|By Marketwired .||
|November 7, 2012 10:51 PM EST||
CALGARY, ALBERTA -- (Marketwire) -- 11/08/12 -- NuVista Energy Ltd. ("NuVista") (TSX:NVA) is pleased to announce results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2012 and provide an update on its business plan. During the third quarter of 2012, NuVista made significant progress in building the foundation for focused, profitable and sustainable growth from our condensate-rich Wapiti Montney play that will create long-term shareholder value. NuVista recently completed its Wapiti Montney five well pilot program that commenced late 2011 and is pleased with the results of this program. NuVista now has five wells on production with recent results all exceeding expectations. Subsequent to the end of the quarter, a third-party resource study was completed on NuVista's Wapiti Montney landholdings that begins to quantify the large scope, scalability and value creation opportunity associated with this play.
Highlights for and subsequent to the third quarter of 2012 are as follows:
-- Completed a Wapiti Montney resource study with a Best Estimate of the Economic Contingent Resource on approximately 50% of NuVista's landholdings of 1.2 Tcfe of which 44.5 MMBoe is condensate; -- Achieved average production of 23,936 Boe/d compared to 25,360 Boe/d for the same period in 2011 and 23,467 Boe/d for the three months ended June 30, 2012; -- Realized funds from operations of $17.2 million for the three months ended September 30, 2012 compared to $41.3 million for the same period in 2011 and $18.1 million for the three months ended June 30, 2012; -- Completed a capital program of $15.8 million with increased focus on the Montney, compared to $49.3 million for the same period in 2011; -- Drilled 1 (1.0 net) vertical well in the Wapiti Montney play after the completion of the five well pilot program that further delineated the play, provided core sample data and validated lands; -- Completed the semi-annual review of our credit facility following the completion of the property disposition with a re-determined maximum borrowing limit of $240 million; and -- Ended the third quarter with long-term debt (net of adjusted working capital) of $314.2 million compared to $339.1 million at June 30, 2012. Subsequent to the closing of the dispositions on October 17, 2012, NuVista's long-term debt was approximately $120 million.
NuVista previously announced the proposed disposition of three property packages for gross proceeds of $236 million, which were all completed by October 17, 2012. These dispositions significantly improve NuVista's financial flexibility and are a key component of NuVista's strategic plan to create sustainable organic growth and shareholder value through the focused development of the condensate-rich Wapiti Montney play. The dispositions included a large portion of NuVista's W5 natural gas assets and selected W4 heavy oil assets. These assets have been reclassified on NuVista's September 30, 2012 balance sheet as "assets held for sale". As part of this reclassification, NuVista recognized an impairment of $36.8 million ($27.5 million after-tax) in its consolidated statement of earnings for the three months ended September 30, 2012. As NuVista accelerates its development of the Wapiti Montney play it will continue to pursue opportunities to dispose of non-strategic assets that achieve its minimum price thresholds to redeploy this capital to the Wapiti Montney play.
Update on Wapiti Montney Well Results
NuVista now has a minimum of 30 day initial production rates (IP30) on all five delineation wells. The average IP30 raw natural gas production rates from these wells has been slightly above the typecurve of 5.8 MMcf/d (1,140 Boe/d including liquids) and 4.4 Bcf raw ultimate production. Strong condensate yields have been identified on both NuVista's North and South Block of landholdings, confirming the large scale of this condensate-rich resource play. Liquids yields on the five wells have averaged 59 Bbls/MMcf of raw natural gas, including condensate yields averaging 46 Bbls/MMcf. Average condensate yields from the four wells located in the North Block have averaged the same 46 Bbls/MMcf as the well in the South block, providing key data points on the large aerial extent of condensate in this play. These numbers compare very favorably to our original typecurve liquids assumptions of 50 Bbls/MMcf, including condensate of 35 Bbls/MMcf.
NuVista is pleased to announce that costs continue to trend down our projected cost reduction curves, with the most recent drill cost at $4.8 million and 46 drilling days compared to original well costs of $5.5 million and 55 drilling days. Furthermore, completion costs for the first pilot well were $3.5 million and have decreased to $2.8 million on the latest well.
NuVista has made great strides in the growth of our Montney landholdings, having reached 121,000 gross acres at an average 92% working interest at October 31, 2012, up from 106,000 gross acres at September 30, 2011.
Scope and Economics of the Wapiti Montney Play
NuVista is also pleased to announce the results of an independent resource evaluation of NuVista's condensate-rich Wapiti Montney asset. GLJ Petroleum Consultants Ltd. (GLJ) evaluated the Discovered Petroleum Initially-In-Place (DPIIP) and the Economic Contingent Resources (ECR) associated with the in-place petroleum. The evaluation was performed in accordance with National Instrument 51-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Oil and Gas Activities (NI 51-101) and the Canadian Oil and Gas Evaluation Handbook (COGE Handbook) and is effective September 1, 2012.
NuVista is strongly encouraged at this early stage of development by the significant resource scale and value identified in the evaluation. GLJ's Best Estimate of the total DPIIP is 2.7 Tcf recognized on 50,764 net acres of NuVista's 107,223 acre Montney land-holdings. GLJ's Best Estimate of the ECR is 1.2 Tcfe or 200 MMBoe of which 56.8 MMBoe (28.5%) are natural gas liquids. Given the condensate-rich nature of the Wapiti Montney, it is important to note that 44.5 MMBoe of the estimated ECR is classified as condensate. Based on GLJ's July 1, 2012 forecast prices, the before-tax net present value, discounted at 10%, associated with the Best Estimate of the ECR is $1.25 billion. Given the early stage of development of the resource, it is expected that significant value remains to be unlocked as the resources are converted to reserves.
DPIIP is typically broken down into four components including Cumulative Production, Reserves, Contingent Resources and Unrecoverable DPIIP. The following table presents a breakdown of the DPIIP associated with NuVista's Montney properties into the component categories.
Discovered Petroleum Initially-In-Place(1) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cumulative Production(2) 0.0018 Tcfe ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Reserves (Proved + Probable)(2)(3) 0.072 Tcfe ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Economic Contingent Resources (Best Estimate)(4)(5) 1.2 Tcfe ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Unrecoverable DPIIP(6) 1.7 Tcf ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- DPIIP (Best Estimate) (7) 2.7 Tcf ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Notes: (1) All estimates of resources and reserves in the above table represent NuVista's gross resources, reserves or production before the deduction of any royalties and without including any royalty interests of NuVista. (2) The Cumulative Production numbers represent production to September 1, 2012 whereas the Proved plus Probable Reserves numbers are as of December 31, 2011. From December 31, 2011 to September 1, 2012, total Cumulative Production from NuVista's Montney properties was approximately 0.0018 Tcfe. For further information regarding the previously reported reserves numbers, see NuVista's Annual Information Form dated March 28, 2012. (3) The Proved plus Probable Reserves estimate is effective as of December 31, 2011 and is based on an independent evaluation by GLJ using January 1, 2012 forecast pricing. The Proved Reserves as of December 31, 2011 were estimated to be 0.03 Tcfe. (4) All of NuVista's Contingent Resources from its Montney properties are considered economic using GLJ's July 1, 2012 forecast prices. There is no certainty that it will be commercially viable to produce any portion of the resources. (5) The primary contingency which prevents the classification of the ECR as reserves is the current early stage of development. Additional drilling, completion, and testing data will be required before NuVista can commit to the development of the ECR. Proven and Probable Reserves are assigned to areas in proximity to proven producing Montney wells. ECR's are assigned to areas that extend beyond the limits of Reserves and are interpreted to be less certain. As continued delineation drilling occurs, more ECR are expected to be re-classified as Reserves. (6) All of the DPIIP that has not been classified as Cumulative Production, Reserves or Contingent Resources may be considered unrecoverable at this time. A portion of the Unrecoverable DPIIP may in the future be determined to be recoverable and reclassified as Contingent Resources or reserves as additional technical studies are performed, commercial circumstances change or technological developments occur; the remaining portion may never be recovered due to the physical/chemical constraints represented by subsurface interaction of fluids and reservoir rocks. The Unrecoverable DPIIP has been calculated by subtracting Cumulative Production, Proved plus Probable Reserves and Contingent Resources from DPIIP. Since the Proved plus Probable Reserves are estimated as of December 31, 2011 and all other numbers are as of September 1, 2012 the Unrecoverable DPIIP may be greater or less that the number in the above table due to increases or decreases in Proved plus Probable Reserves between December 31, 2011 and September 1, 2012. (7) The sum of Cumulative Production, Reserves, Contingent Resources and Unrecoverable DPIIP do not add to DPIIP as Cumulative Production, Reserves and Contingent Resources have been reduced to marketable sales volumes that have been shrunk to account for surface loss. DPIIP and Unrecoverable DPIIP volumes are in-place volumes that have not been reduced due to surface loss.
An update to NuVista's Montney reserves, which will reflect our active 2012 Montney drilling program will be included within our regular annual reserves disclosure in our 2013 Annual Information Form.
Next Phase of Development
Given the recent dispositions, NuVista has significant flexibility regarding the pace of development as lease expiries can be addressed by the ongoing drilling activity of only one rig. NuVista's next phase of Montney development will consist of moving from one to two drilling rigs with an emphasis on profitability, expiries, access to existing infrastructure and delineation. As previously announced, NuVista has entered into take-or-pay commitments for near term production growth, and continues to pursue alternatives for third-party natural gas processing and transportation for future development phases. With the completion of the five well pilot phase in 2012, NuVista's focus in 2013 will be to move into a consistent development phase while continuing to focus on reducing drilling and completion costs, reducing cycle time, optimizing completion techniques, and securing access to infrastructure for future growth.
As NuVista builds on its momentum on the Montney play, it will continue to focus on disciplined execution, profitability, financial flexibility, and optionality to increase or decrease the pace of growth based on the outlook for commodity prices and cash flow.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Corporate Highlights ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Three months ended Nine months ended September 30, September 30, 2012 2011 2012 2011 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Financial ($ thousands, except per share) Oil and natural gas revenue 61,678 88,700 193,735 272,656 Funds from operations(1) 17,187 41,290 59,394 115,552 Per basic share 0.17 0.41 0.60 1.19 Per diluted share 0.17 0.41 0.60 1.19 Net earnings (loss) (47,600) 1,807 (136,158) 14,662 Per basic share (0.48) 0.02 (1.37) 0.15 Per diluted share (0.48) 0.02 (1.37) 0.15 Adjusted net earnings (loss)(1) (19,692) (4,235) (45,257) (13,896) Per basic share (0.20) (0.04) (0.45) (0.14) Per diluted share (0.20) (0.04) (0.45) (0.14) Total assets 1,212,600 1,543,796 Long-term debt, net of adjusted working capital(1) 314,242 300,177 Net capital expenditures 15,776 49,270 87,444 104,046 Weighted average common shares outstanding (thousands): Basic 99,523 99,513 99,517 96,898 Diluted 99,523 99,513 99,517 96,931 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Operating Production Natural gas (MMcf/d) 101.8 104.6 101.8 105.2 Natural gas liquids (Bbls/d) 3,541 2,885 3,288 2,995 Oil (Bbls/d) 3,435 5,043 3,967 5,105 Total oil equivalent 23,936 25,360 24,217 25,640 Average product prices(2) Natural gas ($/Mcf) 2.24 3.91 2.20 3.95 Natural gas liquids ($/Bbl) 52.90 63.53 57.27 62.83 Oil ($/Bbl) 68.87 70.58 70.75 72.06 Operating expenses Natural gas and natural gas liquids ($/Mcfe) 1.64 1.61 1.68 1.71 Oil ($/Bbl) 17.93 13.69 16.68 14.71 Total oil equivalent ($/Boe) 11.00 10.45 11.14 11.14 Operating netback ($/Boe) 11.96 21.23 13.00 20.45 Funds from operations netback ($/Boe)(1) 7.80 17.70 8.95 16.50 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Share trading statistics High 4.95 10.50 5.90 10.50 Low 3.57 5.57 2.65 5.57 Close 4.52 5.72 4.52 5.72 Average daily volume 369,816 137,912 333,316 173,333 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- NOTES: (1) Funds from operations, funds from operations per share, funds from operations netback, operating netback, adjusted net earnings and adjusted working capital are not defined by GAAP in Canada and are referred to as non-GAAP measures. 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 and asset retirement expenditures. Funds from operations per share is calculated based on the weighted average number of common shares outstanding consistent with the calculation of net earnings (loss) per share. Funds from operations netback equals the total of revenues including realized commodity derivative gains/losses less royalties, transportation, operating, general and administrative, restricted stock units, interest expenses and cash taxes calculated on a Boe basis. Adjusted net earnings equals net earnings excluding after tax unrealized gains (losses) on commodity derivatives, impairments and gains (losses) on property divestments. Operating netback equals the total of revenues including realized commodity derivative gains/losses less royalties, transportation and operating expenses calculated on a Boe basis. Adjusted working capital excludes the current portions of the commodity derivative asset or liability, assets held for sale and liabilities associated with assets held for sale. Total Boe is calculated by multiplying the daily production by the number of days in the period. For more details on non- GAAP measures, refer to NuVista's "Management's Discussion and Analysis". (2) Product prices include realized gains/losses on commodity derivatives.
2012 and 2013 GUIDANCE
NuVista's average production guidance for 2012 is between 22,000 Boe/d and 22,500 Boe/d with fourth quarter production forecast between 16,500 Boe/d and 17,000 Boe/d. This forecast incorporates the property dispositions that were completed in October 2012. Funds from operations for 2012 are forecast at approximately $70 million based on a forecast AECO natural gas price of $2.47/Mcf, WTI oil price of US$94.00/Bbl and incorporating our price risk management contracts. Capital spending for the year is forecast at approximately $120 million.
For 2013, our Board has approved a first half capital budget of up to $90 million to primarily fund a two drilling rig capital program for the Wapiti Montney play. This capital program is expected to be funded from cash flow, bank debt and property dispositions. The second half 2013 capital budget will be determined based on the outlook for commodity prices, drilling success and well performance. NuVista expects production for the first half of 2013 to remain relatively flat as the Montney production growth from two rigs is forecast to begin in the third quarter of 2013 after spring breakup and the start-up of key new field trunk pipeline tie-ins. NuVista forecasts production for the fourth quarter of 2013 to average approximately 10% higher than fourth quarter 2012 production volumes.
NuVista's landholdings and resources in the condensate-rich Wapiti Montney play provide NuVista with the potential to grow and create significant long-term shareholder value through the phased development of this play. The profitability of this play is expected to improve significantly over time as NuVista reduces drilling costs, optimizes well completions and accesses the lower cost transportation and processing associated with increased economies of scale. Over the next few months, with additional production data from our Wapiti wells and more clarity on the outlook for natural gas prices, we expect to provide more details on our future growth plans beyond the first half of 2013. With a talented and motivated workforce and a business strategy focused on discipline, execution and profitability we look forward to updating you on the progress in this value creation process.
CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND MD&A
Third quarter 2012 interim consolidated financial statements and notes to the interim consolidated financial statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis for NuVista Energy Ltd. have been filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) under NuVista Energy Ltd. and can also be accessed on NuVista's website at www.nuvistaenergy.com.
RESERVES AND RESOURCE DISCLOSURE
The reserves and resources estimates prepared herein have been evaluated by an independent qualified reserves evaluator in accordance with NI 51-101 and the COGE Handbook. The reserves and resources have been categorized accordance with the reserves and resource definitions as set out in the COGE Handbook, which are set out below:
Discovered petroleum initially-in-place or DPIIP is that quantity of petroleum that is estimated, as of a given date, to be contained in known accumulations prior to production. The recoverable portion of discovered petroleum initially-in-place includes Cumulative Production, Reserves, and Contingent Resources; the remainder is categorized as unrecoverable.
Cumulative Production is the cumulative quantity of petroleum that has been recovered at a given date.
Reserves are estimated remaining quantities of petroleum anticipated to be recoverable from known accumulations, as of a given date, based on the analysis of drilling, geological, geophysical, and engineering data; the use of established technology; and specified economic conditions, which are generally accepted as being reasonable. Reserves are further classified according to the level of certainty associated with the estimates and may be sub-classified based on development and production status.
Proved Reserves are those quantities of petroleum, which, by analysis of geoscience and engineering data, can be estimated with reasonable certainty to be economically producible from a given date forward, from known reservoirs and under existing economic conditions, operating methods and government regulations.
Probable Reserves are those additional quantities of petroleum that are less certain to be recovered than Proved Reserves, but which, together with Proved Reserves, are as likely as not to be recovered.
Contingent Resources are those quantities of petroleum estimated, as of a given date, to be potentially recoverable from known accumulations using established technology or technology under development, but which are not currently considered to be commercially recoverable due to one or more contingencies. Contingencies may include such factors as economic, legal, environmental, political and regulatory matters or a lack of markets. It is also appropriate to classify as Contingent Resources the estimated discovered recoverable quantities associated with a project in the early evaluation stage.
There is no certainty that it will be commercially viable to produce any portion of the Contingent Resources or that any portion of the volumes currently classified as Contingent Resources will be produced. The recovery and resource estimates provided herein are estimates. Actual Contingent Resources (and any volumes that may be classified as Reserves) and future production from such Contingent Resources may be greater than or less than the estimates provided herein.
Economic Contingent Resources are those Contingent Resources that are currently economically recoverable based on specific forecasts of commodity prices and costs.
Unrecoverable Discovered Petroleum Initially-In-Place or Unrecoverable DPIIP is that portion of DPIIP which is estimated, as of a given date, not to be recoverable by future development projects. A portion of these quantities may become recoverable in the future as commercial circumstances change or technological developments occur; the remaining portion may never be recovered due to the physical/chemical constraints represented by subsurface interaction of fluids and reservoir rocks.
Best Estimate of a resource represents the best estimate of the quantity that will actually be recovered. It is equally likely that the actual remaining quantities recovered will be greater or less than the best estimate. If probabilistic methods are used, there should be at least a 50 percent probability (P50) that quantities actually recovered will equal or exceed the best estimate.
ADVISORY REGARDING OIL AND GAS INFORMATION
Throughout this press release the terms Boe (barrels of oil equivalent), MMBoe (millions of barrels of oil equivalent), (Bcfe (billions of cubic feet of gas equivalent) and Ttcfe (trillion of cubic feet of gas equivalent). Such terms may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. The conversion ratio of six thousand cubic feet per barrel (6 MMcf: 1 Bbl) of natural gas to barrels of oil equivalent and the conversion ratio of 1 barrel per six thousand cubic feet (1 Mbl: 6 Mcf) of barrels of oil to natural gas equivalent 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.
Any references in this news release to initial or test production rates are useful in confirming the presence of hydrocarbons, however, such rates are not determinative of the rates at which such wells will continue production and decline thereafter. Additionally, such rates may also include recovered "load oil" fluids used in well completion stimulation. While encouraging, readers are cautioned not to place reliance on such rates in calculating the aggregate production for NuVista.
ADVISORY REGARDING 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; the expectations of creating sustainable organic growth and shareholder value from NuVista's properties and opportunities; forecast production; production mix; drilling, development, completion and tie-in plans, costs and results; expectations of future results, including typecurves and well economics; NuVista's planned capital budget; expectations with respect to NuVista's disposition program and its effect on debt levels; targeted debt level; the timing, allocation and efficiency of NuVista's capital program, allocation thereof and the results therefrom; plans to secure access to infrastructure; forecast funds from operations; the source of funding of capital expenditures; the timing of providing additional guidance; NuVista's risk management strategy; expectations regarding future commodity prices and netbacks; and industry conditions. Statements relating to "reserves" and "resources" are also deemed to be forward-looking statements, as they involve the implied assessment, based on certain estimates and assumptions, that the reserves or resources described exist in the quantities predicted or estimated and that the reserves or resources can be profitably produced in the future.
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. Readers are cautioned that the assumptions used in the preparation of such information, although considered reasonable at the time of preparation, may prove to be imprecise and, as such, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements. NuVista's actual results, performance or achievement could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements, or if any of them do so, what benefits NuVista will derive therefrom. NuVista disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
NuVista Energy Ltd.
Jonathan A. Wright
President and CEO
NuVista Energy Ltd.
Robert F. Froese
VP, Finance and CFO
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