Perpetual Energy Inc. Releases Second Quarter 2014 Financial and Operating Results

CALGARY, Aug. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ - (TSX:PMT) - Perpetual Energy Inc. ("Perpetual" or the "Corporation" or the "Company") is pleased to report its financial and operating results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2014. Perpetual's focused capital expenditure program combined with stronger commodity prices resulted in reported increases in production, revenue and funds flow compared to both the preceding first quarter of 2014 and the second quarter of 2013.  In addition, several transactions were announced in the second quarter to reduce the Company's overall debt levels, while at the same time, increasing reserves and accelerating future funds flow growth.  A complete copy of Perpetual's unaudited interim consolidated financial statements and related Management's Discussion and Analysis ("MD&A") for the three and six months ended June 30, 2014 can be obtained through the Corporation's website at www.perpetualenergyinc.com and SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

SECOND QUARTER 2014

Production and Operations Highlights

  • Second quarter average production of 20,053 boe/d increased seven percent from the preceding first quarter of 2014 (18,794 boe/d) and was two percent higher than the prior year (Q2 2013 - 19,708 boe/d). Gas over bitumen ("GOB") deemed production decreased 20 percent to 19.3 MMcf/d from 24.1 MMcf/d in the second quarter of 2013 as a result of annual 10 percent reductions combined with the expiration of the 10-year deemed production period for multiple wells.

  • Oil and natural gas liquids ("NGL" or "liquids") production of 3,738 bbl/d increased eight percent from the first quarter of 2014 (3,451 boe/d) reflecting production from new Mannville heavy oil wells drilled during the first quarter. Compared to the prior year, oil and NGL production decreased 15 percent, primarily due to lower reported liquids production from Edson wells related to changes in plant and liquids recovery operations.

  • Natural gas production of 97.8 MMcf/d was up six percent from both the preceding first quarter as well as the second quarter of 2013, reflecting production from new wells drilled at West Edson which more than offset natural declines on Perpetual's shallow gas assets. Higher heat content deep basin gas represented 38 percent of natural gas production in the second quarter of 2014 compared to 29 percent in 2013, increasing the average heating value of total gas production to 1.11 GJ/Mcf from 1.09 GJ/Mcf.

  • Exploration and development expenditures of $12.3 million were primarily related to completion of the plant expansion at West Edson and start-up of drilling programs for heavy oil at Mannville and liquids-rich gas at West Edson.

  • Drilling activities in the second quarter included two (2.0 net) horizontal heavy oil wells at Mannville and one (0.5 net) horizontal well at West Edson. Modest capital was also allocated to optimize production operations on shallow gas assets.

  • Disposition proceeds of $3.0 million were realized during the quarter on the sale of a portion of the Company's interest in certain undeveloped lands.

  • Perpetual monetized its interest in remaining GOB royalty credits for proceeds of $20.5 million, subject to adjustments.

Financial Highlights

  • Funds flow of $25.9 million ($0.17 per share) was 50 percent higher than both the comparative second quarter of 2013 ($17.3 million) and the preceding first quarter of 2014 ($17.4 million), reflecting increased commodity prices, higher average production and higher average heat content gas with an increased proportion of gas produced from West Central Alberta.

  • Production and operating costs declined 18 percent to $9.99/boe in the second quarter of 2014 compared to $12.15/boe in 2013 through cost savings initiatives and reduced processing fees from changes to infrastructure at West Edson.

  • The second quarter operating netback of $19.97/boe was 35 percent higher than the $14.81/boe recorded in the prior year, an increase driven by production growth, higher quality sales products, improved realized commodity prices and enhanced operating efficiencies.

  • Net income of $2.5 million in the second quarter (2013 - loss of $14.8 million) reflected higher revenue and reduced operating expenses.

  • Increased AECO monthly index prices and higher heat content gas sales were reflected in Perpetual's average natural gas price, before derivatives, of $4.95/Mcf, up 35 percent from $3.68/Mcf in the second quarter of 2013. Losses on financial natural gas contracts reduced Perpetual's realized gas revenue by $2.7 million resulting in a realized price of $4.66/Mcf for the second quarter.

  • Perpetual's second quarter oil and NGL price, before derivatives, of $83.08/bbl increased 26 percent compared to the same period in 2013 ($66.18/bbl) due to the combination of higher crude oil reference prices and an increase in the overall quality of both oil and NGL sales products.  Price improvements were realized from the delivery of higher grade oil resulting from new drying operations at the majority of the Company's Mannville heavy oil locations, as well as higher grade NGL as a result of the change in liquid recoveries at West Edson.  Perpetual's realized oil and NGL price, including derivatives, was impacted by net losses of $2.9 million recorded on financial WTI fixed price contracts, resulting in a realized price of $74.65/bbl.

  • Total net debt of $360.0 million at June 30, 2014 was reduced by $33.8 million from $393.8 million at March 31, 2014. The reduction was driven by funds flow exceeding capital expenditures for the second quarter, combined with proceeds from dispositions and the monetization of GOB royalty credits.

2014 STRATEGIC PRIORITIES

Perpetual remains focused on its top five strategic priorities for 2014:

  1. Reduce debt and manage downside risk;
  2. Grow Edson liquids-rich gas production, reserves, cash flow, inventory and value;
  3. Maximize value of Mannville heavy oil;
  4. Maximize cash flow from shallow gas; and
  5. Advance and broaden the portfolio of high impact opportunities with risk-managed investment.

Debt reduction and downside risk management

  • On June 25, 2014, Perpetual entered into a joint venture arrangement for the accelerated development of the Company's East Edson property.  The arrangement, which closed on July 16, 2014, included the disposition of a royalty interest in developed producing reserves, as well as granting an additional gross overriding royalty on undeveloped reserves pursuant to a farm-in agreement.  Upon closing of the arrangement, Perpetual received $20 million of unrestricted funds which was initially applied against outstanding bank debt.  Additional proceeds of $100 million were placed in escrow to be utilized to fund drilling commitments, $70 million of which represents funding commitments of the joint venture partner with the remaining $30 million attributed to Perpetual's commitments.

  • During the second quarter, Perpetual closed a transaction with a third party to effectively monetize the vast majority of its remaining future GOB royalty credits for net proceeds of $18.5 million.

  • On July 23, 2014, the Company closed an 8.75 percent senior notes offering for gross proceeds of $125 million. Net proceeds from the issue of the senior notes will be used to redeem Perpetual's $100 million 7.25 percent convertible debentures ("7.25% Debentures"), due to mature on January 31, 2015.  Concurrent with the closing of the offering, Perpetual provided notice for the early redemption of all of the outstanding 7.25% Debentures on August 25, 2014. The excess $25 million of proceeds will be used to repay bank indebtedness, assist in the future repayment of its 7.00 percent convertible debentures ("7.00% Debentures") and for general corporate purposes.

  • In conjunction with the monetization of future GOB credits, the Company's lenders reduced the borrowing base under the credit facility to $120 million from $130 million at June 26, 2014, with a further reduction on July 23, 2014 to $100 million to adjust for future interest payments that will be required by the issue of the senior notes.

  • Perpetual did not enter into any significant commodity price management contracts during the second quarter of 2014; however, Perpetual has commodity price contracts in place for the remainder of 2014 to protect a base level of funds flow. Perpetual has in place natural gas hedges on an estimated 48 percent of forecast production from September to December of 2014 at an average price of $4.19/GJ. Perpetual also has financial contracts in place for September to October 2014 to fix the basis differential between the NYMEX and AECO for an average of 7,500 MMBtu/d at US$(0.48)/MMBtu.

  • Perpetual has oil sales arrangements for 1,500 bbl/d in place from September through December 2014 protecting an average WTI index floor price of US$86.67/bbl with an average ceiling price of US$95.15/bbl. In addition, the Corporation has fixed WTI oil sales contracts for 250 bbl/d for the period September through December at US$90.00/bbl as a result of the trigger of a swaption call on December 31, 2013. The Corporation also has financial contracts in place for 1,000 bbl/d to fix the basis differential between the West Texas Intermediate and Western Canadian Select ("WTI"-"WCS") trading hubs at an average of US($22.63)/bbl.

Edson Wilrich liquids-rich gas and East Edson joint venture

  • Capital spending in the West Central district during the second quarter totaled $6.9 million, which included drilling operations for one (0.5 net) liquids-rich wells in West Edson as well as completion of the West Edson facility expansion. In addition, approximately $1.0 million of the accounted expenditures in the Eastern Alberta shallow gas business unit related directly to the overhauls of sales compressor units to restore them to new condition to be put into service as part of the West Edson facility expansion. Wells drilled in 2014 continue to perform at or above the type curve for the area.

  • Completion of the West Edson facility expansion during the second quarter increased processing capacity to 60 MMcf/d (30 MMcf/d net) through the addition of condensate stabilization equipment and additional compression, which was brought online beginning June 3, 2014.

  • Perpetual plans to spend an additional $28 million at West Edson during the second half of 2014 for the drilling of up to nine (4.5 net) wells. Currently two drilling rigs are active at West Edson to grow production to the fully expanded plant capacity early in the third quarter and maintain the production level for the remainder of the year and into 2015. Perpetual is also participating in two (0.1 net) wells operated by a third party.

  • On July 16, 2014, Perpetual closed an arrangement for the accelerated development of the Corporation's East Edson property.  The arrangement included the disposition of a 50 percent royalty interest in current developed producing reserves in the East Edson area (the "Producing Royalty") for $50 million. In addition, the joint venture partner contributed $70 million for the drilling, completion and tie-in of approximately 14 horizontal wells in the Wilrich formation pursuant to a farm-in agreement to earn a second royalty (the "Drilling Royalty"). In combination, the Drilling and Producing Royalties entitle the joint venture partner to receive, on a priority basis, 5.6 MMcf/d of natural gas from the East Edson property plus oil and associated NGL from July 1, 2014 to December 31, 2022 and declining thereafter at 10 percent per year until the Drilling Royalty and the Producing Royalty terminate on December 31, 2034.

  • As part of the East Edson transaction, Perpetual committed to spend $30 million to drill, complete and tie-in approximately five additional wells prior to December 31, 2015, substantially following the spending of the partner's $70 million farm-in investment. In addition, Perpetual will construct a new gas plant at East Edson to add 30 MMcf/d of processing capacity to the East Edson area at an estimated cost of $30 million. The new plant is expected to be operational by September 1, 2015. Further to this, prior to December 31, 2022, Perpetual committed to invest another $30 million to drill, complete and tie-in approximately six more wells.

  • Planned capital spending on the East Edson property of $81 million includes drilling 13 (13.0 net) wells in the last half of 2014, as well as initial spending on equipment for the new 30 MMcf/d East Edson plant to be constructed in 2015 pursuant to the terms of the East Edson royalty agreements.  Funding for the remaining 2014 capital program includes $70 million from amounts held in escrow accounts.

  • The Company's independent reserve auditors, McDaniel and Associates Consultants Ltd., ("McDaniel") re-assessed the reserves related to the East Edson property, giving effect to the East Edson transaction, and also mechanically-adjusted Perpetual's year-end 2013 reserves to an effective date of May 1, 2014. The capital injected by the East Edson transaction is expected to increase the operating cash flow from the East Edson property to a level where the full development can be self-funded, and Perpetual has committed to a significant capital program in the area thereby allowing McDaniel to substantially increase the reserve bookings to the technical level warranted. Upon closing of the East Edson transaction, Perpetual's Company-interest recognized booked reserves increased by 60 percent, adding an estimated 36.3 MMboe of additional proved and probable reserves to Perpetual's corporate reserves, effective May 1, 2014. Perpetual's total proved and probable reserves are estimated at 96.5 MMboe, an increase of 34.1 MMboe (55 percent) from 62.4 MMboe at year-end 2013.

  • Reserve additions also included an increase in future development capital of $412 million, $70 million of which will be funded through the East Edson farm-in commitment.  McDaniel's estimate of net present value (discounted at eight percent) of Perpetual's total proved and probable reserves at May 1, 2014, giving effect to the East Edson transaction and mechanical adjustments, increased 21 percent ($144 million) from year-end 2013. This increase in net present value was recorded with only a modest increase in McDaniel's commodity price forecasts effective April 1, 2014.

  • Given the significant increased reserve bookings, the East Edson transactions translated into an estimated 56 percent increase in Perpetual's reserve-based net asset value ("NAV") to $4.80 per share as compared to the reserve-based NAV of $3.07 per share calculated at year-end 2013.

Mannville heavy oil

  • Perpetual drilled two (2.0 net) wells during the second quarter of 2014, both of which were development locations in a new pool that was brought on-stream during the first quarter of 2014.

  • Operations are continuing in the third quarter of 2014 with $15 million in capital spending to include drilling of seven (6.1 net) horizontal wells, including additional development locations in new pool discoveries made in the fourth quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014.

  • Capital will also be directed to water handling and injection projects to expand the waterflood pilot in the Mannville I2I pool and begin pressure maintenance through waterflood on two additional pools in the Mannville area.

Shallow gas

  • Second quarter capital expenditures included $2.4 million on shallow gas assets, primarily to reactivate shut-in shallow gas wells, work over existing wells, recomplete additional zones and reduce operating costs, as well as overhaul compressors for re-purposing at West Edson.  Based on production additions achieved to date, Perpetual expects an average recovery payout of less than six months for the shallow gas optimization projects.

  • The remaining 2014 capital budget includes an additional $2 million of spending to continue operations to maximize value and mitigate production declines on the Corporation's legacy shallow gas assets through facility optimization projects, workovers and uphole recompletions.

High impact opportunities

  • Project planning and full scale development scoping continued on Perpetual's bitumen recovery pilot project in the Bluesky formation at Panny during the quarter. Regulatory approval of the pilot project to assess the proprietary LEAD (Low-Pressure Electro-Thermal Assisted Drive) technology was received on July 24, 2014.

  • Completion activities are expected to commence on the Company's non-operated Waskahigan Duvernay horizontal well during the third quarter to evaluate the future development potential of Perpetual's Duvernay acreage.

2014 OUTLOOK

The recent transactions that closed subsequent to the end of the second quarter, provide a foundation for accelerated growth in production and funds flow as well as improved liquidity in the coming quarters and 2015.  In addition, the issuance of $125 million of new high yield notes provides certainty with respect to the repayment of the 7.25% Debentures, and terms out debt capacity through to July 2019.

Closing of the East Edson arrangement in July 2014 is accelerating the development of the Corporation's East Edson asset.  Activities are underway to execute close to $70 million in capital projects utilizing the escrowed funds prior to the end of 2014, with the remaining funds from escrow expected to be spent in 2015.  Excluding the East Edson capital program, Perpetual continues to target other capital spending in 2014 to be fully funded by 2014 funds flow. The table below summarizes expected capital spending and planned drilling activities in accordance with Perpetual's 2014 strategic priorities for the remainder of 2014.

                 
Capital expenditures for second half of 2014       $ millions       # of Wells
West Central liquids-rich gas         28       9 (4.5 net)
East Edson joint venture(1)       81       13 (13.0 net)
Mannville heavy oil       15       7 (6.1 net)
Shallow gas       2       -
Abandonment and reclamation       2       -
        128       29 (23.6 net)
   
(1) Includes $70 million to be funded through the East Edson partner from funds held in escrow.  

Perpetual estimates full year 2014 production will average approximately 20,100 boe/d.  The enhanced heat content of Perpetual's liquids-rich gas in West Central Alberta results in premium pricing to AECO market prices. Perpetual expects to average 41 to 43 MMcf/d of gas production in the greater Edson area, where the average heat content is estimated at 1.18 GJ/Mcf.  Based on these assumptions and the current forward market for commodity prices, Perpetual expects 2014 funds flow of close to $85 million. Furthermore, Perpetual is well positioned to deliver strong results for continued growth in 2015.

Based on the assumptions outlined above, the following table shows Perpetual's estimated 2014 funds flow at various second half 2014 commodity prices:

Projected 2014 funds flow(2) ($ millions)   AECO gas price ($/GJ)(1)
WTI price
(US$/bbl)(1)
      $3.00   $3.50   $4.00   $4.50   $5.00
  $85.00   73   76   80   83   87
  $95.00   76   79   83   86   90
  $100.00   77   80   84   87   91
  $105.00   77   80   84   87   91
  $115.00   78   81   85   88   92
   
(1)  The current settled and forward average AECO and WTI prices for July to December 2014 as of August 7, 2014 were $3.96per GJ and US$98.57 per bbl, respectively.
(2)  Funds flow is a non-GAAP measures. Please refer to "Non-GAAP Measures" below.
   

                         
Financial and Operating Highlights   Three Months Ended June 30   Six Months Ended June 30
                         
(Cdn$ thousands except as noted)   2014   2013   % Change   2014   2013   % Change
Financial                        
Oil and natural gas revenue   72,348   57,187   27   137,102   99,664   38
Funds flow (1)   25,864   17,286   50   43,248   26,820   61
  Per share (1) (2)   0.17   0.12   49   0.29   0.18   61
Net earnings (loss)   2,549   (4,566)   156   (14,775)   28,198   (152)
  Per share - basic and diluted (2)   0.02   (0.03)   167   (0.10)   0.19   (153)
Total assets   747,708   718,544   4   747,708   718,544   4
Net bank debt outstanding (1)   50,020   50,297   (1)   50,020   50,297   (1)
Senior notes, at principal amount   150,000   150,000   -   150,000   150,000   -
Convertible debentures, at principal amount   159,779   159,867   -   159,779   159,867   -
Total net debt (1)   359,799   360,164   -   359,799   360,164   -
Capital expenditures                        
  Exploration and development   12,251   9,861   24   43,591   48,543   (10)
  Interest in WGS LP   -   19,129   (100)   -   19,129   (100)
  Dispositions, net of acquisitions   (2,909)   5,349   (154)   (2,758)   (70,829)   (96)
  Other(3)   326   532   (39)   414   1,357   (69)
  Net capital expenditures   9,668   34,871   (72)   41,247   (1,800)   2,392
Common shares outstanding (thousands)                        
End of period   149,636   148,274   1   149,636   148,274   1
Weighted average - basic   148,835   148,015   1   148,835   147,853   1
Operating                        
Average production                        
  Natural gas (MMcf/d) (4)   97.8   91.9   6   95.0   90.2   5
  Oil and NGL (bbl/d) (4)   3,738   4,384   (15)   3,596   3,937   (9)
  Total (boe/d) (5)   20,053   19,708   2   19,428   18,980   2
  Gas over bitumen deemed production (MMcf/d) (5)   19.3   24.1   (20)   19.4   24.5   (21)
  Average daily (actual and deemed - boe/d) (4) (5)   23,270   23,725   (2)   22,661   23,063   (2)
Average prices                        
  Natural gas, before derivatives ($/Mcf)   4.95   3.68   35   4.93   3.43   44
  Natural gas, including derivatives ($/Mcf)   4.66   3.90   19   4.51   3.60   25
  Oil and NGL, before derivatives ($/bbl)   83.08   66.18   26   80.52   61.15   32
  Oil and NGL, including derivatives ($/bbl)   74.65   64.84   15   73.29   61.31   20
  Barrel of oil equivalent, including derivatives ($/boe)   36.64   32.60   12   35.62   29.82   19
Drilling (wells drilled gross/net)                        
  Gas   1/0.5   -/-       4/2.5   -/-    
  Oil   2/2.0   2/2.0       13/11.7   29/27.7    
  Total   3/2.5   2/2.0       17/14.2   29/27.7    
  Success rate (%)   100/100   100/100       100/100   100/100    
   
(1)  These are non-GAAP measures. Please refer to "Non-GAAP Measures" below.
(2)  Based on weighted average basic or diluted common shares outstanding for the period.
(3)  Other costs include geological and geophysical expenditures.
(4)  Production amounts are based on the Corporation's interest before royalty expense.
(5)  The deemed production volume describes all gas shut-in or denied production pursuant to a decision report, corresponding
order or general bulletin of the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board ("AEUB"), or through correspondence in relation to an
AEUB ID 99-1 application. This deemed production volume is not actual gas sales but represents shut-in gas that is the basis
of the gas over bitumen financial solution which is received monthly from the Alberta Crown as a reduction against other
royalties payable.
   

Forward-Looking Information

Certain information regarding Perpetual in this news release including management's assessment of future plans and operations and including the information contained under the heading "2014 Outlook" may constitute forward-looking statements under applicable securities laws. The forward-looking information includes, without limitation, statements regarding capital expenditure levels for 2014, prospective drilling and operational activities; forecast production and production type; forecast and realized commodity prices; expected funding, allocation and timing of capital expenditures; projected use of funds flow and anticipated funds flow; planned drilling and development and the results thereof; expected dispositions, anticipated proceeds therefrom and the use of proceeds therefrom; and commodity prices. Various assumptions were used in drawing the conclusions or making the forecasts and projections contained in the forward-looking information contained in this press release, which assumptions are based on management analysis of historical trends, experience, current conditions, and expected future developments pertaining to Perpetual and the industry in which it operates as well as certain assumptions regarding the matters outlined above. Forward-looking information is based on current expectations, estimates and projections that involve a number of risks, which could cause actual results to vary and in some instances to differ materially from those anticipated by Perpetual and described in the forward looking information contained in this press release. Undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of performance and is subject to a number of risks or uncertainties, including without limitation those described under "Risk Factors" in Perpetual's Annual Information Form and MD&A for the year ended December 31, 2013 and those included in other reports on file with Canadian securities regulatory authorities which may be accessed through the SEDAR website (www.sedar.com and at Perpetual's website www.perpetualenergyinc.com). Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list of risk factors is not exhaustive. Forward-looking information is based on the estimates and opinions of Perpetual's management at the time the information is released and Perpetual disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly any such forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, other than as expressly required by applicable securities laws.

Volume Conversions

Barrel of oil equivalent ("boe") may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. In accordance with National Instrument 51-101 ("NI 51-101"), a conversion ratio for natural gas of 6 Mcf:1bbl has been used, which is based on an energy equivalency conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent a value equivalency at the wellhead. In addition, utilizing a conversion on a 6 Mcf:1 bbl basis may be misleading as an indicator of value as the value ratio between natural gas and crude oil, based on the current prices of natural gas and crude oil, differ significantly from the energy equivalency of 6 Mcf:1 bbl.

Non-GAAP Measures

This news release contains financial measures that may not be calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in Canada ("GAAP"). Readers are referred to advisories and further discussion on non-GAAP measures contained in the "Advisories - Non-GAAP Measures" section of management's discussion and analysis.

About Perpetual

Perpetual Energy Inc. is a Canadian energy company with a spectrum of resource-style opportunities spanning heavy oil, NGL and bitumen along with a large base of shallow gas assets. Perpetual's shares and convertible debentures are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "PMT", "PMT.DB.D" and "PMT.DB.E", respectively. Further information with respect to Perpetual can be found at its website at www.perpetualenergyinc.com.

The Toronto Stock Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved the information contained herein.

 

 

 

SOURCE Perpetual Energy Inc.




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