Prairie Provident Resources Announces Third Quarter 2020 Financial and Operating Results

CALGARY, Alberta, Nov. 12, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Prairie Provident Resources Inc. (“Prairie Provident”, “PPR” or the “Company”) today announces our financial and operating results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020. PPR’s unaudited condensed interim consolidated financial statements for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020 (“Interim Financial Statements”) and related Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”) for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020 are available on our website at www.ppr.ca and filed on SEDAR.PPR’s third quarter financial results continue to reflect the significant decline in global energy demand and resultant impact on crude oil pricing caused by the COVID-19 pandemic since early 2020. While the health and safety of our employees, partners and communities remains a priority, the Company has proactively taken steps to maintain our liquidity and financial position during this unprecedented time.Initiatives undertaken include suspending the capital program; identifying immediate and targeted operating cost reductions; reducing compensation across the organization; and reaching an agreement with our lenders to defer the Company’s borrowing base re-determination and to suspend cash interest payments on our 15% subordinated unsecured notes due October 31, 2021 (“Senior Notes”).As a result of these initiatives, the Company expects to realize adjusted funds flow (“AFF”)1 savings of approximately $8.0 million to $10.0 million for 2020. In addition, PPR has WTI hedges on over 80% of our 2020 and 30% of our 2021 forecast base oil production (net of royalties), respectively, which protect our operating cash flows and provide further resiliency amid continued volatility.  At September 30, 2020, our hedges were fair valued at over $4.7 million. Q3 2020 HIGHLIGHTSDue to the ongoing adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and OPEC+ supply issues, oil prices were significantly depressed throughout the second quarter of 2020, and despite moderate improvement in the third quarter of 2020 remain significantly lower year-over-year from 2019 levels. PPR’s Q3 2020 cash flows were partially protected by our hedging program, which brought in $2.8 million of realized gains for the quarter.Production averaged 4,516 boe/d (68% liquids) in the third quarter of 2020, a 27% or 1,698 boe/d decrease from the same period in 2019, primarily driven by natural declines and production shut-ins, partially offset by production from our 2019/2020 drilling program. In response to weak oil prices, PPR permanently shut-in approximately 130 boe/d of uneconomic oil production and suspended our capital program during the second quarter of 2020, and also deferred workover activities to preserve reserves value and liquidity, which resulted in temporary production loss over the quarter. As oil prices have partially recovered, PPR resumed workover activities in the third quarter of 2020 on select projects that meet our current economic thresholds of less than one-year payout.In addition to shutting in uneconomic production, PPR implemented various other cost reduction initiatives including the realignment of field structure, negotiating rate reductions with vendors and suspending workover activities.  These cost savings initiatives together with lower production, resulted in a decrease in operating expenses of $1.1 million compared to the third quarter of 2019, partially offset by a higher level of workover activities. Operating netback1 after the impact of realized gains on derivatives was $6.3 million ($15.15/boe) for the third quarter of 2020, reflecting a decrease of $4.5 million or 42% from the same period in 2019. Our hedging program provided $2.8 million of realized gains in the third quarter of 2020 which partially mitigated a 29% drop in realized oil prices from the corresponding period in 2019. Net capital expenditures1 during the second quarter of 2020 were nominal, as a result of the suspension of the capital program.Adjusted funds flow1, excluding $0.1 million of decommissioning settlements, was $3.9 million ($0.02 per basic and diluted share) for the third quarter of 2020, a 40% or $2.7 million decrease from the same quarter in 2019. Primary contributors to the decrease were lower production volumes and lower realized oil prices, which were partially offset by a reduction in operating expenses, royalties, general and administrative (“G&A”) expenses and cash interest expenses.Net loss totaled $8.3 million in the third quarter of 2020 compared to a net loss of $2.3 million in the same period of 2019, driven primarily by a non-cash unrealized loss on derivative instruments of $3.9 million in the third quarter of 2020 versus an unrealized gain of $5.2 million in the third quarter of 2019. The unrealized loss on derivative instruments was due to a decrease in derivative asset value between June 30, 2020 and September 30, 2020.  The decrease in derivative asset value during the third quarter of 2020 was largely due to realizing $2.8 million of gains from contracts settled in the period.Net debt1 at September 30, 2020 totaled $117.6 million, up $6.2 million from December 31, 2019. The increase is attributed to an unrealized foreign exchange loss of $2.0 million, which was driven by a weaker Canadian dollar relative to the US dollar on the Company’s US-dollar denominated debt, amortization of deferred financing costs and an increase of $5.3 million in deferred interest on the Company’s bank debt, partially offset by a year-to-date AFF1 that exceeds capital expenditures, finance lease payments and decommissioning settlements.A lender redetermination of the senior secured revolving note facility (“Revolving Facility”) borrowing base, originally scheduled for the spring of 2020, continues to be temporarily deferred. Until the redetermination is concluded, the Company agreed to direct excess funds, after payment of all operating, G&A and other costs of conducting our business, to the repayment of borrowings on the Revolving Facility and to not make further advances under that facility. PPR also agreed to a 200 basis point payment-in-kind margin increase on outstanding advances, payable on maturity of the Revolving Facility. The maturity date of the Revolving Facility is April 30, 2021. As the maturity date is within 12 months from September 30, 2020, the total outstanding amount under the Revolving Facility is classified under current liabilities as at September 30, 2020. The Company and our lenders continue to work towards a long‐term solution on the credit facilities.  The lenders under both the Revolving Facility and the Senior Notes agreed to waive the application of all financial covenants for September 30, 2020.  At September 30, 2020, PPR had US$57.3 million of borrowings drawn against the US$60.0 million Revolving Facility, comprised of US$30.3 million (C$40.5 million equivalent using the exchange rate at the time of borrowing, plus C$0.4 million equivalent of deferred interest, using the September 30, 2020 exchange rate of $1.00 USD to $1.33 CAD) of CAD-denominated borrowing and US$27.0 million of USD-denominated borrowing (C$35.7 million, plus C$0.4 million of deferred interest equivalent using the September 30, 2020 exchange rate). In addition, US$34.4 million (C$38.0 million, plus C$7.8 million of deferred interest  equivalent using the September 30, 2020 exchange rate) of Senior Notes were outstanding at September 30, 2020, for total borrowings of US$91.7 million (C$122.9 million using the September 30, 2020 exchange rate).1  Non-IFRS measure – see below under “Non-IFRS Measures”CEO SUCCESSIONPrairie Provident also announces that Tim Granger, Chief Executive Officer and a director of the Company, has decided to retire after almost eight years of service to PPR and its predecessor, Lone Pine Resources, and that Tony van Winkoop will be appointed Chief Executive Officer.“The board of directors, shareholders and employees of Prairie Provident wish to thank Tim for his years of loyal service, sound leadership and stewardship.  We wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Patrick McDonald, Chair of the Board of Directors. “On behalf of the Board, I would also like to congratulate Tony on his appointment as CEO, a well-deserved recognition of his contribution to the Company and moreover demonstration of our confidence in his abilities to lead the Company,” said McDonald.Mr. van Winkoop, who has served as Vice President, Exploration for over 5 years and now President, was Chief Executive Officer of Arsenal Energy until its combination with Lone Pine Resources to form Prairie Provident in September 2016, and has been an integral member of the executive leadership team ever since.The changes will be effective at the annual meeting of PPR shareholders to be held on December 18, 2020, at which Mr. van Winkoop will also stand for election to the board of directors together with Patrick McDonald (Chairman), Derek Petrie, William Roach, Ajay Sabherwal and Rob Wonnacott.  Mr. Granger and Terence (Tad) Flynn are not standing for re-election.A notice of meeting and information circular for the 2020 shareholders’ meeting has been filed on SEDAR under the Company’s issuer profile at www.sedar.com, and will be disseminated to shareholders in the coming days.FINANCIAL AND OPERATING SUMMARYOperating netback is a Non-IFRS measure (see “Non-IFRS Measures” below).Working capital (deficit) is a Non-IFRS measure (see “Non-IFRS Measures” below) calculated as current assets less current portion of derivative instruments, minus accounts payable and accrued liabilities.Bank debt includes the Revolving Facility and the Senior Notes.Net debt is a Non-IFRS measure (see “Non-IFRS Measures” below), calculated by adding working capital (deficit) and bank debt.For the nine months ended September 30, 2020, the Company drilled one development well with a 100% success rate.OUTLOOKThe COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a sharp decline in global economic activity, and consequently, a significant drop in energy demand. There has been a recent resurgence of COVID-19 cases in certain areas and the timing and extent of an eventual economic recovery remains highly uncertain.  The downturn in oil prices has adversely affected PPR’s operating results and financial position, although the impact has been somewhat muted given that 80% of our 2020 forecast base oil production (net of royalties) is protected by hedges. Our hedging program has shielded the Company against the severe price deterioration that has occurred during these unprecedented times, underpinning the importance of maintaining liquidity and financial position. After completing the Michichi well in March 2020, PPR has suspended our capital program to preserve liquidity and protect development economics. Operationally, PPR conducted a bottom-up review of all of our operating expenses and identified and moved forward with immediate reduction opportunities. Operating cost reductions are being realized through rate negotiations, workforce optimizations, shutting-in uneconomic production and the deferral of activities, and are expected to total approximately $2.9 million for the year or $4.0 million on an annualized basis. In addition, effective April 2020, executive and non-executive salaries and director annual remuneration were reduced. Certain employee benefit programs have also been suspended. These measures are expected to result in approximately $2.0 million of gross G&A reductions for 2020 or $2.2 million on an annualized basis.PPR continues to actively monitor and pursue available COVID-19 relief programs and has to date realized some benefit under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Site Rehabilitation Program for federal funding of abandonment and reclamation work.As a result of the ongoing impacts caused by COVID-19, the Company expects the remainder of 2020 and first half of 2021 to be a challenging time for our industry and for the global economy in general. While PPR cannot control or influence the macro environment, we are committed to maintaining our balance sheet and liquidity through active cost reduction efforts and will continue to work closely with our lenders.ABOUT PRAIRIE PROVIDENTPrairie Provident is a Calgary-based company engaged in the exploration and development of oil and natural gas properties in Alberta. The Company’s strategy is to grow organically in combination with accretive acquisitions of conventional oil prospects, which can be efficiently developed. Prairie Provident’s operations are primarily focused at the Michichi and Princess areas in Southern Alberta targeting the Banff, the Ellerslie and the Lithic Glauconite formations, along with an established and proven waterflood project at our Evi area in the Peace River Arch. Prairie Provident protects our balance sheet through an active hedging program and manages risk by allocating capital to opportunities offering maximum shareholder returns.For further information, please contact:Prairie Provident Resources Inc.Tim Granger – Chief Executive Officer
Tel: (403) 292-8110
Email: [email protected]
Tony van Winkoop – President
Tel: (403) 292-8071
Email: [email protected]
Forward-Looking StatementsThis news release contains certain statements (“forward-looking statements”) that constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking statements relate to future performance, events or circumstances, are based upon internal assumptions, plans, intentions, expectations and beliefs, and are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those indicated or suggested therein. All statements other than statements of current or historical fact constitute forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are typically, but not always, identified by words such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “expect”, “intend”, “plan”, “budget”, “forecast”, “target”, “estimate”, “propose”, “potential”, “project”, “continue”, “may”, “will”, “should” or similar words suggesting future outcomes or events or statements regarding an outlook.Without limiting the foregoing, this news release contains forward-looking statements pertaining to: the Company’s liquidity and financial position going-forward; cost reduction opportunities (including anticipated amounts) and the Company’s ability to achieve them; and future improvements in economic activity and energy demand.Forward-looking statements are based on a number of material factors, expectations or assumptions of Prairie Provident which have been used to develop such statements but which may prove to be incorrect. Although the Company believes that the expectations and assumptions reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements, which are inherently uncertain and depend upon the accuracy of such expectations and assumptions. Prairie Provident can give no assurance that the forward-looking statements contained herein will prove to be correct or that the expectations and assumptions upon which they are based will occur or be realized. Actual results or events will differ, and the differences may be material and adverse to the Company. In addition to other factors and assumptions which may be identified herein, assumptions have been made regarding, among other things: future commodity prices and currency exchange rates, including consistency of future prices with current price forecasts; the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the adverse effect on global energy demand, and the oversupply of oil production; results from development activities, and their consistency with past operations; the quality of the reservoirs in which Prairie Provident operates and continued performance from existing wells, including production profile, decline rate and product mix; the accuracy of the estimates of Prairie Provident’s reserves volumes; operating and other costs, including the ability to achieve and maintain cost improvements; continued availability of external financing and cash flow to fund Prairie Provident’s current and future plans and expenditures, with external financing on acceptable terms; the impact of competition; the general stability of the economic and political environment in which Prairie Provident operates; the general continuance of current industry conditions; the timely receipt of any required regulatory approvals; the ability of Prairie Provident to obtain qualified staff, equipment and services in a timely and cost efficient manner; drilling results; the ability of the operator of the projects in which Prairie Provident has an interest in to operate the field in a safe, efficient and effective manner; field production rates and decline rates; the ability to replace and expand oil and natural gas reserves through acquisition, development and exploration; the timing and cost of pipeline, storage and facility construction and expansion and the ability of Prairie Provident to secure adequate product transportation; regulatory framework regarding royalties, taxes and environmental matters in the jurisdictions in which Prairie Provident operates; and the ability of Prairie Provident to successfully market its oil and natural gas products.Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or promises of future outcomes, and should not be relied upon. Such statements, including the assumptions made in respect thereof, involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements including, without limitation: changes in realized commodity prices; changes in the demand for or supply of Prairie Provident’s products; the early stage of development of some of the evaluated areas and zones; the potential for variation in the quality of the geologic formations targeted by Prairie Provident’s operations; unanticipated operating results or production declines; changes in tax or environmental laws, royalty rates or other regulatory matters; changes in development plans of Prairie Provident or by third party operators; increased debt levels or debt service requirements; inaccurate estimation of Prairie Provident’s oil and gas reserves volumes; limited, unfavourable or a lack of access to capital markets; increased costs; a lack of adequate insurance coverage; the impact of competitors; and such other risks as may be detailed from time-to-time in Prairie Provident’s public disclosure documents, (including, without limitation, those risks identified in this news release and Prairie Provident’s current Annual Information Form).The forward-looking statements contained in this news release speak only as of the date of this news release, and Prairie Provident assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances, or otherwise, except as may be required pursuant to applicable laws. All forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement.Barrels of Oil EquivalentThe oil and gas industry commonly expresses production volumes and reserves on a “barrel of oil equivalent” basis (“boe”) whereby natural gas volumes are converted at the ratio of six thousand cubic feet to one barrel of oil. The intention is to sum oil and natural gas measurement units into one basis for improved analysis of results and comparisons with other industry participants. A boe conversion ratio of six thousand cubic feet to one barrel of oil is based on an energy equivalency conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip. It does not represent a value equivalency at the wellhead nor at the plant gate, which is where Prairie Provident sells its production volumes.  Boes may therefore be a misleading measure, particularly if used in isolation. Given that the value ratio based on the current price of crude oil as compared to natural gas is significantly different from the energy equivalency ratio of 6:1, utilizing a 6:1 conversion ratio may be misleading as an indication of value.Non-IFRS MeasuresThe Company uses certain terms in this news release and within the MD&A that do not have a standardized or prescribed meaning under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), and, accordingly these measurements may not be comparable with the calculation of similar measurements used by other companies. For a reconciliation of each non-IFRS measure to its nearest IFRS measure, please refer to the “Non-IFRS Measures” section in the MD&A.  Non-IFRS measures are provided as supplementary information by which readers may wish to consider the Company’s performance but should not be relied upon for comparative or investment purposes. The non-IFRS measures used in this news release are summarized as follows:Working Capital – Working capital (deficit) is calculated as current assets excluding the current portion of derivative instruments, less accounts payable and accrued liabilities. This measure is used to assist management and investors in understanding liquidity at a specific point in time.  The current portion of derivatives instruments is excluded as management intends to hold derivative contracts through to maturity rather than realizing the value at a point in time through liquidation. The current portion of bank debt is excluded from working capital calculation as it relates to financing activities and is included in net debt calculation. The current portion of decommissioning expenditures is excluded as these costs are discretionary and the current portion of flow-through share premium and warrant liabilities are excluded as it is a non-monetary liability. Lease liabilities have historically been excluded as they were not recorded on the balance sheet until the adoption of IFRS 16 – Leases on January 1, 2019.Net Debt – Net debt is defined as bank debt plus working capital surplus or deficit. Net debt is commonly used in the oil and gas industry for assessing the liquidity of a company.Operating Netback – Operating netback is a non-IFRS measure commonly used in the oil and gas industry. This measurement assists management and investors to evaluate the specific operating performance at the oil and gas lease level. Operating netbacks included in this news release were determined by taking (oil and gas revenues less royalties less operating costs). Operating netback may be expressed in absolute dollar basis or per unit basis. Per unit amounts are determined by dividing the absolute value by gross working interest production. Operating netback, including realized commodity (loss) and gain, adjusts the operating netback for only realized gains and losses on derivative instruments.Adjusted Funds Flow – Adjusted funds flow is calculated based on cash flow from operating activities before changes in non-cash working capital, transaction costs, restructuring costs, and other non-recurring items. Management believes that such a measure provides an insightful assessment of PPR’s operational performance on a continuing basis by eliminating certain non-cash charges and charges that are non-recurring or discretionary and utilizes the measure to assess its ability to finance capital expenditures and debt repayments. Adjusted funds flow as presented is not intended to represent cash flow from operating activities, net earnings or other measures of financial performance calculated in accordance with IFRS. Adjusted funds flow per share is calculated based on the weighted average number of common shares outstanding consistent with the calculation of earnings per share.Net Capital Expenditures – Net capital expenditures is a non-IFRS measure commonly used in the oil and gas industry. The measurement assists management and investors to measure PPR’s investment in the Company’s existing asset base. Net capital expenditures is calculated by taking total capital expenditures, which is the sum of property and equipment and exploration and evaluation expenditures from the consolidated statement of cash flows, plus capitalized stock-based compensation, plus acquisitions from business combinations, which is the outflow cash consideration paid to acquire oil and gas properties, less asset dispositions (net of acquisitions), which is the cash proceeds from the disposition of producing properties and undeveloped lands. 

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