Crude Oil ( ) Brent Crude ( ) Natural Gas ( ) S&P 500 ( ) PHLX Oil ( )
 December 17, 2015 - 8:15 AM EST
Print Email Article Font Down Font Up Charts

RMP Energy Provides First Half 2016 Capital Budget and Highlights New Strategic Acreage Positions

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Dec. 17, 2015) - RMP Energy Inc. ("RMP" or the "Company") (TSX:RMP) is pleased to provide its capital expenditure plans for the first six months of 2016 and the corresponding financial and operating market guidance.

First Half 2016 Capital Budget

Low and volatile crude oil and natural gas prices have severely challenged corporate business models within the upstream oil and gas sector. In planning and budgeting RMP's exploration and development capital activities for 2016, preservation of balance sheet strength, long-term sustainability and value creation are the strategic priorities over the Company's production growth. As a result of uncertainty and lack of visibility on the duration of the commodity price downturn, the long-term implications of the Alberta government's oil and gas royalty review, and the cost of Alberta's new carbon tax, RMP has been compelled to adopt a cautious approach to its 2016 capital budget. The Company is planning a scaled-back first half capital budget of approximately $30 million, which has been approved by RMP's Board of Directors. Capital spending guidance for the second half of 2016 will be provided when there is more clarity on the previously-noted factors.

In the first half of 2016, a total of six horizontal wells (6.0 net) are budgeted to be drilled. The drilling and completion expenditure component of the first half capital budget, including new surface pad construction on three of the six well locations, is projected to approximate $23 million, with additional funds of approximately $7 million budgeted for well-site tie-in, gathering lines and undeveloped land accumulation. Approximately 40% of this capital budget will be directed towards projects which will not add immediate production but will enhance the long-term value of the Company. This includes a Montney exploration well in the Gold Creek area, a well drilled on a farm-in at Waskahigan and capital directed towards the waterflood at Ante Creek.

RMP's first half 2016 drilling focus will build on the success of its hybrid slick water completion results of its Waskahigan Montney drilling program. A total of three horizontal wells (3.0 net) are planned to be drilled at Waskahigan in the first six months, which includes the aforementioned farm-in well. Improved production performance resulting from hybrid slick water completion application has increased the estimated ultimate reserves recoveries and improved well project economics.

At Waskahigan, RMP has a substantial inventory of approximately 200 locations with which this completion design can be applied (inventory includes just 18 proved undeveloped locations and 44 probable undeveloped locations booked in the year-end 2014 reserves report). 

At Ante Creek in the first half of 2016, a total of two horizontal wells (2.0 net) are to be drilled. The Company expects to convert a recently-drilled horizontal oil well into a pilot waterflood injector with injection commencing the end of the second quarter, pending requisite regulatory approval of the waterflood application, which was submitted by the Company last week. Waterflood response predictions, derived from the recently-completed reservoir simulation, are very favorable with significant improvement in ultimate oil recovery anticipated. At Ante Creek, the Company holds approximately 36 sections of 100% working interest land providing for a future drilling inventory of at least 45 locations (of which only 15 proved undeveloped locations and two probable undeveloped locations were booked in the year-end 2014 reserves report). 

In addition to its Montney delineation and development plans at Waskahigan and Ante Creek, the Company will be drilling in the first quarter an exploration well on its acreage position located at Gold Creek in West Central Alberta. Please refer to the Gold Creek Exploration Area section hereafter.

The capital budget for the first six months of 2016 is to be funded through internally-generated funds from operations. As a result, RMP's mid-year 2016 net debt position is anticipated to approximate the Company's estimated year-end 2015 net debt of $119 million. 

As a result of the Company's first half 2016 capital budget, production is projected to average between 10,500 to 11,000 boe/d (weighted 43% light crude oil and NGLs) over the first six months of 2016, which is relatively level to RMP's forecasted fourth quarter 2015 production of 11,200 boe/d (weighted 45% light crude oil and NGLs). 

RMP expects to evaluate and plan for a second half 2016 drilling program in the second quarter of 2016, and will be influenced by prevailing commodity prices and market conditions, results of its first quarter exploration drilling activity, continued oilfield service cost deflation and any announced royalty framework changes. The Company will remain disciplined and flexible with its capital expenditures as it monitors business conditions and commodity prices over the coming months, and may make adjustments to its planned capital expenditures in 2016. RMP has flexibility to adjust the level of its capital investments as circumstances warrant.

The Company presently does not have any commodity price hedges in-place for 2016, however, RMP's strong balance sheet and low cost structure provides effective management against protracted commodity price weakness. The Company's controllable cash costs (operating, general and administrative and bank interest) in the first six months of 2016 are projected to be $8.20/boe, augmenting RMP's cash flow net backs. Additionally, at the end of the second quarter of 2016, the Company's net debt-to-annualized funds from operations is projected to approximate two times, which is expected to rank quite favorably amongst peer group companies.

RMP's low-cost structure, infrastructure control, strong balance sheet, high-quality economic asset base and experienced Management team and Board of Directors, positions the Company favourably to sustain and navigate the prevailing uncertain and low commodity price environment and affords optionality to take advantage of the opportunities the current environment creates. 

First Half 2016 Financial and Operating Guidance

The Company's financial and operating guidance for the first six months of 2016 is as follows:

Forecast (first six months 2016):   First Half 2016
Average daily production:    
  Light oil and NGL's (Bbls/d)   4,500 - 4,675
  Natural gas (Mcf/d)   36,000 - 38,000
  Oil equivalent (boe/d)   10,500 - 11,000
Capital expenditures ($)   $ 30 million
Funds from Operations (1) ($)   $ 30 million
June 30, 2016 net debt (1) ($)   $ 119 million
Net Debt-to-Funds from Operations ratio (mid-year 2016)   2.0x
Bank credit facility borrowing limit   $ 150 million
Key Assumptions:    
Royalty rate (%)   15%
Operating and transportation costs ($/boe)   $ 8.30
Operating netback (1) ($/boe)   $ 18.00
General and administrative expense ($/boe)   $ 1.70
Bank interest expense ($/boe)   $ 1.00
WTI oil (US$/Bbl)   $ 42.00
RMP oil differential to WTI (C$/Bbl)   ($6.00)
AECO gas (C$/GJ)   $ 2.50
Exchange Rate (US$/C$)   0.7500
Funds from Operations Sensitivities - First Half 2016:    
Change of $1.00/Bbl in oil wellhead price   +/- $ 700 thousand
Change of $0.10/Mcf in gas wellhead price   +/- $ 580 thousand
Change of $0.01/C$ in US$/C$ exchange rate   +/- $ 425 thousand

Table Notes:

(1) Funds from Operations, Operating Netback and Net Debt do not have any standardized meaning prescribed by International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"). Refer to the Reader Advisories at the end of the news release.

Credit Facility Update

As a result of a recently-completed semi-annual review of RMP's revolving credit facility borrowing base, the bank syndicate group (the "Lenders") has updated the Company's conforming borrowing base to $150 million, a 14% decrease from the existing $175 million borrowing base. The borrowing base redetermination was based on the Lender's review of the current estimated value of the Company's proved reserves utilizing the Lender's commodity pricing assumptions, which is significantly lower than the price assumptions used by the Lenders during the annual borrowing base redetermination in May 2015. The updated borrowing base will result in lower standby-fees charged on undrawn amounts and provides the Company with ample liquidity and financial flexibility given RMP's commitment to a cash flow-funded capital expenditures program in 2016. The borrowings under the Company's credit facility are available on a fully-revolving basis for a period of at least 364 days until July 22, 2016, at which time RMP can request approval by the Lenders for an extension for an additional 364 day cycle. The next borrowing base redetermination is scheduled to occur on or before May 31, 2016. RMP is currently drawn approximately $124 million on the credit facility.

Gold Creek Exploration Area

The Company has been executing a 'counter-cyclical' land accumulation strategy at Gold Creek in West Central Alberta with Montney potential. A total of 46 (100% owned) net sections have been acquired for a total investment of $3.3 million ($280 per hectare), providing the Company with an emerging core area. Operators in the area have experienced recent success in both the gas and oil windows of the play. RMP is planning to drill an exploration well on these lands in the first quarter of 2016, testing the potential for an oil-bearing reservoir on its southern land block. With success, this will lead to a large scale development with multiple years of drilling inventory for the Company.

Duvernay Acreage Position

In addition to establishing a substantial acreage position at Gold Creek, the Company has accumulated deep rights for the Duvernay formation in its Ante Creek area. A total of 74 (100% owned) sections of Duvernay rights have been acquired by RMP since January 2014. Although the Company has no near-term plans to deploy capital on this acreage, ongoing area operator delineation activity will assist in determining commerciality of this play in the region. Geological mapping and recent results from other operators in the area indicates that RMP's land position resides within the oil window of this exciting play and its lands are proximal to the Company's existing Ante Creek infrastructure network.

Abbreviations

Bbl or Bbls barrel or barrels Mcf/d thousand cubic feet per day
Mbbl thousand barrels MMcf/d million cubic feet per day
Bbls/d barrels per day Mcf thousand cubic feet
boe barrels of oil equivalent MMcf million cubic feet
Mboe thousand barrels of oil equivalent Bcf billion cubic feet
boe/d barrels of oil equivalent per day psi pounds per square inch
NGLs natural gas liquids kPa kilopascals
WTI West Texas Intermediate GJ/d Gigajoules per day

Reader Advisories

The Company anticipates remaining disciplined but flexible with its 2016 exploration and development capital expenditures as it monitors business conditions and commodity prices throughout fiscal 2016. Where deemed prudent, it may make adjustments to its 2016 capital expenditures plans. Actual spending may vary due to a variety of factors, including drilling results, crude oil and natural gas prices, economic conditions, prevailing debt and/or equity markets, field services and equipment availability, permitting and any future acquisitions. The timing of most capital expenditures is discretionary. Consequently, the Company has a significant degree of flexibility to adjust the level of its capital investments as circumstances warrant. Additionally, to enhance flexibility of RMP's capital program, the Company typically does not enter into material long-term obligations with any of its drilling contractors or service providers with respect to its operated crude oil and natural gas properties. 

The information in this news release contains certain forward-looking statements. These statements relate to future events or our future performance. All statements other than statements of historical fact may be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "seek", "anticipate", "budget", "plan", "continue", "estimate", "approximate", "expect", "may", "will", "project", "predict", "potential", "targeting", "intend", "could", "might", "should", "believe", "would" and similar expressions. More particularly and without limitation, this new release contains forward looking information relating to: the Company's first half 2016 capital expenditures budget and the budgeted funds allocated to each of drilling and completions, well-site tie-in, gathering lines and undeveloped land purchases, and also drilling plans including the number and area location of the well drilling locations within the first half 2016 capital budget; timing of the Company's second half 2016 capital spending guidance; estimated year-end 2015 net debt, estimated net debt at the end of the second quarter (or mid-year) 2016 and net debt-to-annualized cash flow ratios; forecasted average daily production rate and liquids weighting for both the fourth quarter 2015 and the first six months of 2016; funds from operations for the first half of 2016; the timing of implementation of a waterflood pilot for RMP's secondary recovery project at Ante Creek; the planned conversion of an existing horizontal well into a water injector; the expected increase in oil reserves recovery from the secondary recovery waterflood project; key assumptions within the forecasted first half 2016 financial and operating guidance including; defined controllable cash costs, operating costs and transportation costs, corporate royalty rate, general and administrative expense, bank interest expense, market WTI oil and AECO gas pricing and wellhead oil price differential and foreign exchange; sources of funding for the first half 2016 capital budget; funds from operations sensitivities in wellhead oil and wellhead gas price changes and foreign exchange rate changes; and anticipated lower stand-by fees on RMP's credit facility. 

These aforementioned statements involve substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties, certain of which are beyond the Company's control, including: the impact of general economic conditions; industry conditions; changes in laws and regulations including the adoption of new environmental laws and regulations and changes in how they are interpreted and enforced; fluctuations in commodity prices and foreign exchange and interest rates; stock market volatility and market valuations; volatility in market prices for oil and natural gas; liabilities inherent in oil and natural gas operations; changes in income tax laws or changes in tax laws and incentive programs relating to the oil and gas industry ; geological, technical, drilling and processing problems and other difficulties in producing petroleum reserves; and obtaining required approvals of regulatory authorities. The Company's actual results, performance or achievement could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, such forward-looking statements and, accordingly, no assurances can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will transpire or occur or, if any of them do, what benefits that the Company will derive from them. The Company's forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Except as required by law, the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements.

This news release may disclose drilling locations in four categories: (i) proved undeveloped locations; (ii) probable undeveloped locations; iii) unbooked locations; and, iv) an aggregate total of (i), (ii) and (iii). Proved undeveloped locations and probable undeveloped locations are booked and derived from the Corporation's most recent independent reserves evaluation as prepared by InSite Petroleum Consultants Ltd. as of December 31, 2014 and account for drilling locations that have associated proved and/or probable reserves, as applicable. Unbooked locations are internal estimates based on the Corporation's prospective acreage and an assumption as to the number of wells that can be drilled per section based on industry practice and internal review. Unbooked locations do not have attributed reserves or resources. Unbooked locations have been identified by management as an estimation of the Company's multi-year drilling activities based on evaluation of applicable geologic, seismic, engineering, production and reserves information. There is no certainty that the Company will drill all unbooked drilling locations and if drilled there is no certainty that such locations will result in additional oil and gas reserves, resources or production. The drilling locations on which the Company will actually drill wells is ultimately dependent upon the availability of capital, regulatory approvals, seasonal restrictions, oil and natural gas prices, costs, actual drilling results, additional reservoir information that is obtained and other factors. While certain of the unbooked drilling locations have been derisked by drilling existing wells in relative close proximity to such unbooked drilling locations, the majority of other unbooked drilling locations are farther away from existing wells where management has less information about the characteristics of the reservoir and therefore there is more uncertainty whether wells will be drilled in such locations and if drilled there is more uncertainty that such wells will result in additional oil and gas reserves, resources or production.

In this news release RMP has adopted a standard for converting thousands of cubic feet ("mcf") of natural gas to barrels of oil equivalent ("boe") of 6 mcf:1 boe. Use of boes may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. The boe rate is based on an energy equivalent conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent a value equivalency at the wellhead. Given that the value ratio based on the current price of crude oil as compared to natural gas is significantly different than the energy equivalency of the 6:1 conversion ratio, utilizing the 6:1 conversion ratio may be misleading as an indication of value.

As an indicator of the Company's performance, the term Funds from Operations contained within this news release should not be considered as an alternative to, or more meaningful than, cash flow from operating, financing or investing activities, as determined in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"). This term is not a recognized measure, does not have a standardized meaning nor is it a financial measure under IFRS. Funds from Operations is widely accepted as a financial indicator of an exploration and production company's ability to generate cash which is used to internally fund exploration and development activities and to service debt. This measure is widely used by shareholders and investors in the valuation, comparison and investment recommendations of companies within the natural gas and crude oil exploration and production industry. Funds from Operations, as disclosed within this news release, represents cash flow from operating activities before: expensed corporate acquisition-related costs, decommissioning obligation cash expenditures and changes in non-cash working capital from operating activities and non-cash changes in deferred charge. The Company presents Funds from Operations per share whereby per share amounts are calculated consistent with the calculation of earnings per share. 

Net Debt refers to outstanding bank debt less deferred charge plus working capital deficiency (or minus working capital surplus), excluding unrealized amounts pertaining to risk management contracts. Net Debt is not a recognized measure under IFRS and does not have a standardized meaning.

Field Operating Netback or Operating Netback refers to realized wellhead revenue less royalties, operating expenses and transportation costs per barrel of oil equivalent. Field Operating Netback or Operating Netback is not a recognized measure under IFRS and does not have a standardized meaning.

RMP Energy Inc.
John Ferguson
President and Chief Executive Officer
(403) 930-6303
john.ferguson@rmpenergyinc.com

RMP Energy Inc.
Dean Bernhard
Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer
(403) 930-6304
dean.bernhard@rmpenergyinc.com


Source: Marketwired (December 17, 2015 - 8:15 AM EST)

News by QuoteMedia
www.quotemedia.com