface water handling, completion operations on this well will be deferred until 2013. We are reviewing plans to implement strategies to increase our crude oil trucking and water handling capacity by year-end 2012 to support higher volumes in 2013.
Current gross production from the BBT Concession has increased 103% to 4,548 bopd from 2,236 bopd at the start of 2012. We estimate fourth quarter gross production from the BBT Concession to average between 4,500 bopd and 4,750 bopd. The TT structure within the BBT Concession covers approximately 13,750 acres.
We remain in the front end engineering and design phase of the development of our Tunisian offshore Cosmos Concession and anticipate a final investment decision (“FID”) being made in early 2013. We entered into an agreement with a wholly-owned subsidiary (“NZOG”) of New Zealand Oil & Gas Ltd. whereby NZOG has the option to participate in the development of the Cosmos Concession, in which we are recognized as the holder of an 80% working interest. Under the terms of the agreement, NZOG paid us initial consideration of US$3.0 million to purchase a 40% working interest in the Cosmos Concession, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions. NZOG’s election to participate in or withdraw from the development of the Cosmos Concession will be made at the point of FID subject to regulatory approval and positive project economics. On a positive election, we and NZOG will each retain a 40% working interest in the Cosmos Concession, provided that NZOG shall pay the first US$19.0 million of our share of the costs and expenses (in addition to its own share) in respect of the development plan.
As previously announced, effective July 1, 2012, InSite Petroleum Consultants Ltd. (“InSite“) provided an update to the evaluation of the reserves for the offshore Cosmos South field located in the Cosmos Concession. The update includes the assignment of 8.8 million barrels (“MMbbl“) of proved plus probable reserves (gross) and 6.5 MMbbl of total proved reserves (gross) to the Cosmos South field. This represents a 39% increase in proved plus probable reserves at the Cosmos South field since December 31, 2011.
The following table summarizes the December 31, 2011 and updated July 1, 2012 InSite reserve estimate for 100% of the Cosmos South field.
|December 31, 2011||July 1, 2012||Change||% Increase|
|Proved Plus Probable (MMbbl)||6.3||8.8||2.5||39|
The Ennhada led interim coalition government has announced their intention to hold Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in mid-2013. Prior to finalizing a date, the current assembly must confirm the constitution, form of government, and ratify any changes. Despite broadly delivering on the objectives of the interim government from a political process reform perspective, unrest and associated instability continue to grow. Opponents on both sides of the centrist coalition have become more critical of the pace of economic reform and more vocal regarding the level of Islamic principled influence in the legal, political and human rights arenas. Demonstrations targeting commercial operations, for political statement as well as personal commercial gain, are on the rise. We see no reason to expect this trend to be reversed in 2013. In 2012, our field operations experienced six onsite field demonstrations. To date, there has been no commercial impact on our operations as we have successfully relied on a strong relationship with the security services in our areas of operations, an active and engaged community relations effort and most importantly, the efforts of our staff in dealing with the demonstrations.
Although it is very difficult to predict the near term outcome or long term implications of the evolution of the political process in Tunisia, all major political parties have signaled their continued support for direct foreign investment. With the opportunity to boost domestic production by at least 20% in 2013, our projects represent important economic developments on both a local and national level.
We are continuing to focus on the profitability of our Canadian assets with ongoing dispositions of our non-core assets and concentrating on projects that generate the highest returns. In conjunction with our disposition and asset high-grading strategy, we continue to seek ways to improve our operating cost structure which has been reduced to $15.83 per boe year to date compared to $16.83 per boe in the same period of 2011.
Notwithstanding a relatively quiet third quarter of operations in Canada, we continue to evaluate the Dunvegan potential over our land in the Karr and Wapiti areas in Grande Prairie. We completed two (0.75 net) Dunvegan wells at Wapiti in Q3 with one well placed on production in August while the other requires frozen ground conditions prior to being tied into the production facilities. Stabilized production rates for these wells are expected to be similar to the production rates from our offsetting wells at between 125 and 275 boe/d.
The balance of our drilling activity in 2012 will focus on oil drilling opportunities in the Karr and Kaybob areas of Alberta. Subsequent to the third quarter, a non-operated horizontal Dunvegan well (0.38 net) was drilled and cased at Karr in October and will be completed prior to year-end. Two more (0.75 net) horizontal Dunvegan wells at Karr will be drilled prior to year-end where we have identified up to 16 additional locations on the prospect. At Kaybob, we expect to drill a Montney horizontal oil well (0.38 net) prior to year-end as follow up to a discovery made in early 2012. Both the discovery well and new well are expected to be tied-in to newly constructed production facilities and onstream in early 2013. We have identified up to 14 additional locations on contiguous lands ranging from 37.5% to 75% working interest offsetting the discovery well and industry drilling activity.
2013 Capital Budget and Guidance
The Company has established a provisional capital budget of between $140-145 million for 2013, with $90-95 million to be spent in Tunisia and $45-50 million to be spent in Canada, which assumes that we will own all of the Canadian non-core assets which are being marketed as set forth below. On the same basis, our initial 2013 production guidance is 10,800 – 11,500 boe/d, split 3,000 – 3,400 boe/d in Tunisia and 7,800 – 8,100 boe/d in Canada. Our initial cash flow for 2013 is estimated between $130-135 million, with $90-94 million contributed by Tunisia and $38-41 million contributed by Canada. Our initial 2013 year-end net debt is estimated to be $95-100 million. To the extent we are successful in completing the sale of Canadian non-core assets, the budget for 2013 will be adjusted and approved and the net sale proceeds therefrom will initially be applied to reduce our outstanding indebtedness.
As previously announced, we have engaged FirstEnergy Capital Corp. and Macquarie Capital Markets Canada Ltd. to market certain of our Canadian non-core assets representing approximately 5,500 boe/d with bids on properties anticipated to be received in January 2013. There is no assurance that we will receive acceptable bids for any or all of the non-core properties.
Our strategy in 2012 was for increased profitability and growth through optimization and cost control of our lower netback properties in Canada and accelerated development in Tunisia through horizontal drilling and multi-staged hydraulic fracture completions. To date, we believe the results have substantiated our efforts in this regard. We will continue to focus on improving our operating costs in Canada and demonstrating material growth in both our domestic and international assets by executing on a capital program that is fully funded by our solid balance sheet and strong cash flow. An updated corporate presentation will be posted to our website at www.chinookenergyinc.com on November 14, 2012.
About Chinook Energy Inc.
Chinook is a Calgary-based public oil and gas exploration and development company that combines multi-zone conventional production with resource plays in Western Canada with an exciting high growth oil business onshore and offshore Tunisia in North Africa.
In the interest of providing shareholders and potential investors with information regarding Chinook, including management’s assessment of the future plans and operations of Chinook, certain statements contained in this news release constitute forward-looking statements or information (collectively “forward-looking statements”) within the meaning of applicable securities legislation. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as “anticipate”, “continue”, “estimate”, “expect”, “forecast”, “guidance”, “may”, “will”, “project”, “could”, “plan”, “intend”, “should”, “believe”, “outlook”, “potential”, “target” and similar words suggesting future events or future performance. In addition, statements relating to “reserves” are deemed to be forward-looking statements as they involved implied assessment, based on certain estimates and assumptions, that the reserves described exist in the quantities predicted or estimated and can be profitably produced in the future. In particular, this news release contains, without limitation, forward-looking statements pertaining to: future exploration and development activities (including drilling and completion plans) and the timing thereof; estimates of fourth quarter production from and the 2012 productive capacity exit rate for the BBT Concession; expectations regarding the Company’s ability to increase its crude oil trucking and surface water handling capacity in Tunisia and the timing thereof; expectations regarding a positive FID being made by NZOG, the timing thereof and that NZOG will retain a 40% interest in the Cosmos Concession; expectations of future plans regarding the Canadian non-core asset sale process, as well as management’s expectations with respect to 2013 capital expenditures, production guidance, cash flow, and 2013 year end net debt, as set out under the heading “2013 Capital Budget and Guidance”.
With respect to the forward-looking statements contained in this news release, Chinook has made assumptions regarding, among other things: the ability of Chinook to continue to operate in Tunisia with limited logistical security and operational issues, future capital expenditure levels, future oil and natural gas prices, future oil and natural gas production levels, Chinook’s ability to obtain equipment in a timely manner to carry out exploration and development activities, that NZOG will make a positive FID and retain a 40% interest in the Cosmos Concession, the impact of increasing competition, the ability of Chinook to add production and reserves through development and exploitation activities, certain commodity price and other cost assumptions, the continued availability of adequate debt financing and cash flow to fund its planned expenditures. Although Chinook believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements contained in this news release, and the assumptions on which such forward-looking statements are made, are reasonable, there can be no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements included in this news release, as there can be no assurance that the plans, intentions or expectations upon which the forward-looking statements are based will occur. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve numerous assumptions, known and unknown risks and uncertainties that contribute to the possibility that predictions, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking statements will not occur, which may cause Chinook’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, without limitation, political and security risks associated with Chinook’s Tunisian operations, inability to retain drilling rigs and other services, uncertainty associated with partner plans and approvals including that NZOG may not make a positive election to participate in the Cosmos Concession, risks associated with oil and gas exploration, development, exploitation, production, marketing and transportation, loss of markets, volatility of commodity prices, currency fluctuations, imprecision of reserve and resource estimates, the continued impact of shut-in production, environmental risks, competition from other producers, unexpected increases in capital expenditure costs, including drilling, completion and facilities costs, unexpected decline rates in wells, delays in projects and/or operations, wells not performing as expected, delays resulting from or inability to obtain the required regulatory approvals and ability to access sufficient capital from internal and external sources. As a consequence, actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned that the forgoing list of factors is not exhaustive. Additional information on these and other factors that could effect Chinook’s operations and financial results are included in Chinook’s annual information form for the year ended December 31, 2011 and other documents on file with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities and may be accessed through the SEDAR website (www.sedar.com) and at Chinook’s website (www.chinookenergyinc.com). Furthermore, the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as at the date of this news release and Chinook does not undertake any obligation to update publicly or to revise any of the forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable securities laws.
Barrels of Oil Equivalent
Barrels of oil equivalent (boe) is calculated using the conversion factor of 6 mcf (thousand cubic feet) of natural gas being equivalent to one barrel of oil. Boe may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A boe conversion ratio of 6 mcf:1 bbl (barrel) 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 from the energy equivalency of 6:1, utilizing a conversion on a 6:1 basis may be misleading as an indication of value.
The reader is also cautioned that this news release contains the term corporate netback, which is not a recognized measure under International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”) and is calculated as a period’s sales of petroleum and natural gas, net of royalties less net production and operating expenses and cash G&A as divided by the period’s sales volumes. Management uses this measure to assist them in understanding Chinook’s profitability relative to current commodity prices and it provides an analytical tool to benchmark changes in operational performance against prior periods and . Readers are cautioned, however, that this measure should not be construed as an alternative to other terms such as net income determined in accordance with IFRS as a measure of performance. Chinook’s method of calculating this measure may differ from other companies, and accordingly, they may not be comparable to measures used by other companies.
Cash flow from operations
The reader is also cautioned that this news release contains the term cash flow from operations, which is not a recognized measure under IFRS and is calculated as cash flow from continuing operations adjusted for changes in non-cash working capital. Management believes that cash flow is a key measure to assess the ability of Chinook to finance capital expenditures and debt repayments. Readers are cautioned, however, that this measure should not be construed as an alternative to other terms such as cash flow from operating activities, net income or other measures of financial performance calculated in accordance with IFRS. Chinook’s method of calculating this measure may differ from other companies, and accordingly, they may not be comparable to measures used by other companies.