TORC Oil & Gas Ltd. Announces First Quarter 2017 Financial & Operating Results; On-Strategy Tuck-in Acquisitions; & Increased 2017 Production Guidance
TORC Oil & Gas Ltd. ("TORC" or the "Company") (TSX: TOG) is pleased to announce its financial and operating results for the three month period ended March 31, 2017. The associated management's discussion and analysis ("MD&A") and unaudited interim financial statements as at and for the quarter ended March 31, 2017 can be found at www.sedar.com and www.torcoil.com.
The operational momentum from 2016 was maintained in the first quarter of 2017 with a continued focus on the Company's long term objectives of delivering disciplined growth in combination with maintaining financial flexibility and providing a sustainable dividend. TORC's active drilling program was focused in both the southeast Saskatchewan and Cardium core areas where the Company continued to achieve strong results.
The Company's key achievements in the first quarter of 2017 included the following:
TORC's first quarter production averaged 19,806 boepd (87% light oil and NGLs). Strong new well results and solid performance of the Company's existing low decline production across all of TORC's core areas contributed to the continued quarter over quarter growth of the Company's production base.
During the first quarter, TORC executed on a successful lower risk development program, drilling 22 (16.0 net wells) focused on the conventional and Torquay/Three Forks assets in southeast Saskatchewan and the Cardium in central Alberta. TORC spent $32 million in the first quarter representing 25% of the Company's 2017 $130 million capital budget. TORC expects to spend approximately $50 million in the first half. With $80 million of the $130 million capital program planned for the second half of the year, TORC remains well positioned to continue to grow the Company's low decline production base.
TORC drilled 11 (8.3 net) southeast Saskatchewan conventional wells in the first quarter. TORC's southeast Saskatchewan conventional assets are characterized by their lower risk nature and high rates of return driven by lower capital costs, high netbacks and the favorable royalty regime in the province. With a long term decline profile of less than 20% and strong operating netbacks, the southeast Saskatchewan assets yield significant free cash flow to support TORC's business model.
TORC has identified more than 400 net undrilled conventional light oil locations in southeast Saskatchewan providing years of high quality drilling inventory. In 2017, TORC plans to drill 38 (31.5 net) conventional wells. The focus in TORC's southeast Saskatchewan conventional properties is to maintain a reasonably flat production profile and maximize free cash flow from the assets.
Also in southeast Saskatchewan, TORC drilled 6 (4.0 net) wells during the first quarter in the Torquay/Three Forks geological zone. As expected, TORC completed 1 (0.5 net) of these wells in the quarter and plans to complete the remaining 5 (3.5 net) wells in the second and third quarters. In 2017, TORC plans to drill a total of 15 (12.5 net) wells in this light oil resource play continuing to drive growth in this high netback area. TORC has identified over 150 net development locations in the Torquay/Three Forks play providing multiple years of drilling inventory.
TORC drilled 5 (3.7 net) successful Cardium development wells in the first quarter. For 2017, the Company has budgeted to drill 12 (10.7 net) Cardium wells representing less than 5% of TORC's identified undrilled inventory.
TORC controls more than 95 net light oil sections in the Cardium trend where the Company has identified more than 290 net undrilled locations. With a decline profile below 25% and a deep inventory of high quality development locations, the Cardium continues to contribute meaningfully to the Company's free cash flow growth strategy.
TORC's 2017 capital budget of $130 million maintains TORC's balanced approach to the current commodity price environment. The Company continues to focus on disciplined long term organic growth while protecting the Company's strong financial position.
TORC spent $32.2 million in the first quarter and expects first half spending to be approximately $50 million in total. With approximately $80 million to be spent in the second half of 2017, TORC remains well positioned to grow the Company's production base while maintaining a consistent decline profile to maintain repeatability of the business plan.
The 2017 capital program remains concentrated on the Company's primary core areas in southeast Saskatchewan, focused on both conventional opportunities and the emerging Torquay/Three Forks play, and the Cardium play in central Alberta. TORC has the operational flexibility to adjust the current 2017 budget based on the commodity price environment. Although TORC has budgeted for a modest increase in service costs in the second half of 2017 due to increasing industry activity, the Company continues to focus on operational efficiencies with a goal of achieving results that exceed budget expectations.
Based on current commodity prices and budgeted cost structure, TORC is expected to achieve significant free cash flow in 2017 after organically growing production and paying the current dividend. This free cash flow positions the Company to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.
Subsequent to the end of the first quarter, the Company completed a number of transactions adding approximately 650 boepd (90 percent light oil) of low decline, high netback production in the Company's southeast Saskatchewan core area while also enhancing the Company's high quality drilling inventory.
With the completion of the Net Acquisitions, TORC is increasing 2017 average production guidance to greater than 20,400 boepd from 19,900 boepd previously and 2017 exit production guidance to 21,200 boepd from 20,600 boepd previously (87% liquids).
TORC continues to focus on growing free cash flow and utilizing that free cash flow to enhance the growth and sustainability of the Company's business model.
TORC's dividend is reviewed regularly with the Board of Directors and is an important component of TORC's overall strategy. During the first quarter, TORC declared dividends of $11 million of which $4 million was paid under the share dividend plan.
The Board of Directors has confirmed a dividend of $0.02 per common share will be paid on May 15, 2017 to shareholders of record on April 30, 2017.
The Company is committed to maintaining a disciplined approach during the current volatility in world oil markets. TORC's priorities are to act prudently to protect TORC's financial flexibility while positioning the Company to continue to achieve per share growth over the long term while paying out a sustainable dividend.
TORC has built a sustainable growth platform of light oil focused assets and continues to enhance this platform. The stability of the high quality, low decline, light oil assets in southeast Saskatchewan and the low risk Cardium development inventory in central Alberta, combined with exposure to the light oil resource play in the Torquay/Three Forks in southeast Saskatchewan, positions TORC to provide value creation through a disciplined long term strategy.
SOURCE: TORC Oil & Gas Ltd.
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