IPC 2020 Year-End Financial Results and 2021 Budget, Production and Resource Guidance
February 9, 2021
International Petroleum Corporation (IPC or the Corporation) (TSX, Nasdaq Stockholm: IPCO) today released its financial and operating results and related management’s discussion and analysis (MD&A) for the year ended December 31, 2020. IPC is also pleased to announce its 2021 capital expenditure budget of USD 37 million and its 2021 production guidance of between 41,000 and 43,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day (boepd).(1) 2020 year-end proved plus probable (2P) reserves and best estimate contingent resources (unrisked) are respectively 272 million boe (MMboe) and 1,102 MMboe.(1)(2)
|2020 Financial and Operational and 2021 Business Plan Highlights|
|•||Average net production of approximately 44,900 boepd for the fourth quarter of 2020 (43% heavy crude oil, 18% light and medium crude oil and 39% natural gas)(1).|
|•||Full year 2020 average net production of approximately 42,100 boepd, in line with Q3 2020 guidance (39% heavy crude oil, 20% light and medium crude oil and 41% natural gas)(1).|
|•||Full year 2020 operating costs(3) per boe of USD 11.9, in line with Q3 2020 guidance.|
|•||Capital expenditure for full year 2020 of USD 82 million, marginally above Q3 2020 guidance after the decision to advance work at Onion Lake Thermal, Canada.|
|•||Completed the acquisition of Granite Oil Corp. (Granite) in Q1 2020, adding the Ferguson light oil asset to IPC’s Canadian business.|
|•||First IPC Sustainability Report published in Q3 2020.|
|•||2P reserves as at December 31, 2020 of 272 MMboe, with a reserves life index (RLI) of 18 years.(1)(2)|
|•||Contingent resources (best estimate, unrisked) as at December 31, 2020 of 1,102 MMboe.(1)(2)|
|•||2021 average net production guidance of 41,000 to 43,000 boepd.(1)|
|•||2021 operating costs guidance at USD 14.6 per boe.(3)|
|•||Full year 2021 capital expenditure budget of USD 37 million, with a focus in 2021 on free cash flow generation and debt reduction.|
|•||Forecast cumulative free cash flow(3) for 2021 to 2025 of approximately USD 600 million to USD 900 million, generating estimated average annual free cash flow yield over the five year period of between 28% and 42%.(7)|
|Three months ended December 31||Year ended December 31|
|Gross profit / (loss)||(60,570)||43,245||(83,986)||152,904|
|Operating cash flow(3)||46,019||78,888||119,423||307,944|
|Free cash flow(3)||28,571||4,432||9,342||89,308|
|•||Full year 2020 operating cash flow (OCF)(3) of USD 119 million and USD 46 million for the fourth quarter 2020.|
|•||Full year 2020 free cash flow (FCF)(3) generation of USD 9 million and USD 29 million for the fourth quarter 2020.|
|•||Net debt(3) of USD 321 million as at December 31, 2020.|
|•||Net debt(3) to EBITDA(3) ratio of 2.96 times as at December 31, 2020.|
|•||Full year 2020 net result of USD (78 million) and USD (45 million) for the fourth quarter 2020 including a non-cash impairment charge of USD 54 million after tax on the French Paris Basin assets.|
Mike Nicholson, IPC’s Chief Executive Officer, commented,
“2020 was certainly the year when we were all called upon to rise up and face the unprecedented challenge of dealing with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic effects. The restrictions we all had to endure to combat the virus in early 2020 turned our world upside down, leading to a collapse in oil demand and profound oil price weakness. The lack of an early agreement by OPEC+ on a supply response only served to exacerbate market balances which had already become severely dislocated.
Thankfully though, following agreement on the deepest production curtailments we have ever seen from the OPEC+ group and other producers, including ourselves, we began to see some positive results. Those actions managed to flatten the curve of inventory builds towards the end of the second quarter of 2020. This in turn led to the oil market moving into deficit during the second half of 2020 with a draw down in excessive inventory levels as the rebalancing process commenced. As a result of the market tightening, average Brent oil prices increased from second quarter levels of around USD 30 per barrel to around USD 45 per barrel during the fourth quarter.
As we look forward into 2021, uncertainties remain as we continue to see new variants and waves of Covid-19 infections. The pace of recovery in oil demand will be dependent on the successful roll out of the vaccination program and the easing of restrictions on mobility. For a sustained recovery in oil prices, discipline and compliance on the supply side measures announced by OPEC+ will also be essential, particularly when considering the timing of easing of the supply curtailments.
As a result, we believe it is prudent to exercise caution with respect to future capital expenditure and growth plans. We held firm on our reset 2020 expenditure program even as we saw oil prices recovering in the second half of the year. We have set a limited capital budget for 2021 with a focus on free cash flow generation and debt reduction. We do not expect to see a return to organic production growth until we see stronger evidence of a more balanced market.
That being said, the massive collapse in investment combined with the redirection of future capital investment away from upstream oil and gas in favour of renewable energy by the majors, along with the dramatic reductions in US shale drilling activity, could set the scene for brighter times ahead. IPC believes that we are very well positioned to benefit from the recovery.
We expect to continue with our opportunistic approach with respect to further business development opportunities. Despite the turmoil the sector has been through, we have already witnessed an uptick in activity levels in the M&A market and anticipate that this will continue in the months ahead.
Update of 2020 Business Plan
Given that IPC operates the majority of our assets, during the first half of 2020 we had the financial and operational flexibility to react swiftly to the situation and to positively position the Corporation to navigate through the period of low commodity prices. All discretionary 2020 expenditures were deferred or cancelled. In addition, during the second quarter of 2020, we took the decision to temporarily curtail production from fields that were not expected to generate positive cash flows at the low pricing levels we were experiencing. These production curtailments related to a portion of our oil production. Our Canadian gas production was not curtailed as we continued to generate strong positive cash flows.
With the improvement in our business outlook, and in particular the strengthening of Canadian crude oil prices, we took the decision in late Q2 2020, to progressively bring back on stream our oil production from our Suffield Oil asset and our Onion Lake Thermal asset. In addition, production from our Paris Basin assets in France had returned to pre-curtailment levels by June 2020.
During the second half of 2020, the recovery of our Canadian oil production was running ahead of forecast and, by Q3 2020, we guided that we expected production for the full year 2020 to be in excess of our high end guidance range of 37,000 to 40,000 boepd at above 41,000 boepd. We are pleased to report that our production recovery continued during the fourth quarter resulting in our full year net production averaging in excess of 42,000 boepd. A particular achievement of our operating teams across all our sites was the fact that none of our assets faced any interruption as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak during 2020.
IPC’s 2020 capital and decommissioning expenditures of USD 82 million were marginally above our Q3 guidance by USD 2 million as we elected to accelerate Onion Lake Thermal Pad D’ project works into a more favourable weather window. IPC’s 2020 unit operating costs of USD 12 per boe came in at the lower end of our guidance range of USD 12 to 13 per boe.
Our full year operating cash flow amounted to USD 119 million. Notwithstanding the market turmoil, we were able to generate a positive free cash flow of approximately USD 9 million during 2020 as a result of the business reset measures we put in place.
Fourth Quarter 2020 Performance
During the fourth quarter of 2020, our assets delivered average net production of 44,900 boepd, a 7% increase over our Q3 2020 production levels as we continued with the ramp up of the majority of our curtailed oil production in Canada. Our operating costs per boe for the fourth quarter of 2020 was USD 11.9, at the low end of our guidance range.
Operating cash flow generation for the fourth quarter of 2020 amounted to USD 46.0 million, stronger than forecast as a result of stronger oil prices and better than forecast production. Moreover, as a result of our spending reductions, operational choices made and our hedging program, IPC generated USD 29 million of free cash flow during the fourth quarter of 2020.
Capital and decommissioning expenditures during the fourth quarter of 2020 of USD 9.2 million was marginally above forecast following the decision to advance work on Onion Lake Thermal. The limited level of expenditure in Q4 2020 reflects the implementation of our expenditure reduction program previously announced.
Net debt as at December 31, 2020 was USD 321 million.
Maximizing Financial Flexibility
During the first quarter of 2020, we generated in excess of USD 40 million of negative free cash flow as we commenced our front-end loaded investment program that was aimed at growing our production. Given the collapse in oil prices late in Q1 2020, it was clear that our original growth program was not going to be sustainable. As a result, our business reset plan was put in place aimed at maximizing our free cash flow generation to navigate through the weak oil price environment. In Q2 2020, we already delivered free cash flow neutrality and moreover, in the second half of 2020 we were able to generate in excess of USD 50 million of positive free cash flow. For the full year 2020, our reset program delivered what it set out to achieve with IPC generating a USD 9 million free cash flow surplus.
In parallel to our business reset, it was also very important to ensure that we had continued access to our banking facilities. In early Q3 2020, we were pleased to report that we had successfully concluded our discussions with our Canadian and international banking partners. Maturities of our credit facilities were extended and in total we were able to increase the size of these available credit facilities by more than USD 10 million whilst removing any leverage ratio covenants.
As we move into 2021, the focus on free cash flow generation and debt reductions continues with a minimal capital budget proposed that is expected to allow us to sustain production at around our average 2020 levels and achieve our 2021 production guidance.
Responsible operatorship and ensuring that we adhere to the highest principles of business conduct have been an integral part of how we do business since the creation of IPC in 2017. Over the past three years, IPC has rapidly grown our business with the completion of three acquisitions in Canada as well as significant investments in our French and Malaysian businesses.
In parallel, we have made a concerted effort to further develop and improve our sustainability strategy. An important part of this journey involves the measurement and transparent reporting of a broad range of ESG metrics. Alongside the publication of our third quarter 2020 report, we were very pleased to publish our inaugural Sustainability Report. We encourage everyone to read it and see first-hand the good work that is being done within our company.
As previously announced, IPC targets a reduction of our net GHG emissions intensity by the end of 2025 to 50% of the Corporation’s 2019 baseline.
Reserves and Resources
As at end December 2020, IPC’s 2P reserves are 272 MMboe.(1)(2) The reserves life index (RLI) as at December 31, 2020, is approximately 18 years.(2) In addition, IPC’s best estimate contingent resources (unrisked) as at end December 2020 are 1,102 MMboe.(1)(2)
Based on third party reserves reports, the net present value (NPV)(2)(4) of IPC’s 2P reserves as at December 31, 2020 was USD 1,630 million. IPC’s net asset value (NAV)(2)(5) as at December 31, 2020 was USD 1,309 million. IPC’s NAV per share(2)(6) was USD 8.4 as at December 31, 2020.
2021 Budget and Production Guidance
We are pleased to announce our 2021 production guidance is 41,000 to 43,000 boepd.(1) We forecast operating costs for 2021 to be USD 14.6 per boe.(3) We also forecast significant free cash flow generation based on our 2P reserves base of an aggregate of more than USD 600 million to USD 900 million over the period of 2021 to 2025, without taking into account development of our contingent resources or any further potential acquisitions.(2)(3)(7)
Our 2021 capital expenditure budget is USD 37 million, as IPC focuses our 2021 strategy on free cash flow generation and debt reduction. The 2021 budget includes continued Onion Lake Thermal Pad D’ completion work, gas optimization activities in the Suffield area, well conversions at the Ferguson asset and Blackrod project activities in Canada. We plan limited capital activities in France and Malaysia for 2021, with flexibility to amend our plans based on commodity prices.
Further details regarding IPC’s 2021 budget and production guidance will be provided at IPC’s Capital Markets Day presentation to be held on February 9, 2021 at 14:00 CET. A copy of the Capital Markets Day presentation will be available on IPC’s website at www.international-petroleum.com.”
(1) See “Supplemental Information regarding Product Types” in “Disclosure of Oil and Gas Information” below. See also the material change report (MCR) available on IPC’s website at www.international-petroleum.com and filed on the date of this press release under IPC’s profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
(2) See “Disclosure of Oil and Gas Information” below. Further information with respect to IPC’s reserves, contingent resources and estimates of future net revenue, including assumptions relating to the calculation of NPV, are further described in the MCR.
(3) Non-IFRS measure, see “Non-IFRS Measures” below and in the MD&A.
(4) NPV is after tax, discounted at 8% and based upon the forecast prices and other assumptions further described in the MCR. See “Disclosure of Oil and Gas Information” below.
(5) NAV is calculated as NPV less net debt of USD 321 million as at December 31, 2020.
(6) NAV per share is based on the number of IPC common shares outstanding as at December 31, 2020 being 155,342,757.
(7) Estimated free cash flow generation is based on IPC’s current business plans over the period of 2021 to 2025. Assumptions include average net production over that period of approximately 45 Mboepd, average Brent oil prices of USD 55 to 65 per boe escalating by 2% per year, average gas prices of CAD 2.50 per thousand cubic feet, and average Brent to Western Canadian Select differentials as estimated by IPC’s independent reserves evaluator and as further described in the MCR. Free cash flow yield is based on IPC’s market capitalization at close February 5, 2021 (23.36 SEK/share, 8.4 SEK/USD, USD 433 million). IPC’s current business plans and assumptions, and the business environment, are subject to change. Actual results may differ materially from forward-looking estimates and forecasts. See “Forward-Looking Statements” below.