- Natural gas production of 215 mmcf/day in Q1 2021, the highest quarterly production in our Company’s history
- Production of 43,997 boe/day, an increase of 7% compared to the same quarter in 2020
- Petroleum and natural gas revenue was $81.9 million, an increase of $17.1 million or 26% compared to the same quarter in 2020
- Cash flow from operations of $11.0 million
- Net Operating Income1 (“NOI”) of $20.9 million increased by 9%, and Adjusted Funds Flow From Operations1 (“AFFO”) of $14.9 million increased 7% compared to the same period last year
- We are progressing our ESG mandate and will deliver our inaugural ESG report in the second quarter of this year, anchored by our commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 for our Goldboro LNG Project
CALGARY, Alberta – Pieridae Energy Limited (“Pieridae” or the “Company”) (PEA.TO) released its Q1 2021 financial and operating results today, highlighted by strong overall production, with Pieridae producing the highest-ever recorded volume of natural gas in a quarter. The Company battled through the ongoing headwinds of COVID, recording year-over-year increases in cash flow from operations, NOI and AFFO.
“I am very pleased with the volume of gas we were able to produce in the first three months of 2021. It was no small feat to deliver the highest quarterly production of natural gas in the Company’s history and all should be commended,” said Pieridae’s Chief Executive Officer Alfred Sorensen. “We did see year-over-year growth in our main financial metrics and I am looking forward to Pieridae delivering its inaugural ESG Report that supports our commitment in helping to build a better energy future.
“As we continue to make tangible progress with our Goldboro LNG Project, ours is beginning to look like ‘the last one standing’ with others in North America either being delayed or cancelled outright. The Governments of Canada, Alberta and Nova Scotia will continue to look for ways to expand Canadian global markets for natural gas in order to reap the long-term benefits of our Project to support Indigenous Peoples reconciliation, create good paying middle-class jobs and play a supportive role in the global transition to a lower carbon economy,” concluded Sorensen.
Q1 2021 Financial & Operations Highlights
Pieridae’s assets maintained strong production in the first quarter of 2021, averaging 43,997 boe/day, a 7% increase from the comparative quarter in 2020. This was significant on a number of fronts considering the Company invested minimal capital during the last 12 months. Of significant importance, natural gas production of 215 mmcf/day set a record for the highest quarterly production in the Company’s history.
The production increase was primarily due to reduced unplanned outages from cold weather in the current quarter, and improved natural gas liquids recovery at the Waterton gas processing facility as a result of the straddle plant installed in the third quarter of 2020. Also contributing to increased volumes was the impact of minor uplift projects coupled with the successful acquisition of additional minor working interests in existing production finalized in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Commodity prices also continued to strengthen, with Pieridae recording a realized natural gas price of $2.63/mcf in the first quarter, compared to the AECO benchmark of $3.16/mcf. While our late 2020 and early 2021 hedges prevented us from fully realizing the AECO figure, realized prices in the first quarter were 22% higher than in the fourth quarter of 2020 and 17% higher than in Q1 of last year.
In the first quarter of 2021, Pieridae generated cashflow from operating activities of $11.0 million, NOI increased by 9% compared to Q1 2020 to $20.9 million and AFFO was $14.9 million, an increase of $0.9 million or 7% compared to the same period in 2020. Higher per-boe operating costs (due to increased third-party processing fees, higher power costs and increases in the per-tonne Alberta carbon tax) and royalties partially offset the strength in revenues. Additionally, net income was impacted by Pieridae’s continued investment in the Goldboro LNG Project, expenditures from which must be expensed until the Company reaches a successful final investment decision (“FID”).
Petroleum and natural gas revenue in the first quarter of 2021 was $81.9 million, an increase of $17.1 million or 26% compared to the same quarter in 2020. The increase was primarily due to additional production, and an increase in the realized price for natural gas and NGLs, partially offset by a corresponding decrease in the realized price of condensate.
Pieridae continues to leverage its hedging program to insulate it from volatile commodity prices. The program has proven successful at providing a degree of price certainty and revenue stability during these uncertain and challenging times due to COVID and other factors that have impacted the energy industry over the past year. Pieridae’s senior secured lender has temporarily amended its requirement to have 60% of production hedged on an 18-month rolling basis to allow the Company to take advantage of strengthening crude and natural gas markets. As of March 31, 2021, 139,500 GJ/d of fixed price physical sales contracts of natural gas were in place at a weighted-average price of $2.41/GJ, and 1,700 bbl/day of 2021 condensate production was hedged at a weighted average price of $55.59/bbl.
|($ 000s unless otherwise noted)||Q1||Q4||Q3||Q2||Q1||Q4||Q3||Q2|
|Natural gas (mcf/day)||215,179||212,220||184,080||208,689||199,234||204,262||86,884||90,942|
|Total production (boe/d)||43,997||44,800||38,209||43,791||41,211||42,137||14,657||15,368|
|Net loss per share, basic and diluted||(0.12)||(0.29)||(0.19)||(0.09)||(0.07)||(0.18)||(0.15)||(0.23)|
|Net operating income (loss) (1)||20,876||12,829||(646)||19,301||19,239||24,470||(2,699)||(1,928)|
|Cashflow provided by (used in)
|Adjusted funds flow from operations (1)||14,877||8,535||(6,779)||12,466||12,644||14,448||(7,665)||(6,517)|
|Working capital (deficit) surplus||(28,314)||(19,615)||(9,164)||15,109||15,596||19,105||(88,430)||(77,892)|
(1) Refer to the “Non-GAAP measures” section on page 19 of the Company’s Q1 2021 MD&A.
Pieridae remains committed to the health and safety of its employees as they continue to do a remarkable job operating our assets safely and reliably. We are following Alberta Health protocols and guidance as the province grapples with continued high case loads and increasing amounts of variant positive tests. The Company supports health officials in urging all those who are able to get vaccinated.
It remains unclear when restrictions may ease so working remotely is the norm for the majority of office employees. We continue to urge staff to keep a safe distance from others, wash hands regularly and wear masks in all public spaces.
As a result of the ongoing vigilance by our employees and continued updates to work-safe protocols, Pieridae has not suffered any significant loss of productivity related to the pandemic during the quarter.
Environmental, Social & Governance (“ESG”)
The philosophy of ESG has long been part of the Pieridae culture. We believe a commitment to ESG through the development of strategy can help companies understand the positive impacts moving down this path and also manage the risks a firm’s operations may have on the environment and a wide range of stakeholders.
The Company has partnered with a global leader in ESG strategy development within the energy sector to offer guidance during the development of both our ESG strategy and Pieridae’s inaugural ESG Report. A robust and committed report supported by a strong, longer-term ESG strategy will help position the Company as we pursue FID and financing of our Goldboro LNG Project.
Pieridae targets releasing an inaugural ESG Report in the second quarter of this year.
Pieridae remains focused on two main areas to continue to advance the LNG Project. First, the Company has moved a number of contracts forward for tender to complete the extensive preparation work needed at the LNG site. Second, based on Bechtel’s Class 3 cost estimate work on its Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Commissioning (“EPCC”) contract, we are working with them to define the lump sum turn-key cost by the agreed-upon deadline of the end of May 2021 to construct the Goldboro LNG Facility.
Pieridae has sole responsibility to contract the site preparation, marine works and Lukowinuo’kuom workforce lodge. These contracts, as well as the EPCC contract, will be financed concurrently with a positive FID decision.
Our plan is to design and deliver a 2-Train Facility (each 5.2 million tonnes per annum “MMTPA”) that would employ approximately 3,500 workers during the peak construction phase. These employees will be housed at the workforce lodge to be built on or nearby the existing decommissioned Sable Island sour gas plant site. The Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq and Black Diamond Group will build and operate the lodge. Site preparation, site drainage, highway realignment and marine facilities are some of the major projects that must be built in tandem with, or prior to, the LNG Facility construction.
We are committed to making Goldboro LNG a net zero emissions Project by 2050. Vancouver-based Navius Research Inc. provided research that outlines pathways to achieve net zero emissions. The Project is a critically important part of Canada supporting the global transition to a lower carbon economy.
Q1 2021 Developments
Pieridae Hires New Chief Operating Officer
On April 1 we were pleased to report the hiring of Darcy Reding as our new Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Reding is a professional engineer with more than 30 years of progressive technical and leadership experience in small and midsized private and public upstream oil and gas companies. He brings senior-level experience running complex sour gas assets and has a proven record of building a resource base and economically bringing on new reserves. He has been successful in creating and executing corporate and ESG strategies while developing and leading high-performing, multi-disciplinary teams consistently outperforming targets and delivering stakeholder value.
Pieridae Issues Warrants
Pieridae announced April 8 it had granted 5,000,000 common share purchase warrants to Erikson National Energy Inc. Each warrant shall be exercisable to purchase one fully paid and non-assessable common share in the capital of Pieridae at an exercise price equal to CAD$0.70 per common share. The expiration date of the warrants is March 31, 2026. As part of the Credit Agreement Pieridae entered into with TEC on October 16, 2019 where the Company secured a loan facility of $206.0 million, Pieridae is subject to a series of covenants. In consideration of the issuance of these warrants, the covenant requiring the Company to achieve a minimum market capitalization threshold of $200 million commencing June 30, 2021 was removed.
|($ 000s unless otherwise noted)||2021
|Total production (boe/d)||40,000 – 45,000|
|Net operating income (1)||100,000 – 130,000|
|Adjusted flow of funds from operations (1)||80,000 – 110,000|
|Capital expenditures||45,000 – 55,000|
|Goldboro capital expenditures post-FID (2)||250,000 – 350,000|
|Development expense (3)||15,000 – 20,000|
|Commodity hedging (4)||55% – 65%|
|Corporate and upstream G&A ($/boe) (3)||1.10 – 1.30|
|Adjusted operating expense ($/boe) (1)||9.50 – 10.50|
(1) Refer to Non-GAAP measures.
(2) Assumes FID date of June 30, 2021.
(3) Reflects the reallocation of $6.2 million of LNG G&A from G&A to development expense.
(4) Commodity hedging of net production on an 18-month rolling boe/day basis.
The Company’s guidance remains unchanged from previously released figures. Pieridae is guiding to an increase in NOI from 2020, primarily due to higher anticipated natural gas prices as well as continued optimization of our assets, higher third-party processing fees, increased overall volumes and cost saving initiatives. Pieridae anticipates NOI in the range of $100-$130 million, AFFO in the range of $80-$110 million, adjusted operating expenses of $9.50-10.50/boe, commodities hedging of 55-65% on an 18-month rolling basis, and corporate and upstream G&A expense of $1.10-$1.30/boe.
An upstream capital budget of $45-55 million has been approved that includes funds to continue investing in our assets to ensure their safety and reliability, as well as funding to maintain our current level of production. Specifically, for Goldboro LNG, we have budgeted $15-$20 million for development expenses, and assuming FID is declared by the end of June 2021, a further $250-$350 million capital expenditure budget for Goldboro would be triggered.