Tapping liquids-rich Canadian unconventional natural gas and a continent-wide marketing program paid off for Tourmaline Oil Corp. in the first three months of this year.
As the top natural gas producer drilling only in Canada, the Calgary explorer scored a 30% gain to 1.91 Bcf/d in the quarter from 1.47 Bcf/d a year earlier. Liquids production grew by 47% to 91,971 b/d from 62,569 b/d.
With a C$1 billion ($800 million) capital budget, the company expects to continue growing throughout this year.
An environmental, low-emissions twist is to be added to hydraulic fracturing used on Alberta and British Columbia gas development too. A joint venture with contractor Trican Well Service Ltd. plans to replace diesel with natural gas as pump engine fuel.
Emissions cuts, cost savings and supply conservation are also continuing by a water management program of long-distance deliveries, electric-powered well site hardware, and elimination of diesel-fueled heaters.
Tourmaline gas fetched an average C$3.86/Mcf ($3.09) in 1Q2021, thanks to North America-wide market diversification and price hedging.
“Natural gas fundamentals for 2021 and 2022 continue to improve,” the company said.
“Approximately 55% of Tourmaline’s natural gas volumes are exposed to spot prices in markets on the western half of the continent,” from PG&E, Malin, Sumas, Westcoast and Aeco, “where fundamentals continue to be most supportive.”
Tourmaline’s production and sales performance enabled an 11% corporate debt reduction to C$1.63 billion ($1.3 billion) from C$1.83 ($1.46 billion) in the same period of 2020.
Net earnings in 1Q2021 were C$247.8 million ($198.2 million, or C83 cents/share (66 cents). It reversed year-ago losses of C$35.8 million ($28.6 million) or minus C13 cents (minus 10 cents).
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