PetroTal Announces Operations Update and TSX Venture Exchange Recognition
Production above 20,000 bopd with barging capacity now over 1.5 million barrels
License Contract modification for Social Trust approved by Supreme Decree
Recognized as a top 50 TSXV performing issuer, ranking 4th in the energy sector
Calgary, Alberta and Houston, Texas--(Newsfile Corp. - March 9, 2023) - PetroTal Corp. (TSX: TAL) (AIM: PTAL) (OTCQX: PTALF) ("PetroTal" or the "Company") is pleased to announce various corporate updates, alongside news that it has been recognized by the TSXV as a top 50 performing issuer, ranking 4th in the energy industry sector. All amounts are quoted in US dollars.
Oil Production Update
After re-establishing barging fleet schedules, PetroTal has been producing an average of 20,000 barrels of oil per day ("bopd") since the last week of February 2023. Prior to that, production was constrained resulting in January and February 2023 average production of approximately 7,600 bopd and 8,000 bopd, respectively. At current oil production rates, the Company expects to average between 11,000 bopd and 12,000 bopd during Q1 20023, below the guided 13,500 bopd for the first quarter.
With barging travel now normalized, and the contracted barging fleet now expanded to over 1.5 million barrels of capacity (from 1.2 million barrels in 2022), PetroTal expects to make up the Q1 2023 production shortfall in Q2 2023, thus maintaining its 2023 full year production guidance of between 14,000 bopd and 15,000 bopd.
The Company completed drilling (and coring) its third water disposal well ("4WD") on January 29, 2023. The core sample taken from the well is currently being analysed. The water disposal well was completed ahead of schedule and on budget.
PetroTal subsequently commenced drilling development well 14H on February 8, 2023, its 15th oil well at Bretana. The well is estimated to cost $15.3 million and will be drilled to a total measured depth of almost 5,100 meters with a 1,125 meter horizontal section, making it the longest reaching horizontal well ever drilled on land in Peru. The well is expected to be completed by mid April 2023, with associated production capacity available shortly after initial testing. This will allow the field to continue producing at approximately 20,000 bopd during Q2 2023.
Cash and Bond Repayment Update
PetroTal has received $26.5 million in regular monthly scheduled payments from Petroperu as at March 1, 2023, totalling approximately 40% of the $64 million true up revenue due to the Company from 2022. PetroTal has also received $4.5 million from the exercise of warrants in 2023, further enhancing its cash position.
The Company reiterates its Q1 2023 cash flow guidance, which will allow for the remaining $55 million of bonds to be repaid by the end of March 2023, in addition to the $25 million paid in mid February 2023. The full bond repayment will allow for a capital return program to commence shortly thereafter, with further updates on this program to be made in due course.
To support working capital fluctuations, PetroTal is pleased to advise that it has finalized an unsecured revolving $20 million credit facility with a Peruvian bank.
Social Trust Modification in License Contract Formally Approved
The Company is pleased to announce the publication of the Supreme Decree signed by Peru's President authorizing Perupetro to execute the amendment incorporating the 2.5% Social Trust Fund to the Block 95 License Contract. The social trust still requires its bylaws to be approved by the working table participants, which is estimated to occur in April 2023. Since January 2022, the Company has segregated contributions for the fund based on the underlying rules and objectives of the social trust, which will fund important social projects in the Puinahua district. PetroTal's social trust vision has received overwhelming support from government officials, industry sector leaders, and local communities for its potential to change the operating landscape in Peru, including its important mining sector.
TSX Venture Exchange Recognition
The 2023 TSX Venture 50 is an annual program of the TSX Venture Exchange that recognizes the top performing TSXV-listed companies from five industry sectors. The 2023 winners are selected based on 2022 annual performance for market capitalization and growth, share price appreciation and trading volume. In addition to ranking 4th in the energy industry sector, PetroTal was also the 4th ranked Company based on market capitalization amongst the TSX Venture 50 companies, showcasing the natural progression of PetroTal's recent graduation to the TSX.
This is PetroTal's second consecutive year as a recognized top 50 issuer and a video featuring PetroTal can be found at the link below along with additional information from the full 2023 Venture 50 ranking:
2022 Year End Results Release Date and Webcast
The Company will release its 2022 year-end results on March 30, 2023. An investor webcast will follow beginning at 9am Central Time and 3pm London time. Please see the link below:
Manuel Pablo Zuniga-Pflucker, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented:
"We are pleased that barge loadings and deliveries have been restored and normalized to allow steady and continuing sales flow. The team is confident the Company will be able to catch up with guidance in Q2 2023, should current export conditions continue, creating the platform not only to meet, but also surpass, current 2023 guidance.
"The field is now producing over 20,000 bopd, which recently propelled the Company to reach over 12 million barrels of cumulative oil production and represents only 11% of the field's estimated ultimate 2P recovery. We are also extremely happy that we will fulfil our promise to investors to repay the remaining bonds and prepare for a much anticipated return of capital program."
PetroTal is a publicly traded, tri‐quoted (TSX: TAL) (AIM: PTAL) (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 2022, 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
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; drilling, completions, workovers and other activities and the anticipated costs and results of such activities; PetroTal's anticipated operational results for 2023 including, but not limited to, estimated or anticipated production levels, capital expenditures and drilling plans; plans to deliver strong operational performance and to generate free cash flow and growth; capital requirements; the ability of the Company to achieve drilling success consistent with management's expectations; anticipated future production and revenue; drilling plans including the timing of drilling, commissioning, and startup and the impact of delays thereon; oil production levels; and the timing of filing the AIF. 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. 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, 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 and evolution 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. Please refer to the risk factors identified in the Company's annual information form for the year ended December 31, 2021 and management's discussion and analysis for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2022 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.
OIL REFERENCES: All references to "oil" or "crude oil" production, revenue or sales in this press release mean "heavy crude oil" as defined in NI 51-101. All references to Brent indicate Intercontinental Exchange ("ICE") Brent. Recovery factor percentages include historical production.
FOFI DISCLOSURE: This press release contains future-oriented financial information and financial outlook information (collectively, "FOFI") about NPV-10, future development and abandonment costs, prospective results of operations, production and production capacity, free cash flow, revenue, NOI, shareholder returns and components thereof, all of which are subject to the same assumptions, risk factors, limitations and qualifications as set forth in the above paragraphs. FOFI contained in this press release was approved by management as of the date of this press release and was included for the purpose of providing further information about PetroTal's anticipated future business operations. PetroTal disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any FOFI contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required pursuant to applicable law. Readers are cautioned that the FOFI contained in this press release should not be used for purposes other than for which it is disclosed herein. All FOFI contained in this press release complies with the requirements of Canadian securities legislation, including NI 51-101. Changes in forecast commodity prices, differences in the timing of capital expenditures, and variances in average production estimates can have a significant impact on the key performance measures included in PetroTal's guidance. The Company's actual results may differ materially from these estimates.
Neither the TSX Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.
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