PetroTal Announces Social and Operational Updates
Calgary, Alberta and Houston, Texas--(Newsfile Corp. - April 7, 2022) - PetroTal Corp. (TSXV: TAL) (AIM: PTAL) (OTCQX: PTALF) ("PetroTal" or the "Company") is pleased to announce a signed government agreement to end the social protest, previously announced on March 3, 2022, and recommencement of production and oil sales upon opening of the loading dock.
On Wednesday April 6, 2022, Peruvian government officials reached an agreement with the Asociación Indigena de Desarrollo y Conservación de Bajo Puinahua ("AIDECOBAP"), to end the social protest, which has been blocking PetroTal's loading dock. AIDECOBAP was protesting against the government on three core issues: prosecution of protesting rights, allocation of the Basic Needs Trust capital to close the social gaps that exist in Peru, and that the government expedite the formalization of the Bretana 2.5% social fund, offered by PetroTal, into the Block 95 license contract.
Peruvian government officials, which included the Prime Minister, with support from PetroTal and local community members, agreed to the following items:
- The Ministry of Energy and Mines presented the proposal for a Ministerial Resolution for the creation of a technical working group to analyze the needs of local communities in the Block 95 area;
- Perupetro has agreed to propose the incorporation of the 2.5% social development fund as an addenda into the license contract through a supreme decree; and,
- AIDECOBAP will immediately lift the blockade near PetroTal's loading dock.
Based on the current trust framework, PetroTal has funded trust allocations totaling $1.1 million to date, for the eligible fortnight periods in 2022. The working group will observe, recommend and support social trust policy, while day to day operations of the social trust will be managed by an independent third party. PetroTal will also continue to fund and support its ongoing social project commitments directly or via independent project contractors. PetroTal wishes to thank local residents and government officials for continued support through this protest period.
Production Restoration Plan
In anticipation of an agreement being reached, PetroTal has oil barge support ready to arrive within hours of the loading dock's formal reopening. The first technical priority is to unload approximately 90,000 barrels of crude oil stored at the oil field, with four to five barges currently engaged. Next, the operations team will ramp production back up over a five to seven day period. This production, along with the stored volumes, will be sold to the Iquitos refinery and through the Brazilian sales export route thereafter.
In Q1 2022, PetroTal produced over 1 million barrels of oil, approximately 11,700 bopd, despite being significantly production constrained for most of March 2022. This is a PetroTal record for quarterly production and equates to a sixth straight quarter of production growth for the Company.
ONP Pipeline Status
As previously announced on March 3, 2022, the Petroperu operated Northern Peruvian Pipeline remains closed due to erosion caused by the rainy season, with no firm timeline of maintenance completion provided by Petroperu. The Company is now focusing all efforts to maximize sales to the Iquitos refinery and the Brazilian export route. Commercial and technical efforts to eventually sell 400,000 barrel (13,000 bopd) monthly cargos through the Brazil route are being explored.
The Company's fully commissioned central processing facility ("CPF-2") received ministry approval on March 11, 2022 and is now able to operate up to 26,000 bopd.
Bondholders have formally accepted PetroTal's call provision notice regarding repayment of the $20 million in bonds dedicated to M&A activities. PetroTal made the payment on April 1, 2022, and now has $80 million in bonds remaining with no required amortization payments in 2022.
The Company's cash position at March 31, 2022 is approximately $53 million, of which $32 million is restricted.
Manuel Pablo Zuniga-Pflucker, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented
"We are pleased with this agreement that has ended the protesting near our loading dock. We are also extremely appreciative of Perupetro and the Peruvian government's support towards PetroTal's social fund initiative that is aimed at creating long lasting peace in the region for the benefit of all and without any discrimination whatsoever. We can now turn our focus to operational optimization and continued development of Bretana."
PetroTal is a publicly traded, tri‐quoted (TSXV: TAL, AIM: PTAL and OTCQX: PTALF) oil and gas development and production Company domiciled in Calgary, Alberta, focused on the development of oil assets in Peru. PetroTal's flagship asset is its 100% working interest in Bretana oil field in Peru's Block 95 where oil production was initiated in June 2018. In early 2020, Petrotal became the largest crude oil producer in Peru. The Company's management team has significant experience in developing and exploring for oil in Peru and is led by a Board of Directors that is focused on safely and cost effectively developing the Bretana oil field. It is actively building new initiatives to champion community sensitive energy production, benefiting all stakeholders.
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
T: (713) 609-9101
President and Chief Executive Officer
T: (713) 609-9101
PetroTal Investor Relations
Mark Antelme / Jimmy Lea
T : 44 (0) 208 434 2643
Strand Hanson Limited (Nominated & Financial Adviser)
Ritchie Balmer / James Spinney / Robert Collins
T: 44 (0) 207 409 3494
Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited (Joint Broker)
Callum Stewart / Simon Mensley / Ashton Clanfield
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7710 7600
Auctus Advisors LLP (Joint Broker)
T: +44 (0) 7711 627449
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.
FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS: This press release contains certain statements that may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Such statements relate to possible future events, including, but not limited to: PetroTal's business strategy, objectives, strength and focus; the impact of social disruption on the Company's operations; drilling, completions, workovers and other activities and the anticipated costs and results of such activities; PetroTal's 2022 budget and financial/operational guidance; PetroTal's anticipated operational results for 2022 including, but not limited to, estimated or anticipated production levels, capital expenditures and drilling plans; capital requirements; the ability of the Company to achieve drilling success consistent with management's expectations; the ability of the Company to achieve near term production targets and operate at unrestricted levels; anticipated future production and revenue; drilling plans including the timing of drilling, commissioning, and startup and the impact of delays thereon; oil production levels, including average and exit production in 2022; sales expansion through alternative exports routes, including barging and trucking; the Company's proposals for collaboration with local communities; and future development and growth prospects. All statements other than statements of historical fact may be forward-looking statements. In addition, statements relating to expected production, reserves, recovery, costs and valuation are deemed to be forward-looking statements as they involve the implied assessment, based on certain estimates and assumptions that the reserves described can be profitably produced in the future. Forward-looking statements are often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "anticipate", "believe", "expect", "plan", "estimate", "potential", "will", "should", "continue", "may", "objective" and similar expressions. Without limitation of the foregoing, future dividend payments, if any, and the level thereof, is uncertain, as the Company's dividend policy and the funds available for the payment of dividends from time to time is dependent upon, among other things, free cash flow financial requirements for the Company's operations and the execution of its growth strategy, fluctuations in working capital and the timing and amount of capital expenditures, debt service requirements and other factors beyond the Company's control. Further, the ability of PetroTal to pay dividends will be subject to applicable laws (including the satisfaction of the solvency test contained in applicable corporate legislation) and contractual restrictions contained in the instruments governing its indebtedness. The forward-looking statements are based on certain key expectations and assumptions made by the Company, including, but not limited to, expectations and assumptions concerning the ability of existing infrastructure to deliver production and the anticipated capital expenditures associated therewith, the ability of the Ministry of Energy to effectively achieve its objectives in respect of reducing social conflict and collaborating towards continued investment in the energy sector, reservoir characteristics, recovery factor, exploration upside, prevailing commodity prices and the actual prices received for PetroTal's products, including pursuant to hedging arrangements, the availability and performance of drilling rigs, facilities, pipelines, other oilfield services and skilled labour, royalty regimes and exchange rates, the application of regulatory and licensing requirements, the accuracy of PetroTal's geological interpretation of its drilling and land opportunities, current legislation, receipt of required regulatory approval, the success of future drilling and development activities, the performance of new wells, the Company's growth strategy, general economic conditions and availability of required equipment and services. Although the Company believes that the expectations and assumptions on which the forward-looking statements are based are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements because the Company can give no assurance that they will prove to be correct. Since forward-looking statements address future events and conditions, by their very nature they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors and risks. These include, but are not limited to, risks associated with the oil and gas industry in general (e.g., operational risks in development, exploration and production; delays or changes in plans with respect to exploration or development projects or capital expenditures; the uncertainty of reserve estimates; the uncertainty of estimates and projections relating to production, costs and expenses; and health, safety and environmental risks), commodity price volatility, price differentials and the actual prices received for products, exchange rate fluctuations, legal, political and economic instability in Peru and abroad, wars (including Russia's military actions in Ukraine), hostilities, civil insurrections, access to transportation routes and markets for the Company's production, changes in legislation affecting the oil and gas industry and uncertainties resulting from potential delays or changes in plans with respect to exploration or development projects or capital expenditures. In addition, the Company cautions that current global uncertainty with respect to the spread of the COVID-19 virus and its effect on the broader global economy may have a significant negative effect on the Company. While the precise impact of the COVID-19 virus on the Company remains unknown, rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus may continue to have a material adverse effect on global economic activity, and may continue to result in volatility and disruption to global supply chains, operations, mobility of people and the financial markets, which could affect interest rates, credit ratings, credit risk, increased operating and capital costs due to inflationary pressures, business, financial conditions, results of operations and other factors relevant to the Company. Ongoing military actions between Russia and Ukraine have the potential to threaten the supply of oil and gas from the region. The long-term impacts of the actions between these nations remains uncertain. Please refer to the risk factors identified in the Company's annual information form for the year ended December 31, 2020 and management's discussion and analysis for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2021 which are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date hereof and the Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements or information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless so required by applicable securities laws.
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