Connacher Announces Q1 2017 Results

CALGARY, May 26, 2017 /CNW/ - Connacher Oil and Gas Limited ("Connacher" or the "Company") announces its financial and operating results for the quarter-ended March 31, 2017 (all amounts are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise noted).

Q1 2017 Highlights

Financial

  • Q1 2017 revenue, net of royalties, increased to $46.9 million (Q1 2016 - $11.8 million) due to higher sales volumes and higher crude oil benchmark pricing
  • Q1 2017 adjusted EBITDA increased to $1.9 million (Q1 2016 – deficit of $26.7 million), primarily due to higher revenue, net of royalties, partially offset by higher input costs associated with increased production
  • Q1 2017 funds used decreased to $9.5 million (Q1 2016 - funds used of $34.4 million), primarily due to an improved adjusted EBITDA, partially offset by higher interest costs
  • In Q1 2017, the Company generated a net loss of $24.6 million (Q1 2016 - net loss of $43.0 million). The decrease is primarily due to an improved adjusted EBITDA, partially offset by lower foreign exchange gains and higher depletion, depreciation, and amortization
  • In Q1 2017, capital expenditures totaled $1.7 million (Q1 2016 - $1.4 million) and were focused primarily on well servicing. At March 31, 2017, 39 of 41 wells were on production
  • Connacher closed Q1 2017 with a cash balance of $16.8 million (including restricted cash of $7.1 million) (Q4 2016 - $17.8 million)

Operational

  • Q1 2017 production increased 104% to 12,052 bbl/d (Q1 2016 – 5,904 bbl/d) due to the Company's strategic decision to increase production as the crude oil pricing environment improved. The higher volumes increased revenue, net of royalties, to $46.9 million
  • Q1 2017 blending costs increased 137% to $14.1 million (Q1 2016 - $5.9 million), primarily due to higher total diluent volumes associated with increased bitumen production and higher diluent pricing
  • Q1 2017 transportation and handling costs decreased 35% to $7.3 million (Q1 2016 - $11.2 million). In Q1 2016, the Company incurred penalties for non-delivery and various costs associated with its rail car lease
  • Q1 2017 production and operating expense increased 14% to $19.9 million (Q1 2016 - $17.4 million), primarily due to increased bitumen production, partially offset by the realization of operating cost reduction initiatives. In Q1 2017, on a per barrel basis, operating costs decreased to $18.32/bbl (Q1 2016 - $28.73/bbl), primarily due to improved economics associated with increased bitumen production as the Company's operating costs are predominately fixed in nature

Q1 2017 Financial Highlights




FINANCIAL (1)

Q1 2017

Q1 2016

Revenue, net of royalties

$46,900

$11,824

Adjusted EBITDA (2)

1,901

(26,683)

Net earnings (loss)

(24,608)

(43,015)


Basic per share

(0.87)

(1.52)


Diluted per share

(0.87)

(1.52)

Funds used (3)

(9,500)

(34,424)

Capital expenditures

1,708

1,381

Cash on hand (4)

16,834

30,503

Working capital surplus (deficiency)

(299,967)

(227,317)

Long-term debt

-

-

Shareholders' equity

453,576

481,179



(1)

($ 000) except per share amounts

(2)

Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP measure and is defined in the "Advisory Section" of the Q1 2017 MD&A and is reconciled to net earnings (loss) under "Reconciliations of Net Earnings (Loss) to EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA, and Bitumen Netback"

(3)

Funds used is a non-GAAP measure and is defined in the "Advisory Section" of the Q1 2017 MD&A and is reconciled to cash flow from operating activities under "Reconciliations of Cash Flow Used in Operating Activities to Funds Used"

(4)

Balance includes restricted cash of $7.1 million, pursuant to the terms of the Initial Order granted in the Company's CCAA proceeding before the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta, Judicial Centre of Calgary

 

Q1 2017 Operational Highlights




OPERATIONAL

Q1 2017

Q1 2016

Average benchmark prices



WTI (US$/bbl)

$51.91

$33.45

WTI ($/bbl)

68.53

45.24

Heavy oil differential (US$/bbl)

(14.58)

(14.24)

WCS ($/bbl)

49.28

25.99

$/US$ exchange rate

1.32

1.35

Production and sales volumes (1)



Daily bitumen production (bbl/d)

12,052

5,904

Daily bitumen sales (bbl/d)

12,054

6,651

Bitumen netback ($/bbl) (2)(3)



Dilbit sales

$37.43

$16.45

Blending of products sold

(6.52)

(6.73)

Realized bitumen sales price   

30.91

9.72

Transportation and handling costs

(6.73)

(18.50)

Net realized bitumen sales price

24.18

(8.78)

Royalties

(0.68)

(0.01)

Net bitumen revenue price

23.50

(8.79)

Production and operating expenses

(18.32)

(28.73)

Bitumen netback

$5.18

$(37.52)



(1)

The Company's bitumen sales and production volumes differ due to changes in inventory and product losses

(2)

A non-GAAP measure which is defined in the "Advisory Section" of the Q1 2017 MD&A. Bitumen netback is reconciled to net loss under "Reconciliations of Net Earnings (Loss) to EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA, and Bitumen Netback". Bitumen netbacks per barrel amounts are calculated by dividing the total amounts presented in the "Bitumen Netback" table on page 8 by bitumen sold volumes as presented in the "Production and Sales Volumes" table on page 7, with the exception of dilbit sales (presented as dilbit sales divided by dilbit sales volume) and diluent costs (presented as the cost of diluent in excess of the dilbit selling price)

(3)

Before risk management contract gains or losses

 

Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act ("CCAA") Proceeding and Status

On March 31, 2016, the Company entered into a forbearance agreement (the "Forbearance Agreement") with Credit Suisse AG, Cayman Islands Branch, as administrative agent, and certain lenders constituting the "Required Lenders" in respect of US$153.8 million of loans made by the lenders (the "Lenders") under the credit agreement dated as of May 23, 2014 (as amended, restated, supplemented, or otherwise modified from time to time, including as amended pursuant to the Amendment No. 1 dated May 8, 2015) (the "Amended Term Loan Facility"). Under the terms of the Forbearance Agreement, the Lenders agreed to, among other things, forbear from exercising enforcement rights and remedies arising from the Company's failure to pay the cash interest and principal payments due on March 31, 2016 until the earlier of April 30, 2016; the occurrence of an event of default under the Amended Term Loan Facility, unrelated to the failure to pay principal and interest due on March 31, 2016; or the occurrence of a default or breach of representation by the Company under the Forbearance Agreement.

On April 30, 2016, the Company entered into a second forbearance agreement (the "Second Forbearance Agreement") which extended the forbearance period until May 16, 2016.

On May 17, 2016, the Company sought and obtained creditor protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act ("CCAA") pursuant to an order (the "Initial Order") granted by the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta, Judicial Centre of Calgary (the "Court"). The Court granted CCAA protection for an initial period expiring on June 16, 2016. Since the Initial Order, five Court-ordered extensions have been obtained, with the most recent extending the stay of proceedings until and including June 30, 2017 (the "CCAA Stay Period").

Under the Initial Order, Ernst & Young Inc. was appointed by the Court as the monitor (the "Monitor").

The CCAA is a federal insolvency statute that allows an insolvent company which owes creditors in excess of $5 million to restructure its business and financial affairs and stays creditors and others from enforcing rights against the insolvent company.

The Initial Order also approved and authorized the Company and the Monitor to conduct a sale and investment solicitation process (the "SISP"), as set out in Schedule "A" to the Initial Order, to identify one or more purchasers and/or investors in the Company's business and/or property.

As authorized and approved by the Initial Order, the Company secured interim financing in the form of a senior secured debtor-in-possession credit facility ("DIP") from certain existing lenders (the "Interim Lenders") for up to US$20 million (collectively, the "Total DIP Commitments"), with initial commitments of up to US$11.5 million (the "Initial Commitments").

On October 26, 2016, the Company entered into a Waiver, Approval, and Modification Agreement (the "First DIP Amendment Agreement") with its Interim Lenders related to the DIP. Pursuant to the First DIP Amendment Agreement, the Interim Lenders agreed to waive certain limited defaults under the DIP related to the CCAA SISP timelines and advanced to the Company an additional amount of approximately US$5.0 million of the US$20 million DIP initially authorized by the Court to support the Company's continuing operations. At March 31, 2017, the Company had drawn approximately US$16.5 million of the DIP.

On December 16, 2016, the Company entered into a further Approval and Modification Agreement (the "Second DIP Amendment Agreement") with the Interim Lenders related to the DIP. The Second DIP Amendment Agreement extended the maturity date under the DIP from May 17, 2017 to December 31, 2017 and amended certain provisions of the DIP in order to provide the Company with greater flexibility to enter into hedging agreements and other long-term contracts.

As at March 31, 2017, in connection with the CCAA proceeding, the Company identified the following obligations subject to potential compromise:



(Canadian dollars in thousands)


Current and long-term portions of Amended Term Loan Facility

$209,862

Interest payable on Amended Term Loan Facility

28,406

Convertible Notes

44,000

Interest payable on Convertible Notes

12,691

Trade and accrued liabilities

17,444

Total liabilities subject to compromise

$312,403

 

The aforementioned obligations, subject to potential compromise, represent the amounts expected to be resolved through the CCAA proceeding and remain subject to future, potentially material, adjustments. The liabilities that are not subject to the CCAA proceeding are excluded from the liabilities subject to potential compromise and include certain non-restructuring liabilities incurred subsequent to May 17, 2016.

The Company continues to investigate, evaluate, and consider possible sale and restructuring alternatives.

Operations

In April 2017, due to the turnaround completed at Algar, production averaged 10,800 bbl/d, as the facility was offline for four days.

About Connacher

Connacher is a Calgary-based in situ oil sands developer, producer, and marketer of bitumen. The Company holds a 100 per cent interest in approximately 447 million barrels of proved and probable bitumen reserves and operates two steam-assisted gravity drainage facilities located on the Company's Great Divide oil sands leases near Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Forward Looking Information

This press release contains forward looking information including but not limited to the implementation and status of the CCAA proceeding and the SISP, the Company's ability to manage its liquidity position and deploy the capital required to maintain existing reserve and production bases, fund maintenance capital, fund working capital requirements and meet contractual and other commitments; expectations regarding future commodity prices, foreign exchange rates, diluent blend ratio, transportation costs, rail costs, rail usage, and production and operating costs in future periods; expectations regarding sales and production, bitumen netback, general and administrative expenses, and capital expenditures in future periods; the Company's reserves; and general operational and financial performance in future periods.

Forward looking information is based on management's expectations regarding the Company's future financial position; the Company's future growth, results of operations and production, future commodity prices and foreign exchange rates; future capital and other expenditures (including the amount, nature, and sources of funding thereof), plans for and results of drilling activity; environmental matters; business prospects and opportunities; and future economic conditions. Forward looking information involves significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. These risks include, but are not limited to: the risk that the SISP process may not result in a sale of the Company or its assets or a restructuring of the Company's debt obligations, the risk that the CCAA Stay Period will not be extended past June 30, 2017 and that as a result creditors will be entitled to exercise their various rights and remedies against the Company, the level of indebtedness of the Company, the implementation and impact of any reorganization or restructuring on the assets, business and financial affairs of the Company, future co-operation of the creditors of the Company, the Company's ability to generate sufficient cash flow from operations or to obtain adequate financing to fund capital expenditures and working capital needs and to maintain the Company's ongoing obligations during the CCAA process and thereafter, the ability to maintain relationships with suppliers, customers, employees, shareholders and other third parties in light of the Company's current liquidity situation and the CCAA proceeding, as well as the risks associated with the oil and gas industry (e.g., operational risks in development, exploration and production; delays or changes in plans with respect to exploration or development projects or capital expenditures; the uncertainty of reserve and resource estimates; the uncertainty of geological interpretations; the uncertainty of estimates and projections relating to production, costs and expenses; and health, safety and environmental risks), risk of commodity price and foreign exchange rate fluctuations, risks associated with the impact of general economic conditions, risks and uncertainties associated with maintaining the necessary regulatory approvals and securing the financing to continue operations and increase production to levels previously achieved.

Reported average production levels may not be reflective of sustainable production rates and future production rates may differ materially from the production rates reflected in this press release due to, among other factors, difficulties or interruptions encountered during the production of bitumen.

Although Connacher believes that the expectations in such forward looking information are reasonable, there can be no assurance that such expectations shall prove to be correct. Any forward looking information included in this press release is expressly qualified in its entirety by this cautionary statement. Any forward looking information included herein is made as of the date of this press release and Connacher assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward looking information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.

SOURCE Connacher Oil and Gas Limited

For further information: Merle Johnson, Chief Executive Officer; Jeff Beeston, Vice President of Finance and Interim Chief Financial Officer; Connacher Oil and Gas Limited, Phone: (403) 538-6201, Fax: (403) 538-6225, Suite 1040, 640 - 5th Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta T2P 3G4, inquiries@connacheroil.com, www.connacheroil.com

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http://www.connacheroil.com

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