Calgary, May 12, 2023: Valeura Energy Inc. (TSX:VLE) (“Valeura” or the “Company”), the upstream oil and gas company with assets in the Gulf of Thailand and the Thrace Basin of Turkey, reports its unaudited financial and operating results for the three month period ended March 31, 2023 and changes to its executive leadership team.
The complete quarterly reporting package for the Company, including the unaudited financial statements and associated management’s discussion and analysis (“MD&A”), are being filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and posted to the Company’s website at www.valeuraenergy.com.
Q1 2023 Operational Highlights of the Mubadala Acquisition Assets(1)
- Q1 2023 oil production of 20,475 bbls/d;
- Eight development wells drilled on the Jasmine oil field, including seven which are now on production;
- Excellent safety performance, with no recorded lost time incidents, injuries or spills;
- Capital spending of approximately US$34 million; and
- Operating costs of US$38.0 million, equating to approximately US$21/bbl.
(1) Mubadala Acquisition Assets means the upstream oil producing portfolio of Busrakham Oil and Gas Limited acquired by Valeura from Mubadala Petroleum (Thailand) Holdings Limited on March 22, 2023 (the “Mubadala Acquisition”). These metrics relate to the assets’ operational performance during the period January 1, 2023 through March 31, 2023 and are presented for future comparative purposes. Valeura was the operator of the Mubadala Acquisition Assets for the nine-day period from March 22, 2023 through March 31, 2023, and accordingly, only a portion of these results are included along with the balance of Valeura’s operations during the quarter.
Q1 2023 Valeura Financial Highlights(2)
- Cash and cash equivalent resources of US$268.5 million;
- Working capital of US$103.8 million;
- Completion of the Mubadala Acquisition on March 22, 2023 including a bargain purchase gain amount of US$207.6 million; and
- Acquisition of the remaining 12.5% interest in the special purpose vehicle subsidiary company, Valeura Energy Asia Pte. Ltd (the “SPV”) on March 21, 2023, increasing Valeura’s effective interest in its entire Thailand portfolio (including all reserves) by 14.3% for a consideration of 9.5 million shares in Valeura.
(2) These metrics refer to Valeura’s reported performance for Q1 2023, of which, results from the Mubadala Acquisition Assets are included for the period March 22, 2023 through March 31, 2023, in addition to the balance of Valeura’s activities for the entire quarter. These figures are as of March 31, 2023.
Subsequent Development Highlights
- Restart of production from the Wassana oil field on April 28, 2023;
- Increase in working interest to 100% in Licence G10/48, containing the Wassana oil field;
- Divestment of Valeura’s interest in Licence G6/48, containing the undeveloped Rossukon oil field for contingent cash consideration of US$5 million, payable at first oil and a further overriding royalty; and
- Average oil production above 23,000 bbls/d in recent days.
Sean Guest, President and CEO Commented
“I am delighted to present our first quarterly report which includes the producing assets acquired through the Mubadala Acquisition. While the operating results only include the nine-day portion during which Valeura was the operator, the financial impact of having completed the transaction speaks volumes about the magnitude of the transformation our Company has undergone.
Our aggregate cash position at March 31 has increased to US$268.5 million and, even after accounting for the impact of upcoming tax liabilities, this equates to working capital of US$103.8 million. We are relatively unlevered, with just US$49.9 million in debt at quarter end, leaving us with the capacity to do much more with our financial resources to add value for shareholders as we continue to pursue our growth-oriented strategy.
Aggregate oil production from the Mubadala Acquisition Assets averaged 20,475 bbls/d during the quarter. Due to the timing of liftings, no oil was sold during Valeura’s nine days of operatorship, however, at the end of the quarter, we were carrying total inventory of US$95.6 million, approximately 2/3 of which is crude oil in storage prior to sale.
Meanwhile, our combined team of more than 200 people has continued their strong safety performance, with no lost time incidents or other injuries. The entire organisation is invigorated by the combined operational and financial scale and prospects for our Gulf of Thailand businesses and we are continuing to oversee operations in our customary professional manner. To date, drilling operations have focused on the Jasmine oil field where four months of infill drilling and workovers resulted in seven new oil producers and the field’s production has increased approximately 30% relative to the average rate prior to the commencement of drilling. Production at the Wassana oil field was restarted on April 28 and the team is gradually bringing that field back to the expected levels of production. Our focus on growth from these two assets has contributed to average production above 23,000 bbls/d in recent days. Elsewhere, preparations are underway for continued infill drilling at the Nong Yao, Manora, and Wassana oil fields, prior to the expanded development of the Nong Yao oil field in Q4 2023.
As we press forward with integration activities, we are continuing to focus on our governance and leadership priorities, and I am pleased to announce certain changes to our executive leadership team. Kelvin Tang has joined Valeura as Executive Vice President of Corporate, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary, bringing with him a wealth of knowledge from his many years in executive roles within the Southeast Asia upstream industry. Yacine Ben-Meriem has joined Valeura as Chief Financial Officer, contributing deep financial acumen garnered through the international investment banking sector around the Southeast Asia region. Ian Warrilow has joined Valeura as Thailand Country Manager, a welcome addition back to the Thailand organisation, after having spent much of his career with Mubadala in various international positions including a previous management role with the team in Thailand. All of these executives have deep experience with the assets we have acquired in Thailand.
While Valeura remains a Canadian company, the executive team, including myself, will be based in Southeast Asia so as to remain closely connected to the Thailand business unit and central to the ongoing growth opportunity suite within Southeast Asia. Heather Campbell, our incumbent CFO has opted to leave Valeura rather than re-locate to Southeast Asia and I want to thank her for her long service and contribution toward structuring our business and transforming our portfolio through acquisitions. We have come to rely on her financial rigour and sound advice throughout her career at Valeura, and we wish her well.”
As of March 31, 2023, Valeura had cash and cash equivalents of US$268.5 million, an increase from US$17.5 million at the end of the prior quarter, a reflection of the business combination resulting from the Mubadala Acquisition. The Company had inventory of US$95.6 million, with approximately US$64.4 million comprised of crude oil in storage, including both volumes acquired through the Mubadala Acquisition and produced during the nine-day period from March 22 through March 31. The Company had receivables of $45.8 million.
As all of Valeura’s producing assets are offshore and utilise floating storage vessels oil is stored onsite and recorded as inventory until such time as it is periodically sold as discrete cargoes. No such lifting and sale occurred during the nine-day period when Valeura was operator of the Mubadala Acquisition Assets and hence no revenue was recorded for the quarter. Looking ahead, now that Valeura is producing oil from four separate fields, the Company expects that there will be on average 11 liftings per quarter.
Valeura has reported accounts payable and accrued liabilities of US$172.5 million which is commensurate with the increase in the scale of its business as a result of the Mubadala Acquisition. This amount is primarily comprised of ongoing payables related to operations, accruals related to the Jasmine oil field infill drilling programme and special remuneratory benefit payable to the government. The provision for current income tax payable as of March 31, 2023 is US$113.2 million, representing: (i) the full year 2022 income taxes in respect the Jasmine oil field, which are due in May 2023, plus income taxes payable for Q1 2023 for the Jasmine oil field, which are due in May 2024, and (ii) income taxes from the Nong Yao and Manora oil fields relating to the period July 1, 2022 through March 31, 2023. All of these liabilities were contemplated in the transaction with Mubadala Energy.
The Company’s property, plant and equipment (“PP&E”) balance as of March 31, 2023 is US$354.7 million, an increase from US$20.2 million at December 31, 2022. The increase in PP&E is a direct result of the Mubadala Acquisition. This value is primarily associated with the proved and probable reserves from an independent third-party reserve evaluation as at December 31, 2022, as adjusted for production up to the Mubadala Acquisition completion date of March 22, 2023. This increased PP&E value, in addition to the cash generated from operations since the effective date of September 1, 2022 underpinned a bargain purchase gain of US$207.6 million. Consequently, the Company has reported positive comprehensive income for the three months ended March 31, 2023 of US$196.7 million or net income attributable to shareholders of Valeura of US$2.17 per share on common shares outstanding (equivalent to approximately C$2.93/share).
As of March 31, 2023, Valeura had US$49.9 million in debt drawn under its facility arrangement with Trafigura Pte. Ltd., of which US$17.0 million is recorded as current, and US$32.9 million is recorded as long-term. This compares to US$11.1 million in total debt as at the end of the prior quarter. In the first quarter, the Company drew debt in support of a deposit related to replacing certain letters of credit required for the completion of the Mubadala Acquisition. Valeura reported total decommissioning obligations of US$183.7 million as at March 31, 2023, an increase from US$15.1 million as at the end of the prior quarter.
Operations Update and Outlook
The 100% owned and operated Jasmine oil field has remained in continuous production throughout 2023 to date. In addition to routine ongoing maintenance and integrity management works on the field’s facilities, there was an active infill drilling programme underway on the asset from January through end April 2023, at which point the rig moved to the Nong Yao B platform. This drilling campaign on the Jasmine oil field comprised eight new infill development wells, one delineation well, one recompletion and eight well abandonments. Seven of the development wells, as well as the recompletion, were successful and have been brought on to production, increasing the total production from the field. Oil production from the Jasmine field has averaged over 11,000 bbls/d during the past 10 days, an increase of approximately 30% relative to December 2022. The field is now expected to experience natural declines for the remainder of the year as only workovers are planned for the remainder of 2023.
At the 90% working interest, operated Nong Yao oil field, operations to date in 2023 have focused on routine maintenance and one well workover. The drilling rig is now on location at the Nong Yao B platform where the Company plans to drill two infill development wells, which will be drilled from the field’s existing wellhead infrastructure. These infill development wells are expected to be completed around the end of May.
The Company’s Nong Yao C development project remains on track to deliver first oil from a new facility in Q1 2024. The development will access a southern extension to the Nong Yao oil field. Construction of the new-build, leased Mobile Offshore Production Unit (“MOPU”) is ongoing and the MOPU is expected to mobilise to the area in early Q4 2023 at which time it will then be tied into the new pipeline linking back to the main Nong Yao production facilities. A development drilling programme on Nong Yao C will start thereafter, comprising nine wells which are expected to be drilled into 2024. Total capital spending for the Nong Yao C development project is estimated at US$75 million (net to the Company’s working interest).
In June, the drilling rig is planned to mobilise to the Manora oil field, where the Company holds a 70% operated working interest. Successful development drilling in 2022 has deferred the planned abandonment of the Manora oil field from 2022 to 2025. Also, based on the 2022 drilling success, the Company is now planning for a further three-well infill drilling programme around the middle of this year. The objective is to drill additional potential accumulations in the field area that have been de-risked by the 2022 drilling. Success with these new wells has the potential to further extend the field’s life again and can add additional future drilling targets.
At the Wassana oil field, work continued in the first quarter of 2023 to complete the re-certification of the MOPU and other minor maintenance in preparation for production operations to resume. Work to convert the oil storage vessel was completed in the quarter and the vessel mobilised to location. However, an incident involving the storage vessel impacting the field’s mooring buoy caused approximately a one-month delay in production restart. Production was re-started on April 28, 2023, and at the same time, the Company announced an increase in its working interest to 100%. So far, 11 of the 13 wells have been successfully brought back into production and the Company is now gradually ramping up and optimising the production. Oil production for the past 10 days has averaged approximately 2,600 bbls/d.
A five well infill drilling programme on the Wassana oil field remains in the Company’s plan for 2023. With the completion of the Mubadala Acquisition, the Company is now looking to optimise its 2023 rig sequence and drilling is currently planned to commence in early August after the planned drilling on the Manora oil field. The infill campaign is expected to take approximately 100 days and is targeting a 50% increase in production output from the field. The 2023 exit rate for the Wassana oil field after completion of the infill drilling is expected to be more than 5,000 bbls/d.
Given the pace of work activity so far in 2023, coupled with production operations proceeding as expected, Valeura is re-affirming its 2023 guidance outlook numbers, unchanged from their initial announcement on April 18, 2023.
|2023 Guidance (Full Year)(3)
|20,000 – 22,300 bbls/d
|Approximately equivalent to the Brent crude oil benchmark
|US$220 – 240 million
|US$180 – 200 million
(3) For clarity, all production, operating costs, and capital spending estimates provided above relate to the full calendar year 2023, and accordingly, include amounts relating to the period prior to completion of the Mubadala Acquisition.
(4) Includes floating production storage and offloading and floating storage and offloading lease costs.
The Company has crafted a work programme in 2023 to focus on both production maintenance activities and growth projects. Just under half of the above capital spending budget is growth-oriented, and includes the Wassana infill drilling programme which is intended to increase field output to more than 5,000 bbls/d, and the Nong Yao C development, which is targeting an increase in production from the Nong Yao complex up to approximately 11,000 bbls/d net to Valeura’s working interest in 2024.
The Company believes the balance of the capital spending budget is approximately on par with historical spending directed at maintaining production output from these assets and includes safety-critical works such as maintenance and integrity management, as well as more routine infill drilling and well workovers. The Company intends for these components of the work programme to continue the assets’ long history of replacing reserves through ongoing activity to maintain a relatively stable stream of cash-flow generating production.
At the same time, assumptions including price realisations and operating costs are trending in line with the Company’s guidance assumptions. Valeura’s first full quarter of operations including production from the Mubadala Acquisition Assets will be the quarter ending June 30, 2023, which will be reported in August 2023.
Executive Leadership Changes
Yacine Ben-Meriem has joined Valeura as Chief Financial Officer effective May 15, 2023 to succeed Heather Campbell. Mr. Ben-Meriem, is a finance professional with over 15 years experience in oil and gas investment banking and finance, most of which have been focused on Southeast Asia. Before joining Valeura as CFO, he was a founder of Panthera Resources, a start-up E&P company focused on Southeast Asia, which became Valeura’s key partner in pursuing its two Gulf of Thailand acquisitions. Prior experiences include increasingly senior resource-oriented positions with ABN AMRO and Standard Chartered in Singapore, in addition to earlier-career roles with Ernst and Young.
Kelvin Tang has joined Valeura as Executive Vice President of Corporate, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary. Mr. Tang has worked in the international oil and gas industry for over 18 years. Prior to joining Valeura, he was most recently the Head of Business Development of Hibiscus Petroleum and before that, the CEO of KrisEnergy, a Singapore-listed predecessor company to Valeura’s initial interests in Thailand. Prior to his CEO role, Mr. Tang served as KrisEnergy’s Chief Operating Officer and, preceding that, their General Counsel. Previous roles included General Counsel at Pearl Energy and Aabar Petroleum (which was acquired by Mubadala), as well as various legal and investment-oriented positions earlier in his career.
Ian Warrilow has joined Valeura as Thailand Country Manager and will be based in Bangkok. Dr. Warrilow has built extensive international oil and gas experience over a 30-year career spanning operational, technical and commercial roles in Australia, Europe and Southeast Asia. Prior to joining Valeura he was Chief Operating Officer with Energy Development Oman, and prior to that, he held several leadership positions with Mubadala Petroleum, including President and Country Manager in Indonesia and Business Director in Thailand. His career began with Shell International, where he held a variety of technical and commercial roles in Australia, Brunei and the Netherlands.
Heather Campbell, Valeura’s incumbent Chief Financial Officer, has elected to remain in Canada and to seek new opportunities outside Valeura, leaving the Company on May 15, 2023.
The Company has established an executive leadership office in Singapore, which the management feels provides optimal access to the Thailand business while remaining central within the Southeast Asia region, thereby supporting the Company’s further inorganic growth ambitions within the region. The executive leadership team, including Sean Guest, President and Chief Executive Officer, will be based in Singapore. Valeura intends to maintain an office presence in Canada to facilitate ongoing investor access to the business and maintain key relationships within Canada.
Valeura’s management team will host an investor and analyst webcast at 09:00 Calgary / 16:00 London / 22:00 Bangkok today, May 12, 2023, to discuss today’s announcement. The live audio and video feed can be accessed via the link below. Written questions may be submitted through the webcast system or by email to IR@valeuraenergy.com.
Webcast link: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_MWQ0ZWUzODUtZGE2OS00YWE2LWJhYjYtM2IwYWIxOWEyZGI5%40thread.v2/0?context=%7B%22Tid%22%3A%22a196a1a0-4579-4a0c-b3a3-855f4db8f64b%22%2C%22Oid%22%3A%22241f769c-12ae-4efc-8c14-d2e523040a83%22%2C%22IsBroadcastMeeting%22%3Atrue%2C%22role%22%3A%22a%22%7D&btype=a&role=a
An audio only feed of the event is available by phone using the Conference ID and dial-in numbers below.
Conference ID: 510 005 202#
Singapore: +65 6450 6302
Thailand: +66 2 026 9035
UK: 0800 640 3933
Valeura has scheduled its annual meeting of shareholders for June 20, 2023. Meeting materials will be mailed in the middle of May.
About the Company
Valeura Energy Inc. is a Canada-based public company engaged in the exploration, development and production of petroleum and natural gas in Thailand and in Turkey. The Company is pursuing a growth-oriented strategy and intends to re-invest into its producing asset portfolio and to deploy resources toward further organic and inorganic growth in Southeast Asia. Valeura aspires toward value accretive growth for stakeholders while adhering to high standards of environmental, social and governance responsibility.
For further information, please contact:
Valeura Energy Inc. (General Corporate Enquiries) +1 403 237 7102
Sean Guest, President and CEO
Yacine Ben-Meriem, CFO
Valeura Energy Inc. (Investor Enquiries) +1 403 975 6752 / +44 7392 940495
Robin James Martin, Vice President, Communications and Investor Relations
Auctus Advisors LLP (Corporate Broker to Valeura) +44 (0) 7711 627 449
CAMARCO (Public Relations, Media Adviser to Valeura) +44 (0) 20 3757 4980
Owen Roberts, Billy Clegg
Advisory and Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Information
Certain information included in this news 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 news release includes, but is not limited to: the impact of upcoming tax liabilities; the ability to utilise the Company’s financial resources to add value for shareholders; gradually bringing the Wassana oil field back to expected levels of production; preparation for drilling operations at Manora oil field and timing for the expansion of the Nong Yao oil field; the executive team to be based in Southeast Asia and intention to maintain an office presence in Canada; the expectations of an average of 11 liftings per quarter; the expected natural declines of the Jasmine oil field for the remainder of the year; the timing for a multi-well workover campaign on the Jasmine oil field; the timing for drilling and completion of a two-well infill drilling programme on Nong Yao oil field; the timing to deliver first oil from the new Nong Yao C development project; the timing to mobilise the MOPU to the Nong Yao C oil field area; the extent and timing for the Nong Yao C development drilling programme; the timing to mobilise the drilling rig to the Manora oil field; the timing of the planned abandonment of the Manora oil field; the timing for a Manora oil field three-well infill drilling programme; the ability to further extend Manora oil field life through successful drilling and to add future drilling targets; the expected timing for start-of, and duration of the Wassana oil field infill drilling programme and target production rate increase; the production, price realisations, operating costs and capital spending guidance for 2023; the focus of a work programme on production maintenance activities and growth projects; use of capital spending budget; the intention of the Wassana oil field infill drilling programme to increase field output and the Nong Yao C development targeting an increase in production and the approximate expectations of both; initial estimates for average production in 2024; intention of the Company for components of the work programme to continue the assets’ history of replacing reserves through ongoing activity and its desired effect; the timing for reporting of Valeura’s first full quarter of operations including production from the Mubadala Acquisition Assets; and the timing of Heather Campbell leaving Valeura.
Forward-looking information is based on management’s current expectations and assumptions regarding, among other things: political stability of the areas in which the Company is operating; continued safety of operations and ability to proceed in a timely manner; continued operations of and approvals forthcoming from governments and regulators in a manner consistent with past conduct; future drilling activity on the required/expected timelines; the prospectivity of the Company’s lands; the continued favourable pricing and operating netbacks across its business; future production rates and associated operating netbacks and cash flow; decline rates; future sources of funding; future economic conditions; the impact of inflation of future costs; future currency exchange rates; interest rates; the ability to meet drilling deadlines and fulfil commitments under licences and leases; future commodity prices; the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine; royalty rates and taxes; future capital and other expenditures; the success obtained in drilling new wells and working over existing wellbores; the performance of wells and facilities; the availability of the required capital to funds its exploration, development and other operations, and the ability of the Company to meet its commitments and financial obligations; the ability of the Company to secure adequate processing, transportation, fractionation and storage capacity on acceptable terms; the capacity and reliability of facilities; the application of regulatory requirements respecting abandonment and reclamation; the recoverability of the Company’s reserves and contingent resources; future growth; the sufficiency of budgeted capital expenditures in carrying out planned activities; the impact of increasing competition; the ability to efficiently integrate assets and employees acquired through acquisitions; global energy policies going forward; future debt levels; 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, offshore storage and offloading facilities 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 and resources 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: the ability of management to execute its business plan or realise anticipated benefits from acquisitions; the risk of disruptions from public health emergencies and/or pandemics; competition for specialised equipment and human resources; the Company’s ability to manage growth; the Company’s ability to manage the costs related to inflation; disruption in supply chains; the risk of currency fluctuations; changes in interest rates, oil and gas prices and netbacks; potential changes in joint venture partner strategies and participation in work programmes; uncertainty regarding the contemplated timelines and costs for work programme execution; 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; the risk that financing may not be available; risks associated with weather delays and natural disasters; and the risk associated with international activity. See the most recent AIF and MD&A for a detailed discussion of the risk factors.
Certain forward-looking information in this news release may also constitute “financial outlook” within the meaning of applicable securities legislation. Financial outlook involves statements about Valeura’s prospective financial performance or position and is based on and subject to the assumptions and risk factors described above in respect of forward-looking information generally as well as any other specific assumptions and risk factors in relation to such financial outlook noted in this news release. Such assumptions are based on management’s assessment of the relevant information currently available, and any financial outlook included in this news release is made as of the date hereof and provided for the purpose of helping readers understand Valeura’s current expectations and plans for the future. Readers are cautioned that reliance on any financial outlook may not be appropriate for other purposes or in other circumstances and that the risk factors described above or other factors may cause actual results to differ materially from any financial outlook.
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 news release 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 news release 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.