Calgary, May 13, 2021: Valeura Energy Inc. (TSX:VLE, LSE:VLU) (the “Company” or “Valeura”), an upstream oil and gas company with assets in the Thrace Basin of Turkey, reports its unaudited financial and operating results for the three month period ended March 31, 2021.
- Financial position – Cash position of US$29.4 million at March 31, 2021, expected to increase to approximately US$44 million, upon completion of the shallow gas business sale;
- Operations – Average Q1 production of 684 boe/d;
- Shallow sale – All regulatory approvals have been received and currently working on final closing matters;
- Growth – Progress on inorganic growth opportunities is expected to increase in the near term with the closing of the sale of the shallow conventional gas business; and
- Deep play – Continuing efforts to farm out an interest in the Company’s 20 Tcfe unrisked mean prospective resource deep, tight gas play. No material near term cost outlay required to maintain the leases in good standing.
Sean Guest, President and CEO commented:
“Having received all regulatory approvals for the sale of our shallow gas assets, we are now focused on closing matters and we expect the deal to complete in the coming weeks. With the anticipated sale proceeds of US$15.5 million, subject to normal closing adjustments, plus our March 31 cash balance of US$29.4 million, we are in an opportune position to access meaningful inorganic growth opportunities. Importantly, closing of this sale will solidify Valeura’s cash position and removes uncertainty in our negotiations with potential counterparties.
“At the same time, our efforts to find a suitable partner for our deep tight gas appraisal play are continuing, and we believe the 20 Tcfe unrisked mean prospective resource in this play will serve to generate value for shareholders in the longer term.”
Table 1 Financial and Operating Results Summary
|Three Months Ended March 31, 2021
|Three Months Ended December 31, 2020
|Three Months Ended March 31, 2020
(thousands of US$ except share amounts)
|Petroleum and natural gas revenues
|Adjusted funds flow (used) (1)
|Net loss from operations
|Exploration and development capital
|Net working capital surplus
|Common shares outstanding
|Share trading (CDN$)
|Crude oil (barrels (“bbl”)/d)
|Natural Gas (one thousand cubic feet (“Mcf”)/d)
|Average reference price
Brent ($ per bbl)
|Average realised price
Crude oil ($ per bbl)
|Average Operating Netback ($ per boe) (1)
See the Company’s 2020 Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020 filed on SEDAR for further discussion.
(1) The above table includes non-IFRS measures, which may not be comparable to other companies. Adjusted funds flow is calculated as net income (loss) for the period adjusted for non-cash items in the statement of cash flows. Operating netback is calculated as petroleum and natural gas sales less royalties, production expenses and transportation.
(2) Proceeds received from Equinor to complete spending commitment for Phase 2 of the Banarli Farm-in. Recorded in the financial statements as a reduction of exploration and evaluation assets.
(3) BOTAS regularly posts prices and its Level-2 Wholesale Tariff benchmark is shown herein as a reference price. See the Company’s annual information form for the year ended December 31, 2020 filed on SEDAR for further discussion.
Additional information and commentary on the three months ended March 31, 2021 is included in the Company’s management’s discussion and analysis, which is available on the Company’s website and on www.sedar.com.
Valeura’s strategy is progressing as planned, with the Company pursuing a three-pronged approach described below to leverage the Company’s gas assets, financial strength, and differentiated capabilities, toward delivering shareholder value.
Conventional Gas Production Business Sale
The Company is in the final stages of monetising its conventional gas business by its sale to TBNG Limited (the “Sale Transaction”). All government consents required to complete the Sale Transaction have now been granted and closing is anticipated within the coming weeks. Upon closing, Valeura will receive cash consideration of US$15.5 million, subject to normal closing adjustments based on the economic effective date of July 1, 2020. Thereafter, Valeura will be entitled to royalty payments over a five-year period, tied to local gas prices, and ranging in total from a minimum of US$1.0 million and a cap of US$2.5 million.
Valeura is in a strong financial position, with US$29.4 million in cash resources at the end of Q1, expected to grow to approximately US$44 million upon completion of the Sale Transaction. Valeura’s strong balance sheet, coupled with its internationally experienced management team and board, orients the Company well to grow by way of mergers and acquisitions (“M&A”). Valeura and its advisors have observed an improvement in the overall ability to transact inorganic opportunities in 2021, with greater stability returning to the upstream industry. The Company continues to be actively engaged in bidding and negotiating on inorganic growth opportunities, focusing on deals that will generate cash flow in the near term coupled with further growth through reinvestment.
Closing of the Sale Transaction will allow the management team to focus on progressing negotiations with other companies on potential M&A deals. It also clarifies Valeura’s value, asset base and ability to fund acquisitions, thereby facilitating negotiations.
Deep Gas Play Farmout
Valeura views its deep, unconventional tight gas play in the Thrace Basin (the “Deep Gas Play”) as a core constituent of its portfolio and believes this play to be a material source of potential long-term value for shareholders. Its three exploration licences in the core of the Deep Gas Play are valid up to June 27, 2022, and under Turkey’s licence terms, the Company has the ability to maintain these assets for up to approximately five more years through work programme commitments, which do not require material near term cost outlays, prior to converting the exploration licences to longer term production leases.
Valeura is pursuing a plan to farm out a portion of its interest in the Deep Gas Play. While as of today, no agreement has been reached, as commodity prices are recovering, the Company anticipates an increase in appetite for opportunities of this type, and believes the Thrace Basin presents an appealing proposition, particularly as more companies are expressing a preference for gas-oriented opportunities and the potential for material upside. In the meantime, Valeura has no significant immediate capital commitments on the Deep Gas Play.
For further information please contact:
Valeura Energy Inc. (General and Investor Enquiries) +1 403 237 7102
Sean Guest, President and CEO
Heather Campbell, CFO
Robin Martin, Investor Relations Manager
Auctus Advisors LLP (Corporate Broker) +44 (0) 7711 627 449
CAMARCO (Public Relations, Media Adviser) +44 (0) 20 3757 4980
Owen Roberts, Billy Clegg, Monique Perks, Hugo Liddy
Oil and Gas Advisories
A boe is determined by converting a volume of natural gas to barrels using the ratio of 6 Mcf to one barrel. Boes may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A boe conversion ratio of 6 Mcf:1 boe is based on an energy equivalency conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent a value equivalency at the wellhead. Further, a conversion ratio of 6 Mcf:1 boe assumes that the gas is very dry without significant natural gas liquids. Given that the value ratio based on the current price of oil as compared to natural gas is significantly different from the energy equivalency of 6:1, utilising a conversion on a 6:1 basis may be misleading as an indication of value.
Resource disclosure in this announcement is based on an independent resources evaluation as at December 31, 2018 conducted by DeGolyer and MacNaughton in its report dated March 13, 2019, which was prepared using guidelines outlined in the Canadian Oil and Gas Evaluation Handbook and in accordance with National Instrument 51-101, Standards of Disclosure for Oil ang Gas Activities, as adjusted to reflect Equinor’s withdrawal in Q1 2020. Prospective resources are those quantities of petroleum estimated, as of a given date, to be potentially recoverable from undiscovered accumulations by application of future development projects. Prospective resources have both an associated chance of discovery and a chance of development. The unrisked estimates of prospective resources referred to in this announcement have not been risked for either the chance of discovery or the chance of development. There is no certainty that any portion of the prospective resources will be discovered. If a discovery is made, there is no certainty that it will be developed or, if it is developed, there is no certainty as to the timing of such development or that it will be commercially viable to produce any portion of the prospective resources. Additional resources information is included in the Company’s annual information form for the year ended December 31, 2018.
Advisory and Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Information
Certain information included in this new release constitutes forward-looking information under applicable securities legislation. Such forward-looking information is for the purpose of explaining management’s current expectations and plans relating to the future. Readers are cautioned that reliance on such information may not be appropriate for other purposes, such as making investment decisions. Forward- looking information typically contains statements with words such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “expect”, “plan”, “intend”, “estimate”, “propose”, “project”, “target” or similar words suggesting future outcomes or statements regarding an outlook. Forward-looking information in this new release includes, but is not limited to: the completion of the shallow sale, the total cash consideration and expected cash position thereafter, the Company’s entitlement to royalty payments over a five-year period, the anticipated closing time for the Sale Transaction; statements with respect to the Company’s inorganic growth strategy, including its ability to identify M&A targets; statements with respect to the Company’s deep tight gas play strategy, including management’s belief that the play represents a material value proposition for shareholders, its ability to find another partner for the play; and management’s belief that its three-pronged strategy above has the potential to deliver shareholder value. In addition, statements related to “resources” are deemed to be forward-looking information as they involve the implied assessment, based on certain estimates and assumptions, that the resources can be discovered and profitably produced in the future.
Forward-looking information is based on management’s current expectations and assumptions regarding, among other things: the resumption of operations following the COVID-19 pandemic; political stability of the areas in which the Company is operating and completing transactions; continued safety of operations and ability to proceed in a timely manner; continued operations of and approvals forthcoming from the Turkish government in a manner consistent with past conduct; future drilling activity on the required/expected timelines; the prospectivity of the Company’s lands, including the deep potential; the continued favourable pricing and operating netbacks in Turkey; future production rates and associated operating netbacks and cash flow; decline rates; future sources of funding; future economic conditions; future currency exchange rates; the ability to meet drilling deadlines and other requirements under licences and leases; the ability to attract a new partner in the deep play; the ability to identify attractive merger and acquisition opportunities to support growth; and the Company’s continued ability to obtain and retain qualified staff and equipment in a timely and cost efficient manner. In addition, the Company’s work programmes and budgets are in part based upon expected agreement among joint venture partners and associated exploration, development and marketing plans and anticipated costs and sales prices, which are subject to change based on, among other things, the actual results of drilling and related activity, availability of drilling, high-pressure hydraulic stimulation and other specialised oilfield equipment and service providers, changes in partners’ plans and unexpected delays and changes in market conditions. Although the Company believes the expectations and assumptions reflected in such forward-looking information are reasonable, they may prove to be incorrect.
Forward-looking information involves significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Exploration, appraisal, and development of oil and natural gas reserves are speculative activities and involve a degree of risk. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by the Company including, but not limited to: inability to close the shallow sale; inability to secure a new partner for the deep play and execute potential M&A transactions; the risks of further disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic; the risks of currency fluctuations; changes in gas prices and netbacks in Turkey; potential changes in joint venture partner strategies and participation in work programmes; uncertainty regarding the contemplated timelines and costs for the deep evaluation; the risks of disruption to operations and access to worksites; potential changes in laws and regulations, the uncertainty regarding government and other approvals; counterparty risk; risks associated with weather delays and natural disasters; and the risk associated with international activity. The forward-looking information included in this new release is expressly qualified in its entirety by this cautionary statement. See the AIF for a detailed discussion of the risk factors.
The forward-looking information contained in this new release is made as of the date hereof and the Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required by applicable securities laws. The forward-looking information contained in this new release is expressly qualified by this cautionary statement.
Additional information relating to Valeura is also available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
This Announcement contains inside information as defined in EU No. 596/2014, part of UK law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, and is in accordance with the Company’s obligations under Article 17 of that Regulation.
This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities in any jurisdiction, including where such offer would be unlawful. This announcement is not for distribution or release, directly or indirectly, in or into the United States, Ireland, the Republic of South Africa or Japan or any other jurisdiction in which its publication or distribution would be unlawful.
Neither the Toronto Stock Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the Toronto Stock Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.