Canada markets open in 8 hours 43 minutes
  • S&P/TSX

    19,222.74
    -35.56 (-0.18%)
     
  • S&P 500

    3,821.55
    -78.56 (-2.01%)
     
  • DOW

    30,946.99
    -491.31 (-1.56%)
     
  • CAD/USD

    0.7774
    +0.0006 (+0.07%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    111.27
    -0.49 (-0.44%)
     
  • BTC-CAD

    26,129.73
    -716.16 (-2.67%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    440.59
    -9.47 (-2.10%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    1,822.50
    +1.30 (+0.07%)
     
  • RUSSELL 2000

    1,738.84
    -32.90 (-1.86%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    3.2060
    -3.2060 (-100.00%)
     
  • NASDAQ futures

    11,713.00
    +38.75 (+0.33%)
     
  • VOLATILITY

    28.36
    -26.95 (-100.00%)
     
  • FTSE

    7,323.41
    +65.09 (+0.90%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    26,730.33
    -319.14 (-1.18%)
     
  • CAD/EUR

    0.7394
    +0.0058 (+0.79%)
     

Whitecap Resources Inc. Announces 2022 Budget, 2021 Guidance Update and Increased Cash Returns to Shareholders

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·14 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

CALGARY, AB, Oct. 14, 2021 /CNW/ - Whitecap Resources Inc. ("Whitecap" or the "Company") (TSX: WCP) is pleased to announce its 2022 budget, an accelerated fourth quarter 2021 capital program and 38% increase to its dividend.

Highlights

  • 2022 Budget. Capital spending of $470 - $490 million is expected to generate average production of 121,000 – 123,000 boe/d (73% liquids). The budget is $90 million lower than preliminary expectations, with approximately $55 million due to acceleration of capital into late Q4/21 to solidify service sector requirements while optimizing the 2022 capital program, and approximately $35 million from continuation of the capital efficiency improvements achieved during 2021.

  • Revised 2021 Guidance. Capital spending is now expected to be $425 - $435 million which adds 39 (34.7 net) wells to our Q4/21 program. Starting our 2022 capital program early and locking in key services will help to ensure the efficient execution of our 2022 capital plans. We are also increasing our 2021 average production guidance to 111,000 – 112,000 boe/d (76% liquids) primarily due to the continued outperformance of our base 2021 program and from the increase in fourth quarter capital.

  • Dividend Increase. The Board of Directors has approved an increase to the monthly dividend to $0.0225 per common share from $0.01625 per common share which equates to an annual dividend of $0.27 per common share. The increase will take effect beginning with the October dividend payable in November. Inclusive of the dividend increase, Whitecap expects to be able to fully fund its 2022 capital program and dividend with funds flow down to approximately US$40/bbl WTI and at US$70/bbl WTI the dividend represents only 12% of 2022 funds flow, highlighting the sustainability of the increased dividend level.

2022 Budget

Our 2022 budget includes capital spending of $470 - $490 million to drill 163 (131.8 net) wells, resulting in average production of 121,000 – 123,000 boe/d (73% liquids). With the strategic acquisitions completed in 2021, our natural gas production in 2022 is expected to be approximately 198,000 mcf/d, allowing our shareholders to also benefit from the currently strong natural gas prices in conjunction with increasing crude oil prices. In addition to our drill, complete, equip and tie-in costs, we will be spending approximately $85 million on waterflood/enhanced oil recovery ("EOR") initiatives, including $28 million for CO2 purchases, along with health, safety and environmental initiatives.

Our budget is designed to generate significant free funds flow by advancing our growth projects while maintaining our low base decline rate of approximately 20%. At US$70/bbl WTI and C$3.75/GJ AECO, we forecast 2022 funds flow of $1.4 billion and discretionary funds flow (after capital spending and the increased dividend) of approximately $740 million, resulting in net debt of $260 million and a debt to EBITDA ratio of 0.3x providing us with significant optionality for continued enhancement to shareholder returns.

Further budget details and our breakdown by business unit is as follows:

  • Northern Alberta & B.C. We expect to spend $165 - $170 million to drill 18 (14.8 net) wells, including 10 (6.8 net) Montney wells at Kakwa and Karr. Along with maintaining one rig throughout the year at Kakwa and Karr, we anticipate spending $15 - $20 million to develop water handling infrastructure to further improve operating costs, completion costs and water management in the area. Our remaining 8 (8,0 net) wells will target the Cardium and Charlie Lake formations.

  • Eastern Saskatchewan. We expect to spend $135 - $140 million to drill 62 (51.5 net) wells. At Weyburn, we anticipate drilling 15 (9.8 net) wells, including 10 (6.5 net) wells as part of our next CO2 EOR expansion phase along with 5 (3.3 net) infill wells. Following up on our very successful 2021 conventional program, we plan to drill 39 (33.8 net) Frobisher wells, including 26 (22.3 net) multi-leg horizontal wells. Our remaining 8 (7.9 net) wells are targeting other Mississippian formations along with 1 (1.0 net) Torquay well.

  • Western Saskatchewan. We expect to spend $95 - $100 million to drill 60 (49.8 net) wells. Our Viking asset continues to mature and along with operational improvements, its base decline has shallowed, and it contributes strong free cash flow for the Company. We anticipate drilling 35 (32.1 net) wells in the Viking in 2022 and 25 (17.7 net) wells in Southwest Saskatchewan, with most drills targeting the Atlas and Lower Shaunavon formations.

  • Central Alberta. We expect to spend $75 - $80 million to drill 23 (15.6 net) wells in Central Alberta. This business unit will utilize two rigs running through the first and third quarters, with a program focused on further evaluation of the multi-zone potential across our expanded land base. We plan to drill 12 (10.0 net) Cardium wells, 9 (3.6 net) Glauconite wells and 2 (2.0 net) Ellerslie wells as part of our 2022 program.

Revised 2021 Guidance

Our 2021 capital program has been increased to $425 - $435 million, adding 39 (34.7 net) wells into the fourth quarter. The accelerated capital allows us to mobilize equipment and crews prior to January 2022 providing us with access to top tier equipment and labour for a larger portion of our capital program. As a result, we now expect 2021 production to average 111,000 – 112,000 boe/d (76% liquids). The accelerated Q4/21 program includes 2 (2.0 net) conventional Montney oil wells at Sturgeon Lake, the first well of a 4 (4.0 net) well pad targeting the Charlie Lake, 3 (3.0 net) Cardium Wells in the Kaybob Area, 17 (17.0 net) Viking wells, 4 (1.9 net) wells in Southwest Saskatchewan, 5 (3.3 net) wells in Weyburn and 7 (6.5 net) Southeast Saskatchewan horizontal wells.

Corporate Priorities

Whitecap's corporate priorities are balance sheet strength, modest growth (3-5%) and sustainable and growing return of capital to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks.

In 2022, we anticipate generating approximately $740 million of discretionary funds flow after capital investments of $480 million and dividend payments of $171 million at US$70/bbl WTI. We expect to direct approximately 50% of 2022 discretionary funds flow towards our balance sheet to continue to build dry powder for disciplined and targeted acquisitions, as well as New Energy initiatives. The remaining 50% will be returned to shareholders through dividends and targeted share buybacks. The base dividend is an integral part of our return of capital priority and based on the current commodity price environment, we will have the ability to significantly increase the dividend again in 2022. We currently have 26.3 million shares available to acquire on our NCIB which expires May 20, 2022 and could repurchase approximately 30 million common shares or 5% of our common shares outstanding on an annual basis.

On behalf of our management team and Board of Directors, we would like to thank our shareholders for their ongoing support.

Conference Call and Webcast

Whitecap has scheduled a conference call and webcast to begin promptly at 8:00 am MT (10:00 am ET) on Thursday, October 14, 2021.

The conference call dial-in number is: 1-888-390-0605 or (587) 880-2175 or (416) 764-8609

A live webcast of the conference call will be accessible on Whitecap's website at www.wcap.ca by selecting "Investors", then "Presentations & Events". Shortly after the live webcast, an archived version will be available for approximately 14 days.

Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements and forward-looking information (collectively "forward-looking information") within the meaning of applicable securities laws relating to the Company's plans and other aspects of our anticipated future operations, management focus, priorities, strategies, financial, operating and production results and business opportunities. Forward-looking information typically uses words such as "anticipate", "believe", "continue", "trend", "sustain", "project", "expect", "forecast", "budget", "goal", "guidance", "plan", "objective", "strategy", "target", "intend", "estimate", "potential", or similar words suggesting future outcomes, statements that actions, events or conditions "may", "would", "could" or "will" be taken or occur in the future, including statements about our strategy, plans, focus, objectives, priorities and position. In particular, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, this press release contains forward-looking information with respect to: our budgeted 2021 and 2022 capital expenditures; average production and liquids weighting for 2021 and 2022; our 2021 Q4/21 and 2022 drilling programs; that starting our 2022 capital program early will help to ensure the efficient execution of our 2022 capital plans; our ability to fully fund forecast 2022 capital expenditures and the dividend down to US$40/B WTI; that our proposed dividend will represent only 12% of anticipated 2022 funds flow; our 2022 natural gas production and the anticipated benefits to be derived therefrom; our 2022 capital spending allocation plans including waterflood/enhanced oil recovery initiatives, CO2 purchases, and health, safety, and environmental initiatives; our expectation that the 2022 budget will deliver significant free funds flow; our anticipated 2022 funds flow, discretionary funds flow, net debt and debt to EBITDA ratio and the underlying assumptions; our anticipated 2022 dividends; our 2022 decline rate; our budgeted 2022 capital expenditures and well counts broken down by business unit; our anticipation for 2022 capital expenditures on water handling infrastructure; our anticipation to direct 50% of discretionary funds flow to the balance sheet and 50% being returned to shareholders; and our the ability to significantly increase the dividend again in 2022.

The forward-looking information is based on certain key expectations and assumptions made by our management, including expectations and assumptions concerning prevailing commodity prices, exchange rates, interest rates, applicable royalty rates and tax laws; the impact (and the duration thereof) that the COVID-19 pandemic will have on (i) the demand for crude oil, NGLs and natural gas, (ii) our supply chain, including our ability to obtain the equipment and services we require, and (iii) our ability to produce, transport and/or sell our crude oil, NGLs and natural gas; future production rates and estimates of operating costs; performance of existing and future wells; reserve volumes; anticipated timing and results of capital expenditures; the success obtained in drilling new wells; the sufficiency of budgeted capital expenditures in carrying out planned activities; the timing, location and extent of future drilling operations; the state of the economy and the exploration and production business; results of operations; performance; business prospects and opportunities; the availability and cost of financing, labour and services; the impact of increasing competition; ability to efficiently integrate assets and employees acquired through acquisitions, ability to market oil and natural gas successfully and our ability to access capital.

Although we believe that the expectations and assumptions on which such forward-looking information is based are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking information because Whitecap can give no assurance that they will prove to be correct. Since forward-looking information addresses future events and conditions, by its very nature they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. These include, but are not limited to: the risks associated with the oil and gas industry in general such as operational risks in development, exploration and production; pandemics and epidemics; delays or changes in plans with respect to exploration or development projects or capital expenditures; the uncertainty of estimates and projections relating to reserves, production, costs and expenses; health, safety and environmental risks; commodity price and exchange rate fluctuations; interest rate fluctuations; marketing and transportation; loss of markets; environmental risks; competition; incorrect assessment of the value of acquisitions; failure to complete or realize the anticipated benefits of acquisitions or dispositions; ability to access sufficient capital from internal and external sources; failure to obtain required regulatory and other approvals; reliance on third parties and pipeline systems; and changes in legislation, including but not limited to tax laws, production curtailment, royalties and environmental regulations. Our actual results, performance or achievement could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the forward-looking information and, accordingly, no assurance can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking information will transpire or occur, or if any of them do so, what benefits that we will derive therefrom. Management has included the above summary of assumptions and risks related to forward-looking information provided in this press release in order to provide security holders with a more complete perspective on our future operations and such information may not be appropriate for other purposes.

Readers are cautioned that the foregoing lists of factors are not exhaustive. Additional information on these and other factors that could affect our operations or financial results are included in reports on file with applicable securities regulatory authorities and may be accessed through the SEDAR website (www.sedar.com).

These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release and we disclaim any intent or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise, other than as required by applicable securities laws.

This press release contains future-oriented financial information and financial outlook information (collectively, "FOFI") about Whitecap's 2022 budgeted capital investments, dividends, funds flow, discretionary funds flow, year-end net debt and debt to EBITDA ratio; and 2021 budgeted capital investments, all of which are subject to the same assumptions, risk factors, limitations, and qualifications as set forth in the above paragraphs. The actual results of operations of Whitecap and the resulting financial results will likely vary from the amounts set forth in this press release and such variation may be material. Whitecap and its management believe that the FOFI has been prepared on a reasonable basis, reflecting management's best estimates and judgments. However, because this information is subjective and subject to numerous risks, it should not be relied on as necessarily indicative of future results. Except as required by applicable securities laws, Whitecap undertakes no obligation to update such FOFI. FOFI contained in this press release was made as of the date of this press release and was provided for the purpose of providing further information about Whitecap's anticipated future business operations. Readers are cautioned that the FOFI contained in this press release should not be used for purposes other than for which it is disclosed herein.

Oil and Gas Advisories

References to crude oil or natural gas production in this press release refer to the light and medium crude oil and conventional natural gas, respectively, product types as defined in National Instrument 51-101, Standards of Disclosure for Oil and Gas Activities ("NI 51-101").

"Boe" means barrel of oil equivalent based on 6 mcf of natural gas to 1 bbl of oil. Boe may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A boe conversion ratio of 6:1 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, 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.

Production


Crude oil
(bbls/d)

NGLs
(bbls/d)

Natural gas
(Mcf/d)

Total
(boe/d) (1)

Revised 2021 Guidance

74,600 – 75,200

10,100 – 10,400

157,800 – 158,400

111,000 – 112,000

2022 Budget

78,000 – 79,200

10,300 – 10,600

196,200 – 199,200

121,000 – 123,000

Note:

(1)

Disclosure of production on a per boe basis of amounts in the above table in this press release consists of the constituent product types and their respective quantities disclosed in this table.

Non-GAAP Measures

This press release includes non-GAAP measures as further described herein. These non-GAAP measures do not have a standardized meaning prescribed by International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS" or, alternatively, "GAAP") and, therefore, may not be comparable with the calculation of similar measures by other companies. See the Company's Management's Discussion and Analysis of financial condition and results of operation for the period ended June 30, 2021 for a reconciliation of the non-GAAP measures.

"Debt to EBITDA" is calculated in accordance with the Company's credit agreements, copies of which may be accessed through the SEDAR website (www.sedar.com).

"Discretionary funds flow" represents funds flow less expenditures on property, plant and equipment ("PP&E") and dividends. Management believes that discretionary funds flow provides a useful measure of Whitecap's ability to increase returns to shareholders and to grow the Company's business.

SOURCE Whitecap Resources Inc.

Cision
Cision

View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/October2021/14/c0737.html

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting