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Cannae Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CNNE) ("Cannae" or the "Company") previously announced that it has entered into a forward purchase agreement with Austerlitz Acquisition Corporation II ("ASZ") in which Cannae will purchase shares of ASZ’s Class A ordinary shares in an aggregate share amount equal to 12,500,000 Class A ordinary shares, plus an aggregate of 3,125,000 redeemable warrants to purchase one Class A ordinary share at $11.50 per share, for an aggregate purchase price of $125.0 million, or $10.00 per Class A ordinary share and one-fourth of one warrant, in a private placement to occur concurrently with the closing of an initial business combination by ASZ. Additionally, Cannae invested $29.6 million in ASZ for 19,733,333 private placement warrants at the initial public offering. ASZ has completed its initial public offering of 138,000,000 units, which includes 18,000,000 units issued upon the exercise of the underwriters’ over-allotment option, which was exercised in full, at a price of $10.00 per unit. The units are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the "NYSE") and trade under the ticker symbol "ASZ.U". Each unit consists of one of ASZ’s Class A ordinary shares and one-fourth of one warrant. Each whole warrant entitles the holder to one of ASZ’s Class A ordinary shares at a price of $11.50 per share. Once the securities comprising the units begin separate trading, the Class A ordinary shares and warrants are expected to be listed on the NYSE under the symbols "ASZ" and "ASZ WS," respectively.
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Austerlitz Acquisition Corporation II (the "Company") today announced the closing of its initial public offering of 138,000,000 units, which includes 18,000,000 units issued upon the exercise of the underwriters’ over-allotment option, which was exercised in full, at a public offering price of $10.00 per unit. Each unit consists of one of the Company’s Class A ordinary shares and one-fourth of one warrant. Each whole warrant entitles the holder to one of the Company’s Class A ordinary shares at a price of $11.50 per share. The units are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the "NYSE") under the symbol "ASZ.U". Once the securities comprising the units begin separate trading, the Class A ordinary shares and warrants are expected to be listed on the NYSE under the symbols "ASZ" and "ASZ WS", respectively.
CALGARY, Alberta, March 02, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NuVista Energy Ltd. (“NuVista” or the “Company”) (TSX:NVA) is pleased to announce reserves, financial and operating results for the three months and year ended December 31, 2020, and provide a number of updates which demonstrate continued successful advancement of our Pipestone and Wapiti Montney play development. 2020 was an unprecedented year where the world saw the COVID-19 pandemic deeply affecting all economies and temporarily reducing the demand for oil and natural gas worldwide, and this was compounded by the price pressures of the Saudi-Russian oil price war early in the year. Commodity pricing for WTI oil and NYMEX natural gas was highly volatile and averaged at decade low levels for much of the year. NuVista responded quickly and positively by significantly reducing capital, operating, and G&A expenditures to ensure balance sheet protection. We maintained our credit facility at $440 million and we renegotiated our midstream contract minimum volume commitments (MVC’s) for the long term in order to maximize short and long term flexibility for the volatile environment. NuVista also reduced staff, executive, and board compensation to lead in cost reduction discussions with contractors and vendors. We used the resulting free cash flow to significantly reduce net debt in the second half of the year as cash flow began to increase with recovering commodity prices. All of the aforementioned actions have placed NuVista in the enviable position of moving forward through 2021 with strength and increasing momentum in the significantly improved commodity price environment. During the quarter and year ended December 31, 2020, NuVista: Produced 49,300 Boe/d, well above the guidance range of 47,000 – 48,000 Boe/d. Full year production was 50,443 Boe/d, which was virtually flat versus the 2019 figure of 50,803 Boe/d;Achieved $49.4 million of cash flow in the quarter ($0.22/share), including over $25 million of free cash flow (cash flow net of capital expenditures). Full year cash flow was $156.9 million, or $0.70/share;Achieved our net debt reduction target of $50 - $60 million in the second half of 2020 with free cash flow achieving $58 million of net debt reduction;Executed a successful and conservative 2020 capital expenditure program of $180.4 million, including the drilling of 25 (25.0 net) wells and the completion of 15 (15.0 net) wells in our condensate rich Wapiti Montney play. This includes $10 million of expenditures which were phased into the fourth quarter of 2020 from the first quarter of 2021 in order to facilitate an earlier commencement of our winter drilling program. A total of 14 drilled uncompleted wells were held for delayed completion in early 2021;Recognized an impairment recovery of $720 million in the fourth quarter, which largely offsets impairment expense of $909 million recognized in Q1 2020;Maintained total annual operating expenses approximately flat at $9.83/Boe despite the deliberate flattening of production during the COVID-19 crisis;Achieved record low G&A expenses of $0.76/Boe in 2020, continuing our long term trend of significant improvement with a reduction of 16% compared to the 2019 result; andContinued to significantly advance our progress and plans in environmental, social and governance (“ESG”), including continued positive strides in reducing GHG and methane emissions. Positive Reserves Revisions and Cost Reductions Drive Continued Improvements in Finding Costs and Reserves Value NuVista is pleased to report the 2020 year end independent evaluation of our reserves by GLJ Petroleum Consultants Ltd. (“GLJ”) (the “GLJ Report”). NuVista continued its track record of delivering high-quality reserve results, including continued improvements in finding and development (“F&D”) costs and significant improvement in base decline. The quality of NuVista's reserves continues to improve. We have pivoted in response to the collapse in commodity prices in early 2020 and maintained our Proved Developed Producing (“PDP”) reserve volumes, while drastically improving the economics of the undeveloped wells in inventory. Looking forward, a greater proportion of the PDP additions will be in the Pipestone area which carry per-well F&D costs that are on average less than $5/Boe. These achievements, when coupled with future annual budgets that will include minimal capital for facility and infrastructure spending, position us well for continued improvements in corporate F&D costs. Highlights of our 2020 reserves include: Held PDP reserves slightly above flat year over year via 103% PDP replacement ratio, at approximately 96 million BOE despite a 40% reduction in annual capital expenditures;Reduced corporate PDP F&D costs for the third consecutive year, reaching $9.44/Boe. This was driven by continued well cost reductions, positive technical revisions to existing reserves of 2% and continued strong well results;Achieved Total Proved Plus Probable (“TP+PA”) 3-year average F&D costs of $6.61/Boe; a reduction of 18% from 2019;Reduced base decline1 from 32% to 28%; andBased on well costs achieved to date, average undeveloped well Drill, Complete, Equip & Tie-in (“DCET”) cost was reduced by 22%.1Reflects the forecast first year annual average PDP production decline in the 2020 year end GLJ Report, compared against the forecast first year annual average PDP production decline in the 2019 year end GLJ Report. The detailed summary of our year end 2020 reserves disclosure is included below, and will be included in our Annual Information Form which will be filed on or before March 30, 2021 at www.SEDAR.com. Excellence in Operations We are pleased to report that operations across our entire asset base are currently proceeding ahead of schedule and under budget. A total of 22 new Montney wells are expected to be completed and brought on production from late in the first quarter through early in the second quarter of 2021. 12 of the wells are in our highest return Pipestone North area, 6 in Pipestone South, and 4 in the Bilbo area. Drilling and completions activities are nearing completion and costs are trending 10-15% below our 2020 average on a length/tonnage normalized basis. This is due to continued permanent structural design changes to our drilling and completions programs based on ongoing learnings. In addition, commissioning of the new Pipestone North Compressor Station, the Veresen Hythe Gas Plant expansion, and the associated pipeline are all progressing on schedule for commencement of operations in April. Divestitures and Keeping The Balance Sheet Strong The difficult world economic events of 2020 caused debt to rise and cash flow to fall for most exploration and production companies in our industry. NuVista took rapid action by adjusting capital expenditures and initiating cost cutting measures to protect the balance sheet. As noted earlier, we used the proceeds from free cash flow to reduce net debt by $58 million in the second half of 2020. Our debt reduction focus continued with the recently announced successful 2021 divestiture of our non-core Charlie Lake and Cretaceous Unit assets, as well as selected water infrastructure assets in the Wembley/Pipestone area, for total proceeds of $94 million. There was no change to NuVista’s ownership in our core Montney assets in Pipestone, Wapiti, and the surrounding area and no material change to our ownership in the Wembley gas plant. The total associated amount of 2021 production divested was approximately 1,100 Boe/d and there was no material impact on cash flow associated with either transaction. Pro forma the dispositions, NuVista’s bank drawings as at December 31, 2020 were approximately $269 million, significantly expanding the liquidity available within the $440 million credit facility. Pro forma net debt was $505 million, and fourth quarter net debt to annualized cash flow ratio was 2.6x. NuVista’s banking syndicate has reaffirmed the borrowing facility at $440 million. NuVista remains focused upon increasing cash flow as commodity prices continue to recover, and rapidly driving net debt towards a newly reduced long term target of less than 1x net debt to cash flow ratio. Significant Commodity Price Diversification and Risk Management NuVista has benefited from the discipline of our strong rolling hedge program during this period of volatile commodity prices. The unexpected onset of the COVID-19 pandemic had an immediate negative effect on world oil demand and prices. Natural gas pricing at NYMEX and other US hubs had in general been weaker lately due to the mild winter, however the recent period of significant cold weather in the US has temporarily increased demand and pricing while reducing supply. With WTI oil and NYMEX natural gas pricing at decade lows in 2020, NuVista relied on the significant hedges we had in place, and we limited our hedging activity during the commodity price lows. The advances in vaccine delivery are now spurring expectations of increased demand. This, combined with reduced supply from reduced world investment, and OPEC production discipline, have now resulted in significant ongoing recovery in the price of WTI oil. With natural gas storage levels reducing on a significant increase in LNG shipments and the recent cold weather, improved and sustained strength in NYMEX gas pricing is expected through 2021. As commodity prices have now returned to levels that are profitable for NuVista, we have re-engaged our rolling hedging program to ensure attenuation of future price volatility and to underpin our prudently growing capital spending plans. We currently possess hedges which, in aggregate, cover 53% of projected 2021 liquids production (primarily front of year loaded) using a combination of swaps and three-way collars at an average WTI floor price of C$60.76/Bbl. We have hedged 37% of projected 2021 gas production (primarily summer season loaded) at an average floor price of C$2.05/Mcf (hedged and exported volumes converted to an AECO equivalent price) using a combination of swaps and collars. These percentage figures relate to production net of royalty volumes. ESG Progress Continues We are proud to continue to demonstrate our commitment to transparency and ethical practices through our ESG performance. Approximately 60% of our current production is comprised of natural gas which has the lowest carbon footprint of any hydrocarbon, leading to our GHG performance being well ahead of the North American benchmark. Canadian ESG standards are among the highest in the world, and NuVista continues to execute projects throughout the year to enhance our ESG progress, particularly in the areas of GHG and methane emissions reduction. We look forward to providing much more information in our updated annual ESG report in the third quarter of 2021. At the new Pipestone compressor stations, NuVista and its midstream partners have invested $1.2 million to increase our count of waste heat recovery units from 7 to 10. These new units recover waste heat from compressor exhaust, significantly reducing fuel useage. This saves significant costs and avoids a total of approximately 4,500 T CO2e per year of future GHG emissions for the three new units alone. In our effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions further, another focus has been on establishing ourselves as a frontrunner in eliminating methane emissions. We’ve adopted the design philosophy of incorporating centralized compressed air into the ongoing build out of our Pipestone North and South fields. The new wells we are bringing on-stream in Pipestone are therefore zero routine methane venting emission sites. In our Wapiti field, where centralized compressed air is less viable, we are piloting our first solar powered compressed air solution at one of our well pads. More details on our emissions reduction efforts can be found within our 2020 submission to the Carbon Disclosure Project, and will also be available in our annual ESG report which will be released in late summer. We also continued our commitment to responsibly abandoning and reclaiming inactive wells and facilities in our legacy areas. In 2020, we spent over $11 million on abandonment and reclamation work. Many of these dollars result in local economic and employment benefits to remote parts of Alberta, and we are actively working with our First Nation partners in these areas to ensure they are participating in these benefits as well. With 2020, COVID-19 became a big part of our normal high focus on Health and Safety, and in addition the $350,000 which NuVista and staff collectively donated to the communities and First Nations where we work and live, was expanded to include a COVID-19 relief element for those in need. 2021 Guidance Update As discussed above, NuVista is pleased to note that both condensate and natural gas future strip prices have increased significantly in the past quarter, resulting in a significant increase to projected cash flows at the same time as tremendous progress has been made in reducing our net debt. Our continuing efforts are focused on balancing rapid debt repayment, increasing cash flow through prudent production growth, and creating a comfortable cushion above midstream minimum volume commitments. As such, the proceeds from the divestitures allow us room to use up to half in order to prudently increase our capital spending for 2021 and 2022 while maintaining spending below projected 2021 and 2022 cash flow levels. The remainder of the proceeds will continue to be applied towards permanent net debt reduction. NuVista’s capital spending for 2021 has been increased to a range of $230 - $250 million from the original range of $180 - $200 million. As the spending will be added in the third and fourth quarters of 2021, there is a minimal production impact on 2021 but offsets the reduction from the divested volumes. This is then followed by a significant positive impact to our outlook for 2022 production and corresponding cash flow. 2021 production guidance is re-affirmed at 50,000 - 52,000 Boe/d. The preceding spending level assumes that strip prices remain near current levels, and is expected to result in significant ongoing reduction of net debt as well as dramatic reduction in net debt to cash flow ratio. We intend to continue our track record of carefully directing additional available cash flow towards a prudent balance of debt reduction and production growth until our existing facilities are filled to maximum efficiency, and net debt to cash flow levels reach 1.0x or less. Capital spending will continue to be weighted heavily towards Pipestone, as our highest return area, with expected well payouts well below a year. NuVista retains the flexibility to revise capital spending from the second quarter onwards, should commodity prices increase or retreat significantly from the current positive trend. NuVista has a solid business plan that maximizes free cash flow and the return of capital to shareholders when our existing facilities are filled to capacity and maximum efficiency at flattened production levels of approximately 80,000 – 90,000 Boe/d. We are confident that the actions described above accelerate the Company towards that goal by as early as 2023, while still providing free cash flow and net debt reduction while growing through 2021-2023. With facilities filled, returns are enhanced further with corporate netbacks which are expected to grow by approximately $2-$3/Boe due to the efficiencies of scale which will reduce our unit operating, transportation, and interest costs by this amount. NuVista has top quality assets and a management team focused on relentless improvement. We have the necessary foundation and liquidity to add significant value as commodity prices continue to recover. We have set the table for returns-focused profitable growth to between 80,000 – 90,000 Boe/d with only half-cycle spending, since the required facility infrastructure is now in place. We will continue to adjust to this environment in order to maximize the value of our asset base and ensure the long term sustainability of our business. We would like to thank our staff, contractors, and suppliers for their continued dedication and delivery, and we thank our board of directors and our shareholders for their continued guidance and support. Please note that our corporate presentation, including our outlook for 2022 and beyond, is being updated and will be available at www.nuvistaenergy.com on March 2, 2021. NuVista’s financial statements, notes to the financial statements and management’s discussion and analysis for the year ended December 31, 2020, will be filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) under NuVista Energy Ltd. on March 2, 2021 and can also be accessed on NuVista’s website. Financial and Operating Highlights Three months ended December 31 Year ended December 31 (Cdn $000s, except otherwise indicated)2020 2019 % Change 2020 2019 % Change FINANCIAL Petroleum and natural gas revenues124,378 163,278 (24)424,637 585,484 (27)Adjusted funds flow (1) (2)49,399 70,080 (30)156,866 265,851 (41)Per share - basic0.22 0.31 (29)0.70 1.18 (41)Per share - diluted0.22 0.31 (29)0.70 1.18 (41)Net earnings (loss)715,435 (29,557)(2,521)(197,879)(63,833)210 Per share - basic3.17 (0.13)(2,538)(0.88)(0.28)214 Per share - diluted3.17 (0.13)(2,538)(0.88)(0.28)214 Capital expenditures (2)23,864 52,814 (55)180,442 301,822 (40)Net debt (1) (2) 598,835 561,975 7 OPERATING Daily Production Natural gas (MMcf/d)183.3 204.3 (10)185.7 182.3 2 Condensate & oil (Bbls/d)12,928 17,195 (25)14,067 15,170 (7)NGLs (Bbls/d)5,863 5,769 2 5,420 5,246 3 Total (Boe/d)49,348 57,010 (13)50,443 50,803 (1)Condensate, oil & NGLs weighting38% 40% 39% 40% Condensate & oil weighting26% 30% 28% 30% Average realized selling prices (4) Natural gas ($/Mcf)3.14 2.74 15 2.43 2.78 (13)Condensate & oil ($/Bbl)52.59 65.78 (20)45.50 67.44 (33)NGLs ($/Bbl) (3)16.44 14.56 13 12.68 14.01 (9)Netbacks ($/Boe) Petroleum and natural gas revenues27.40 31.13 (12)23.00 31.57 (27)Realized gain on financial derivatives2.77 0.75 269 3.83 0.94 307 Royalties(0.83)(1.82)(54)(0.92)(1.49)(38)Transportation expenses(4.97)(4.13)20 (4.46)(4.35)3 Operating expenses(9.68)(9.63)1 (9.83)(9.61)2 Operating netback (2)14.69 16.30 (10)11.62 17.06 (32)Corporate netback (2)10.88 13.37 (19)8.49 14.34 (41)SHARE TRADING STATISTICS High1.08 3.24 (67)3.36 5.19 (35)Low0.64 1.86 (66)0.24 1.39 (83)Close0.94 3.19 (71)0.94 3.19 (71)Average daily volume ('000s)1,479 770 92 2,030 1,212 67 Common shares outstanding ('000s) 225,837 225,592 — (1) Refer to Note 17 “Capital management” in NuVista's financial statements and to the sections entitled “Adjusted funds flow” and “Liquidity and capital resources” contained in the MD&A for the year ended December 31, 2020. (2) Non-GAAP measure that does not have any standardized meaning under IFRS and therefore may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies where similar terminology is used. Reference should be made to “Non-GAAP measurements”. (3) Natural gas liquids (“NGLs”) include butane, propane and ethane and an immaterial amount of sulphur revenue. (4) Product prices exclude realized gains/losses on financial derivatives. Detailed Summary of Corporate Reserves Data The following table provides summary reserve information based upon the GLJ Report using the published GLJ January 1, 2021 price forecast: Natural Gas(2)Natural GasLiquidsOil(3)TotalReserves category(1)CompanyGrossCompanyGrossCompanyGrossCompanyGrossInterestInterestInterestInterest(MMcf)(MBbls)(MBbls)(MBoe)Proved Developed producing366,85233,96539895,505Developed non-producing85,4689,46629524,006Undeveloped820,43272,2544,535213,527Total proved1,272,751115,6845,228333,038Probable1,011,30082,1346,111256,795Total proved plus probable2,284,051197,81911,339589,833 NOTES:(1) Numbers may not add due to rounding.(2) Includes conventional natural gas and shale gas and coal bed methane.(3) Includes light and medium crude oil. The following table is a summary reconciliation of the 2020 year end working interest reserves with the working interest reserves reported in the 2019 year end reserves report: Company Gross InterestNaturalGas(1)(3)(MMcf) Liquids(1)(MBbls) Oil(1)(4)(MBbls) Total Oil Equivalent(1)(MBoe) Total proved Balance, December 31, 20191,393,425 118,180 3,021 353,438 Exploration and development(2)72,977 8,963 1,969 23,095 Technical revisions(108,407)(3,159)328 (20,899)Acquisitions1,721 170 339 796 Dispositions(12,941)(1,074)- (3,230)Economic Factors(6,045)(394)(299)(1,701)Production(67,978)(7,003)(130)(18,462)Balance, December 31, 20201,272,751 115,684 5,228 333,038 Total proved plus probable Balance, December 31, 20192,353,534 195,407 6,087 593,749 Exploration and development(2)71,338 9,446 3,686 25,021 Technical revisions(46,710)1,743 1,082 (4,960)Acquisitions7,383 562 755 2,547 Dispositions(23,547)(1,793)- (5,717)Economic Factors(9,969)(544)(141)(2,346)Production(67,978)(7,003)(130)(18,462)Balance, December 31, 20202,284,051 197,819 11,339 589,833 NOTES:(1) Numbers may not add due to rounding.(2) Reserve additions for drilling extensions, infill drilling and improved recovery.(3) Includes conventional natural gas, shale gas and coal bed methane.(4) Includes light, medium crude oil. The following table summarizes the future development capital included in the GLJ Report: ($ thousands, undiscounted)ProvedProved plusprobable 2021186,744194,1442022378,352392,7442023362,699392,4312024316,154341,6602025247,780279,261Remaining13,454919,141Total (Undiscounted)1,505,1822,519,382 NOTE:(1) Numbers may not add due to rounding. The following table outlines NuVista's corporate finding, development and acquisition (“FD&A”) costs in more detail: 3 Year-Average (1) 2020 (1) 2019 (1) Proved plus Proved plus Proved plus Proved probable Proved probable Proved probableFinding and development costs ($/Boe)$5.98 $4.20 $-680.31 $-23.06 $10.30 $8.94Finding, development and acquisition costs ($/Boe)$8.85 $6.61 $173.67 $-28.08 $10.30 $8.94 NOTE:(1) F&D costs and FD&A are used as a measure of capital efficiency. The calculation for F&D costs includes all exploration and development capital for that period as outlined in the Company’s year-end financial statements plus the change in future development capital for that period. This total capital including the change in the future development capital is then divided by the change in reserves for that period including revisions for that same period. The aggregate of the exploration and development costs incurred in the most recent financial year and the change during the year in estimated future development costs generally will not reflect total finding and development costs related to reserve additions for the year. FD&A costs are calculated in the same manner except in addition to exploration and development capital and the change in future development capital, acquisition capital is also included in the calculation. Summary of Corporate Net Present Value Data The estimated net present values of future net revenue before income taxes associated with NuVista’s reserves effective December 31, 2020 and based on published GLJ future price forecast as at January 1, 2021 as set forth below are summarized in the following table: The estimated future net revenue contained in the following table does not necessarily represent the fair market value of the reserves. There is no assurance that the forecast price and cost assumptions contained in the GLJ Report will be attained and variations could be material. The recovery and reserve estimates described herein are estimates only. Actual reserves may be greater or less than those calculated. Before Income Taxes Discount Factor (%/year)Reserves category (1) ($ thousands) 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% Proved Developed producing1,131,492 929,968 761,095 643,433 559,929 Developed non-producing410,806 306,475 246,387 208,111 181,669 Undeveloped2,465,039 1,498,026 975,515 668,302 473,810 Total proved4,007,337 2,734,469 1,982,997 1,519,846 1,215,407 Probable3,678,075 1,752,607 983,370 623,121 430,852 Total proved plus probable7,685,412 4,487,076 2,966,367 2,142,967 1,646,259 NOTE:(1) Numbers may not add due to rounding. The following table is a summary of pricing and inflation rate assumptions based on published GLJ forecast prices and costs as at January 1, 2021: Year AECOGas($Cdn/MMBtu) NYMEXGas($US/MMBtu) MidwestGas atChicago($US/MMBtu) EdmontonC5+($Cdn/Bbl) EdmontonPropane($Cdn/Bbl) EdmontonButane($Cdn/Bbl) WTICushingOklahoma($US/Bbl) EdmontonPar Price40 API($Cdn/Bbl) ExchangeRate(2)($US/$Cdn) Forecast 2021 2.72 2.75 2.60 60.65 19.43 27.75 48.00 55.49 0.775 2022 2.67 2.80 2.65 65.36 24.31 36.47 51.50 60.78 0.765 2023 2.60 2.85 2.70 70.07 25.53 41.48 54.50 63.82 0.760 2024 2.60 2.90 2.75 74.72 27.26 44.29 57.79 68.14 0.760 2025 2.65 2.95 2.80 76.25 27.87 45.29 58.95 69.67 0.760 2026 2.71 3.01 2.86 77.80 28.49 46.30 60.13 71.22 0.760 2027 2.76 3.07 2.92 79.38 29.12 47.32 61.33 72.80 0.760 2028 2.81 3.13 2.98 81.00 29.77 48.37 62.56 74.42 0.760 2029 2.87 3.19 3.04 82.64 30.43 49.44 63.81 76.07 0.760 2030 2.92 3.25 3.10 84.30 31.03 50.43 65.09 77.59 0.760 2031+ +2.0%/yr +2.0%/yr +2.0%/yr +2.0%/yr +2.0%/yr +2.0%/yr +2.0%/yr +2.0%/yr 0.760 NOTES:(1) Costs are inflated at 2% per annum.(2) Exchange rate used to generate the benchmark reference prices in this table.(3) NuVista’s future realized gas prices are forecasted based on a combination of various benchmark prices in addition to the AECO benchmark in order to reflect the favorable price diversification to other markets which NuVista has undertaken. Pricing at these markets has been accounted for in the GLJ Report. Additional information on NuVista’s gas marketing diversification will be available in our corporate presentation. Advisories Regarding Oil And Gas Information BOEs may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A BOE conversion ratio of 6 Mcf: 1 Bbl is based on an energy equivalency conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent a value equivalency at the wellhead. As the value ratio between natural gas and crude oil based on the current prices of natural gas and crude oil 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. This news release contains a number of oil and gas metrics prepared by management, including F&D costs, FD&A costs and reserves replacement ratio, which do not have standardized meanings or standard methods of calculation and therefore such measures may not be comparable to similar measures used by other companies. Such metrics have been included herein to provide readers with additional measures to evaluate NuVista's performance on a comparable basis with prior periods; however, such measures are not reliable indicators of the future performance of NuVista and future performance may not compare to the performance in previous periods. Details of how F&D and FD&A costs have been calculated are included in the body of this news release. Reserves replacement ratio is the sum of changes in reserves (exploration and development, technical revisions, acquisitions, dispositions and economic factors) divided by annual production for the applicable period and reserve category. NuVista has presented certain well economics based on type curves for the Pipestone development block. The type curves are based on initial drilling results but due to the early stage of development, primarily on drilling results from analogous Montney development located in close proximity to such area. Such type curves and well economics are useful in understanding management's assumptions of well performance in making investment decisions in relation to development drilling in the Montney area and for determining the success of the performance of development wells; however, such type curves and well economics are not necessarily determinative of the production rates and performance of existing and future wells and such type curves do not reflect the type curves used by our independent qualified reserves evaluator in estimating our reserves volumes. The type curves used in the GLJ Report for the Pipestone development blocks had an estimate of estimated ultimate recovery that generally compared well to the type curves used to generate the economics presented herein. The type curves and well economics associated with the Pipestone development block wells have been risked by taking a reduced expected resource recovery from increased horizontal length and frac intensity based on applicable actual well data and applying our planned well design. NuVista has presented the term "payout" based on the type curves for the Pipestone development block. Payout means the anticipated years of production from a well required to fully pay for the all capital spent to drill, complete, equip and tie-in a well of such well. Economics presented are based on pricing assumptions of: US$55/Bbl WTI; US$3.00/MMBtu NYMEX; Fx (CAD:USD): 1.28:1, and; a $US0.75/MMBtu AECO to NYMEX basis. Basis of presentation Unless otherwise noted, the financial data presented in this press release has been prepared in accordance with Canadian generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) also known as International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”). The reporting and measurement currency is the Canadian dollar. National Instrument 51-101 - "Standards of Disclosure for Oil and Gas Activities" includes condensate within the product type of natural gas liquids. NuVista has disclosed condensate values separate from natural gas liquids herein as NuVista believes it provides a more accurate description of NuVista's operations and results therefrom. Reserves advisories The reserves estimates prepared herein have been evaluated by an independent qualified reserves evaluator in accordance with National Instrument 51-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Oil and Gas Activities and the Canadian Oil and Gas Evaluation Handbook ("COGE Handbook") and are effective as of December 31, 2020. All reserves information has been presented on a gross basis, which is the Company's working interest share before deduction of royalties and without including any royalty interests of the Company. The reserves have been categorized accordance with the reserves definitions as set out in the COGE Handbook. The recovery and reserve estimates contained herein are estimates only and there is no guarantee that the estimated reserves will be recovered. 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 focus, strategy, plans, opportunities and operations; projected cash flows at current strip prices; our plans to continue to balance debt repayment, increasing cash flow through prudent production growth, and creating a comfortable cushion above our midstream minimum volume commitments; plans to increase our capital spending for 2021 and 2022 while maintaining spending below projected 2021 and 2022 cash flow levels; the anticipated proceeds from the Wembley divestitures and uses of proceeds plans to reduce net debt; guidance with respect to 2021 capital spending amounts, spending timing and allocation; 2021 and 2022 production and cash flow guidance at current strip prices; expectations with respect to future net debt to cash flow ratio; plans to direct additional available cash flow towards a prudent balance of debt reduction and production growth until our existing facilities are filled to maximum efficiency, and debt to cash flow levels reach 1.0x or less; expectations that Pipestone will continue to be our highest return area; expected well payouts at Pipestone; ESG plans, targets and expected results from our ESG initiatives; that we will have the flexibility to revise capital spending from the second quarter onwards; future commodity prices; plans to maximize free cash flow and the return of capital to shareholders; future capacity of our facilities, that maximum efficiency will be achieved at flattened production levels of approximately 80,000 – 90,000 Boe/d and that this will be achieved as early as 2023; that we will generate free cash flow and debt reduction while growing through 2021-2023; that once existing facilities are filled; returns will be enhanced, corporate netbacks will grow by approximately $2-$3/Boe and unit operating, transportation, and interest costs will be reduced by this amount; the effect of our financial, commodity, and natural gas risk management strategy and market diversification; the quality of our assets, our expectations that a greater proportion of future PDP additions will be in the Pipestone area; expectations with respect to continued improvements in corporate F&D costs; 2021 drilling and completion plans, timing and expected results; anticipated drilling and completions costs; timing for the completion of the Pipestone North Compressor Station, the Veresen Hythe Gas Plant expansion, and the associated pipeline; expectations that NuVista will add significant value if commodity prices continue to recover and will experience returns-focused profitable growth to between 80,000 – 90,000 Boe/d with only half-cycle spending and plans to maximize the value of our asset base and ensure the long term sustainability of our business. Statements relating to "reserves" are also deemed to be forward-looking statements, as they involve the implied assessment, based on certain estimates and assumptions, that the reserves described exist in the quantities predicted or estimated and that the reserves 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 adjusted funds flow, 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, access to infrastructure and markets, 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; that we will complete the announced dispositions on the terms and timing contemplated, 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 has included the forward-looking statements in this press release in order to provide readers with a more complete perspective on NuVista’s future operations and such information may not be appropriate for other purposes. 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. Non-GAAP measurements For ease of readability, in this press release, we have used the term "cash flow" instead of "adjusted funds flow". Within the press release, references are made to terms commonly used in the oil and natural gas industry. Management uses "cash flow", "cash flow per share", "operating netback", "corporate netback", "capital expenditures", "free cash flow", "cash flow netback","net debt", "net debt to cash flow ratio" and "net debt to annualized cash flow ratio" to analyze performance and leverage. These terms do not have any standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS and therefore may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies where similar terminology is used. For further information refer to the section "Non-GAAP measures" in our MD&A. Free cash flow is forecast cash flow less capital expenditures required to maintain production. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jonathan A. WrightRoss L. AndreachukMike J. LawfordPresident and CEOVP, Finance and CFOChief Operating Officer(403) 538-8501(403) 538-8539(403) 538-1936
She shared the moment on social media.
Usually Jeff Gustafson makes the trip home to Kenora, Ont., from Bassmaster Elite Series events alone.This time, though, he had company.Strapped in the passenger's seat of Gustafson's truck for the 2,100-kilometre, 20-hour drive from Knoxville, Tenn., was a huge blue championship trophy. Gustafson claimed the hardware Sunday by winning his first Bassmaster tournament on the Tennessee River. "It rode shotgun with me the whole way," Gustafson said. "I probably looked over at it a couple of times an hour and it made me smile."I feel so proud."Gustafson took a COVID-19 test prior to leaving Knoxville, testing negative. He received a home test upon crossing the border at International Falls, Minn., and is currently awaiting those results while in quarantine.Gustafson, Cory Johnston of Cavan, Ont., and brother Chris, of Peterborough, Ont.., all compete on the Elite Series. They're regarded as pro athletes and thus can cross the border to participate in tournaments but all adhere to strict testing and safety requirements.Gustafson's win was a dominant one. He went wire-to-wire in securing the US$100,000 winner's cheque with 63 pounds, over seven pounds more than runner-up Steve Kennedy.Gustafson certainly took the path less travelled. The 20 fish he weighed were all smallmouth bass -- a tournament first. After locating them on his electronics, Gustafson used a 3/8 or 1/2-ounce jig tipped with four-inch plastic shad that he held a foot or two above them."On Lake of The Woods and Rainy Lake, where I'm from, guys call it moping," Gustafson said. "Some of my buddies call it, 'Hanging a minnow," and down south they call it a Damiki Rig so it's funny all the regional names they have for the technique."From mid-summer to fall it's the predominant way to catch smallmouth and walleyes and one I'm very comfortable with. I can't believe I got to utilize it in a tournament in Tennessee on water nobody was supposed to catch smallmouth. "Going in, you could've signed me up for 50th place and I would've said, 'Absolutely,' because it was one of the toughest practices I've ever had."Gustafson hooked three keeper largemouth bass over three practice days. He came across the smallmouth haven in a canal late in the final session."The only reason I even fished there was I caught the largemouths in a cove right next to that canal," he said. "I was looking for another place around there and the cove was going to be my spot."I never ended up fishing it."That's because Gustafson's spot produced a solid five-fish limit daily."Very rarely in one of these tournaments can you catch fish off the same place for four days," he said. "I probably have never done it before. It was a magical, special spot."There were people watching and I'm sure they're going to have fun there over the next few days. The spot will probably never be great again because it's going to get fished pretty hard."Gustafson praised those there who watched him."Not everywhere we go are they that respectful," he said. "There are some lakes where (spectators) would've been out there fishing in the morning before we got there."These people were awesome. They never got in the way, they weren't fishing, they just wanted to watch and I am very appreciative of that."Ironically, Gustafson's winning spot was one he and others bypassed during practice."There was a big boat ramp right in front of where I was fishing," Gustafson said. "At some point over the three-day practice I'll bet every angler in our field launched his boat there, I did twice and so everybody drove over the fish."Something about it felt right in that there was current, nice rocks on the bottom and schools of bait were evident on my electronics so it kind of had all the ingredients. I was really lucky . . . I probably found the best spot on the whole system."Gustafson's spot was so productive that Sunday, with five fish weighing over 14 pounds in his livewell, he arrived at the weigh-in station 90 minutes early. He went into the final round leading by nearly eight pounds."A 20-pound bag there is rare," Gustafson said. "I know Kennedy had one Saturday (20 pounds, 14 ounces) but I felt if I went out and got my limit and he came in with 22 or 23 pounds to beat me, then I wouldn't have been that sad about second."I also had a 50-minute ride back and just wanted to leave enough time. If it was a lake I would've fished near the check-in but this was a river, there was pretty strong current and the check-in was upstream so I just felt like go in, take care of business and it all worked out."However, a 90-minute fog delay Sunday caused concern, because over the previous three days Gustafson boated many of his fish early in each session."What I learned the first few days was the first hour was critical," he said. "Once we got out (Sunday) and started fishing, I caught two good ones pretty quickly and it took the pressure off."The win also relieves some financial pressure for Gustafson knowing remaining season costs, like tournament entry fees, are covered. "Just not having that in the back of your mind is going to make it more fun to be out there and you're probably going to have better results," he said.But money won't be Gustafson's lasting memory of his first Elite Series win."After the weigh-in, Jason Christie (multiple Series champion) came up and sort of fist-pumped me," Gustafson said. "I don't know Jason well but he's someone I definitely think highly of and he said, 'Hey, the first one is always the hardest and I'm sure there will be more to come now. Congratulations.'""The part I enjoyed the most was after everything was done, many other anglers wanted a photo with me and the trophy which was really cool. That's probably the thing I'll remember the most."The next Bassmasters event is March 18-21 on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala.This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021 Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press
The Downtown Eastside is dealing with two serious public health issues — a rise in COVID-19 cases and an outbreak of shigellosis, a highly contagious bacterial infection caused by unsanitary conditions. A tenant who lives in the Hazelwood, a single-room occupancy hotel in the Vancouver neighbourhood, says she’s concerned about her neighbours after learning from staff in her building that at least 20 residents have tested positive for COVID-19. In SRO hotels, residents live in small rooms and usually share bathrooms and kitchens, so it’s difficult to self-isolate. The Tyee is not identifying the tenant because of fears that she will face repercussions if others learn she lives in the building, including risks to her safety. She said she has been vaccinated, so she’s not that worried about her own health. “I’m concerned more about my neighbours, because they are part of the vulnerable population,” she said. Residents include heavy drug users and people “with multiple disabilities and probably very low immune systems, and lots of co-existing health problems,” she said. The tenant is also questioning why it appeared to take so long for notices warning residents of the outbreak to be posted in the building. Notices posted by Vancouver Coastal Health and reviewed by The Tyee say the exposure started Feb. 10 and is ongoing. “That notice was posted on Feb. 24, so that’s two solid weeks where the tenants here had no clue they were in danger,” said the tenant. The CEO of the company that operates the Hazelwood says there are currently 100 cases in two buildings operated by Atira Women’s Resource Society or Atira Property Management, a for-profit subsidiary of the society. Between Feb. 7 to 20, 142 new COVID-19 cases were recorded for the local health area that includes the Downtown Eastside. Janice Abbott declined to speak to The Tyee about the COVID-19 clusters, referring The Tyee to Vancouver Coastal Health. Vancouver Coastal Health did not respond to The Tyee by publication time. But in a Twitter post, Abbott said there are currently two clusters of cases in one building in the Downtown Eastside and another building outside the neighbourhood. Abbott said an outbreak of another disease called shigellosis, caused by the shigella bacteria, is also a concern. On Saturday, Vancouver Coastal Health warned that over 10 people from the Downtown Eastside had been hospitalized over the past few weeks after contracting shigellosis. Shigella is a bacteria present in feces that can spread when people don’t have access to proper hand washing, safe food preparation or clean bathrooms. It causes diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps and some people can become severely ill and need treatment with antibiotics to recover, according to a notice Vancouver Coastal Health sent to Downtown Eastside housing and social service providers. It can also be transmitted through sexual contact. Shigella infection is a major cause of dysentery. Vancouver Coastal Health told housing providers to ensure that bathrooms and showers are kept clean, staff and tenants have access to frequent hand washing and hand sanitizer, and bathrooms are regularly stocked with soap and hand sanitizer. The Hazelwood tenant The Tyee spoke to said that her building is kept fairly clean, but “it definitely could be better.” The Tyee previously reported on complaints that the Gastown Hotel, a provincially-owned SRO also operated by Atira Property Management, is not being cleaned properly. According to the Hazelwood tenant, Atira Property Management paid tenants earlier in the pandemic to regularly sanitize common touch points like elevator buttons and doorknobs. However, that program was recently cut, according to the tenant. Abbott declined to respond to questions about that program. “I feel like leaving people in the dark really contributed to the rapid spread” of COVID-19, the tenant said. “And also, the lack of cleaning and sanitization.” Over the past few weeks, Vancouver Coastal Health has been working to give COVID-19 vaccines to people who live in the Downtown Eastside and are homeless, live in shelters or reside in supportive housing. Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, has said that people from the Downtown Eastside who get COVID-19 are more likely to be hospitalized. According to Abbott, 115 residents of Atira-operated buildings, or five per cent of total residents, have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Of Atira staff, 91 people have tested positive, or seven per cent of total staff. Three residents have died after contracting COVID-19. The Tyee has asked Vancouver Coastal Health for more information about the shigellosis outbreak and will update this story when we receive the health authority’s response. Jen St. Denis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Tyee
CALGARY, Alberta, March 02, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Suncor Energy Inc. (Suncor or the company) remains focused on maintaining the financial health and resiliency of the company. Consistent with its debt management and reduction strategy, Suncor announces the expected repayment of short-term commercial paper with the net proceeds from the issue of the Notes (as defined below), the early cancellation of the bi-lateral credit facilities that were entered into to ensure access to adequate financial resources in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic and the early repayment of debt maturities due later in 2021. Suncor announces today that it has priced an offering of US$ 750 million in aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes due on March 4, 2051 (the “2051 US Notes”). The 2051 US Notes will have a coupon of 3.750%. Suncor also announces today that it priced CAD$ 500 million of senior unsecured Series 8 Medium Term Notes due on March 4, 2051 (the “2051 Canadian Notes” and, together with the “2051 US Notes”, the “Notes”). The 2051 Canadian Notes will have a coupon of 3.950%. Both offerings are expected to close on March 4, 2021, subject to customary closing conditions. Neither offering is contingent on the closing of the other offering. Suncor intends to use the net proceeds from the sale of the Notes towards the repayment of commercial paper and for general corporate purposes. Pending any such use of the net proceeds, Suncor intends to invest the net proceeds in bank deposits and short-term marketable securities. The 2051 US Notes are being offered pursuant to an effective shelf registration statement in the United States. BofA Securities, Inc. is acting as the lead book-running manager for the offering. A copy of the prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus for the offering may be obtained by contacting BofA Securities, Inc. by telephone at +1-800-294-1322; Citigroup Global Markets Inc. by telephone at +1-800-831-9146; Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC by telephone at +1-866-718-1649; or MUFG Securities Americas Inc. by telephone at +1-877-649-6848. Under the terms of the offering, the underwriters have agreed not to offer or sell any 2051 US Notes in Canada or to any resident of Canada. The 2051 Canadian Notes are being offered through a syndicate of dealers led by CIBC World Markets Inc., RBC Dominion Securities Inc., and TD Securities Inc. under Suncor's short form base shelf prospectus dated May 29, 2020 and a related pricing supplement dated March 2, 2021. Early cancellation of $2.8 billion of bi-lateral credit facilities Suncor also announces that it has provided an early cancellation notice to its banking partners in relation to $2.8 billion in bi-lateral credit facilities. These credit facilities had a two year term and were entered into in March and April 2020 to ensure access to adequate financial resources should they be required due to the increased uncertainty at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. With an improving commodity price environment, these facilities are no longer required by Suncor and will be terminated effective March 5, 2021. There are no penalties associated with this early cancellation. Early redemption of 2021 Maturities In addition, Suncor announces that it has exercised the early redemption options on its outstanding US$220 million 9.40% senior unsecured notes (the "2021 US Notes") and CAD$750 million 3.10% Medium Term Notes (together with the 2021 US Notes, the "Redeemed 2021 Notes"), both due in 2021. Suncor delivered irrevocable notices of redemption to Computershare Trust Company of Canada and Bank of New York Mellon, as trustees (collectively, the "Trustees"), on February 26, 2021 and March 1, 2021, respectively. Notices of redemption have been sent to the registered holders of the Redeemed 2021 Notes by each of the Trustees. The redemption date of the Redeemed 2021 Notes is March 31, 2021 and the redemption price will be paid in accordance with the indentures governing the Redeemed 2021 Notes. This news release does not constitute a notice of redemption of the Redeemed 2021 Notes. Holders of the Redeemed 2021 Notes should refer to the notice of redemption delivered to the registered holders by the relevant Trustee. This news release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any of the Notes in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. The Notes have not been approved or disapproved by any regulatory authority. Legal Advisory – Forward-Looking Information Certain statements in this news release constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation (collectively, “forward-looking statements”). All forward-looking statements are based on Suncor’s current expectations, estimates, projections, beliefs and assumptions based on information available at the time the statement was made and in light of Suncor’s experience and its perception of historical trends. Forward-looking statements in this news release include references to the offerings of the Notes, including the expected closing date thereof, the financial health and resiliency of the company, the anticipated redemption of the Redeemed 2021 Notes, the anticipated termination of the $2.8 billion of bi-lateral credit facilities, including Suncor's belief that with an improving commodity price environment these facilities are no longer required by Suncor, and the intended use of net proceeds of the offerings. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, some that are similar to other oil and gas companies and some that are unique to our company. Suncor’s actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by our forward-looking statements and you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on them. Suncor’s Annual Information Form and Annual Report to Shareholders, each dated February 24, 2021 and its Form 40-F dated February 25, 2021 and other documents Suncor files from time to time with securities regulatory authorities describe the risks, uncertainties, material assumptions and other factors that could influence actual results and such factors are incorporated herein by reference. Copies of these documents are available without charge from Suncor at 150 6th Avenue S.W., Calgary, Alberta T2P 3E3, by calling 1-800-558-9071, or by email request to firstname.lastname@example.org or by referring to the company’s profile on SEDAR at sedar.com or EDGAR at sec.gov. Except as required by applicable securities laws, Suncor disclaims any intention or obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Suncor has filed a registration statement (including a prospectus) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) for the offering of 2051 US Notes to which this communication relates. Before you invest, you should read the prospectus in that registration statement, the related prospectus supplement and other documents Suncor has filed with the SEC for more complete information about Suncor and the offering of 2051 US Notes. You may obtain these documents for free by visiting www.sec.gov, or as indicated above. Suncor Energy is Canada's leading integrated energy company. Suncor's operations include oil sands development and upgrading, offshore oil and gas production, petroleum refining, and product marketing under the Petro-Canada brand. A member of Dow Jones Sustainability indexes, FTSE4Good and CDP, Suncor is working to responsibly develop petroleum resources while also growing a renewable energy portfolio. Suncor is listed on the UN Global Compact 100 stock index. Suncor's common shares (symbol: SU) are listed on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges. For more information about Suncor, visit our web site at suncor.com, follow us on Twitter @Suncor Media inquiries: 833-296-4570 email@example.com Investor inquiries: 800-558-9071 firstname.lastname@example.org
MIAMI — The NBA has moved closer to a deal where players on two-way contracts would be eligible to appear on the active roster for as many games as their teams would like this season, a person with knowledge of the situation said Tuesday. The proposal to lift what was a 50-game limit on the active roster for two-way players got overwhelming support Tuesday and is likely to be passed by the NBA’s board of governors, said the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because that final approval is pending. The approval is expected later this month. No team has used two-ways more this season than Miami, with Gabe Vincent and Max Strus having a combined 42 appearances this season entering Tuesday’s game against Atlanta. Vincent has also been a part-time starter for the Heat, and Miami was one of the teams concerned that those 50-game appearance limits on the active roster was fast approaching. “We all appreciate that they see that each team is in a different place,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We felt that we’ve competed in this season with great honour and respect to the league. ... Our two-ways are playing for us. There are a few other teams that are in that circumstance. It’s just an uneven and unpredictable year for so many teams. Not even all the teams are in the same range of amount of games played up to this point, with all the postponements.” The NBA relaxed the rule on two-way players for this season in anticipation of postponements and rosters being taxed by virus-related issues. The rule in past years has been that two-way players could spend 45 days with the NBA club and the rest of the time with a franchise’s G League team. But with a shortened G League season this year, and not all teams having clubs in that league this season, there were obvious reasons to change things. Players on two-way deals are earning $449,155 this season. “It just makes all the sense in the world to not have to even think about that or concern yourself with days, particularly when we are playing them,” Spoelstra said of the looming change. “It’s what’s fair to the teams. It’s what makes the most sense and is fair to the players. We are just glad that it was seen that way, objectively, because not everybody is in the same circumstance.” ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press
Greg McDermott said he told his team after a loss last week that he needs "everybody to stay on the plantation. I can't have anybody leave the plantation."
OTTAWA — Canada's chief public health officer says new COVID-19 cases are starting to tick back up after a month-long decline, giving urgency to the question of who should receive doses of the newly approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine due to arrive in Canada Wednesday. The "moderate increase" at the national level noted by Dr. Theresa Tam is in keeping with models forecasting a spike in cases over the next two months unless stricter public health measures are imposed to combat more contagious strains of the virus. “The concern is that we will soon see an impact on hospitalization, critical care and mortality trends," Tam said Tuesday. Canada saw 2,933 new cases on average over the past week, a figure similar to last Friday's numbers that revealed week-over-week increases of between eight and 14 per cent in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. The uptick comes as provinces figure out how to allocate their various vaccines, especially as Canada receives 500,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine produced at the Serum Institute of India. About 445,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are also arriving this week, said Procurement Minister Anita Anand. Guidance on the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has caused some confusion. Health Canada authorized its use last week for all adults but the National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends it not be administered to people 65 and over. The advisory committee cites concern over limited data from clinical trials for older patients. Health Canada also acknowledges that issue. But the advisory panel, which recommends how vaccines should be used, says the limitation means seniors should take priority for the two greenlighted mRNA vaccines — Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — where dearth of data is not an issue. Alberta's health minister said Monday the province will not give Oxford-AstraZeneca's vaccine to anyone over 65. British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Prince Edward Island are on similar courses, though details on who will get those jabs is not always clear. "With clinical testing of AstraZeneca limited to those under 65, we will need to adjust our plan to look at a parallel track for some of these more flexible vaccines in order to cast the widest net possible," the B.C. health ministry said in an email. Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott characterized Oxford-AstraZeneca as "very versatile " because it lacks the same cold-storage requirements as the two other vaccines in use in Canada. It won't go to seniors, but she said shots might be administered in correctional facilities for that reason. P.E.I. will target AstraZeneca at "healthy younger individuals who are working in certain front-line, essential services," said Dr. Heather Morrison, the province's chief medical officer of health. Health officials in Quebec and New Brunswick say they await further advice from health authorities and are taking time to examine how to deploy the latest vaccine. Nova Scotia's chief medical health officer Dr. Robert Strang said the province has yet to give an answer to Ottawa "about whether we actually want to take the vaccine." All provinces must provide a response by midday Thursday, he said. Two experts say essential workers who are more likely to contract and transmit COVID-19 should be prioritized for immunization with the Oxford-AstraZeneca doses. Caroline Colijn, a COVID-19 modeller and mathematician at Simon Fraser University, and Horacio Bach, an adjunct professor in the division of infectious diseases at the University of British Columbia, also say the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine could be better promoted by provincial health officials as a strong alternative to the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. Oxford-AstraZeneca reported their vaccine is about 62 per cent effective at preventing COVID-19 while Pifzer-BioNTech and Moderna have said the efficacy of their vaccines is about 95 per cent. But Colijn and Bach say the fact there have been no hospitalizations from severe illness and no deaths among those receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine needs to be underscored because people awaiting immunization seem to be fixated on the higher efficacy data for the first two vaccines approved in Canada. "If the AstraZeneca vaccine will prevent you from getting really sick that's still a win for you," Colijn said. "I see this huge, huge benefit of vaccinating young people, particularly people with high contact, essential workers, sooner." No province has been spared from the increase in new variants circulating across the country, though several continue to ease anti-pandemic restrictions. Modelling from the Public Health Agency of Canada projected a steep surge in new cases starting late last month — and reaching 20,000 new cases a day before May — if public health measures weren't tightened. Since that Feb. 19 forecast, restrictions in many regions have loosened as Canadians return to restaurants, cinemas and hair salons. But Tam said Canada is gaining ground on "the vaccine-versus-variants leg of this marathon" every day. "Canada is prepared, and Canada remains on track," she said. Provinces have now reported 1,257 cases of the B.1.1.7 mutation that was first identified in the United Kingdom, 99 cases of the B. 126.96.36.199 strain first identified in South Africa, and three of the P. 1 variant first identified in Brazil. There have been 870,033 cases of COVID-19 in Canada and 22,017 deaths as of Monday night. There were 30,430 active cases across Canada, with an average of 42 deaths reported daily over the past week. Provinces are also figuring out whether to stick to the original injection schedules or extend the interval between doses beyond three or four weeks. The national advisory committee is expected to update its recommendations this week. Ontario is waiting for that guidance, while B.C. is pushing ahead with its plan to prolong the interval to four months. Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, said Monday the decision was based on local and international evidence that shows the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines provides "miraculous" 90 per cent protection from the virus. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. — With files from Camille Bains, Kevin Bissett, Laura Dhillon Kane and Holly McKenzie-Sutter. Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press
EDMONTON — Alberta’s health minister says the province is considering whether to follow British Columbia in extending the time between COVID-19 vaccine doses. Tyler Shandro says a committee of COVID-19 experts is analyzing emerging data and a decision is coming. The B.C. government announced Monday that it will extend the wait between first and second doses to four months to get more people vaccinated overall in a shorter time period. B.C. based its decision on data from the United Kingdom, Israel and Quebec that shows the first dose of vaccines is 90 per cent effective. “There’s fantastic evidence that’s coming out,” Shandro said Tuesday. “What the exact period of time (between doses) is going to be is still to be decided. We’ll be announcing it soon, but we will be looking at having that length of time between first and second extended.” When Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech began distributing their vaccines late last year, it was recommended the first and second shots be completed within six weeks to be fully effective. About 235,000 Albertans have so far received at least one shot. About 88,000 have been given the recommended two doses. Shandro said 55,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are expected to arrive every week this month. A third vaccine, Oxford-AstraZeneca, is also on the way. “It’s going to give us an opportunity to get more people vaccinated more quickly,” he said. Oxford-AstraZeneca was approved last week for use in Canada. But a national panel of vaccine experts is recommending it be given to people under 65, because there were not enough seniors in the vaccine's clinical trials to determine its effectiveness in that age group. Shandro said Alberta will follow the guideline. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, reported 257 new cases of COVID Tuesday. There are 261 people in hospital, 54 of whom are in intensive care. There were two more deaths reported, bringing that total to 1,890. There were 35 new cases of the more contagious variant COVID strains. That total is now 492. Alberta is keeping many of its restrictions meant to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus until vaccines take hold. Retail stores and worship services are still capped at 15 per cent capacity and entertainment venues remain closed. Indoor gatherings are banned and outdoor ones are limited to 10 people. Premier Jason Kenney did announce Monday that libraries can reopen with capacity limits and he further eased restrictions on fitness centres. Gyms were already allowed one-on-one fitness training, but they can now offer low-intensity indoor fitness classes, including tai chi, wall-climbing and Pilates. Emily Slaneff, chairwoman of the Alberta coalition of the Fitness Industry Council of Canada, said the new rules are confusing, contradictory and don’t allow specialized facilities, such as boxing clubs and spin studios, to open at all. Slaneff noted low-intensity fitness classes can be high-intensity for anyone trying to get into shape. And, conversely, high-intensity workouts are less strenuous for anyone already in good shape and trying to stay that way. “It’s a really difficult metric to use,” she said. “Two individuals can do the exact same workout and have very different experiences.” She said a lot of gyms are on the knife’s edge of bankruptcy and need support immediately to survive. “It feels like they (the government) are toying with lives and livelihoods,” she said. Shandro said Alberta is following similar policies on fitness centres that have worked in B.C. He added that fitness centre operators are being given latitude to use their best judgment on what is high-intensity versus low-intensity workouts. “We’re not looking for opportunities to hand out (enforcement) tickets. We’re not looking to close businesses. We want people to use gyms and other facilities safely,” he said. “Enforcement, remember, is only ever a last resort.” This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021 Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press
Century Pacific Food, Inc. launches unMEAT, the newest plant-based burger.