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Contango Announces Fourth Quarter and Year Ended 2017 Financial Results

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HOUSTON, March 09, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Contango Oil & Gas Company (NYSE:MCF) ("Contango" or the "Company") announced today its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2017. 

Fourth Quarter 2017 Highlights

  • Production of 4.8 Bcfe for the quarter (51.8 Mmcfed, 32% liquids); within guidance, despite late December weather related shut-ins
     
  • Adjusted EBITDAX of $10.2 million for the quarter
     
  • Brought one Southern Delaware Basin well on production while spudding two additional wells.  So far in 2018 we have completed one well, are completing another well, and have spud and reached total depth on another well
     
  • 25% increase in year-end reserves, an increase of 37.5 Bcfe
     
  • 55% increase in SEC PV-10 value of year-end reserves, an increase of $91.1 million
     
  • Increased commodity price hedge protection to approximately 28% of forecasted PDP gas production and 69% of forecasted PDP oil production for 2018, and to 38% of forecasted PDP oil production for 2019

Summary Fourth Quarter Financial Results

Net loss for the three months ended December 31, 2017 was $5.6 million, or $(0.23) per basic and diluted share, compared to a net loss of $16.8 million, or $(0.69) per basic and diluted share, for the same period last year. Last year's quarter was negatively impacted by a commodity price driven impairment charge of $6.3 million compared to a current quarter impairment charge of $0.4 million. The impairment charge for the current quarter was related to the partial impairment of an unused offshore platform in onshore storage and impairment of our Tuscaloosa Marine Shale properties, while the impairment for the prior year quarter was related to non-core undeveloped acreage that we were not likely to drill prior to expiration. Average weighted shares outstanding were approximately 24.8 million and 24.6 million for the current and prior year quarters, respectively.

The Company reported Adjusted EBITDAX, as defined below, of approximately $10.2 million for the three months ended December 31, 2017, compared to $8.2 million for the same period last year. The improvement was attributable to $1.7 million more in realized proceeds from derivatives and $1.9 million less in cash G&A costs, offset in part by a $1.6 million decrease in revenues from lower production. 

Revenues for the three months ended December 31, 2017 were approximately $20 million compared to $21.7 million for the same period last year, a decrease attributable to lower production during the current quarter and a 4% decrease in natural gas prices, partially offset by a 20% and 38% increase in crude oil and natural gas liquids prices, respectively.

As previously reported, production for the fourth quarter of 2017 was approximately 4.8 Bcfe, or 51.8 Mmcfe per day, compared to 64.3 Mmcfe per day for the fourth quarter of 2016, and within our previously provided guidance.  This expected decrease in production can be attributed to the addition of only five new producing wells since the initiation of our drilling program in the Southern Delaware Basin beginning in late 2016. We also experienced cold weather shut-ins in some of our West Texas properties during the month of December. Crude oil and natural gas liquids production during the fourth quarter of 2017 was approximately 2,700 barrels per day, or 31.5% of total production, compared to approximately 3,080 barrels per day, or 28.8% of total production, in the fourth quarter of 2016, a decline related to the slower than planned pace of bringing on new production in our Southern Delaware Basin program.  Our first quarter 2018 production guidance is 50 – 55 Mmcfed, though we expect to commence production on two new wells in March and April. 

The weighted average equivalent sales price during the three months ended December 31, 2017 was $4.20 per Mcfe, compared to $3.66 per Mcfe for the same period last year.  As previously noted, stronger prices for crude oil and natural gas liquids, and a higher percentage of liquids in the production mix, contributed to the weighted average increase.

Operating expenses for the three months ended December 31, 2017 were approximately $7.0 million, or $1.47 per Mcfe, compared to $6.3 million, or $1.07 per Mcfe, for the same period last year.  Included in operating expenses are lease operating expenses, transportation and processing costs, workover expenses and production and ad valorem taxes. Operating expenses exclusive of production and ad valorem taxes for the three months ended December 31, 2017 were approximately $6.4 million, or $1.34 per Mcfe, compared to approximately $5.9 million, or $1.00 per Mcfe, for the same period last year, and below our previously provided guidance for the quarter.  The increase is due to accruing higher minimum volume charges for an ongoing throughput deficiency in our Madisonville Field.    

DD&A expense for the three months ended December 31, 2017 was $11.5 million, or $2.42 per Mcfe, compared to $13.7 million, or $2.32 per Mcfe, for the same period last year, a decrease primarily attributable to lower production during the quarter. 

Impairment and abandonment expense from oil and gas properties was $0.9 million for the three months ended December 31, 2017.  Of this amount, $0.1 million related to the partial impairment of an unused offshore platform in onshore storage and $0.3 million related to revised estimated reserves for our Tuscaloosa Marine Shale properties.   For the same period last year, impairment and abandonment expense from oil and gas properties was $6.3 million which related to the impairment of undeveloped leases in non-core areas.

G&A expenses for the three months ended December 31, 2017 were $5.5 million, or $1.16 per Mcfe, compared to $8.0 million, or $1.36 per Mcfe, for the prior year quarter.  G&A expenses for the current and prior year quarters include $1.5 million and $2.1 million, respectively, in non-cash stock compensation expense. Other items contributing to the decrease in G&A costs for the current quarter were lower bonus accruals for the 2017 performance period and lower insurance and office costs for the current quarter. For the first quarter of 2018, we have provided guidance of $4.5 million to $5.0 million for general and administrative expenses, exclusive of non-cash stock compensation ("Cash G&A"). 

Gain from affiliates for the three months ended December 31, 2017 was approximately $0.2 million, compared to a loss from affiliates of $0.3 million for the same period last year, both associated with our 37% equity interest in Exaro Energy III.  

2018 Capital Program & Liquidity

Capital costs incurred for the three months ended December 31, 2017 were approximately $13.6 million, which was primarily related to our Southern Delaware Basin acreage in Pecos County, Texas.  As previously reported, we have budgeted to invest approximately $52 million in 2018 to continue to develop that area with a one rig program.   We expect that program to be funded by internally generated cash flow, proceeds from non-core asset sales and/or temporary borrowings under our revolving credit facility. We will continue to monitor commodity prices, drilling results and service/supply costs during the year, and if deemed appropriate, may make adjustments to our drilling strategy for the remainder of the year

As of December 31, 2017, we had approximately $85.4 million of debt outstanding under our credit facility, provides for a borrowing base of $115 million through May 1, 2018. 

2017 Year End Reserves

As previously disclosed in our March 5, 2018 release on reserves and production, proved reserves at December 31, 2017, as estimated by William M. Cobb & Associates, Inc. and Netherland, Sewell & Associates, Inc., Contango's independent petroleum engineering firms, in accordance with reserve reporting guidelines mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), were 189.3 Bcfe, a 25% increase over our proved reserves as of December 31, 2016, consisting of 105.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas, 3.4 million barrels of crude oil, and 4.4 million barrels of natural gas liquids.  As of December 31, 2017, the SEC PV-10 value of our proved reserves was approximately $257.3 million, compared to $166.2 million as of December 31, 2016.  As of December 31, 2017, 48% of our proved reserves were natural gas and 65% were proved developed. 

The following table summarizes Contango's total proved reserves as of December 31, 2017 (1)

                     
                    Present Value
    OIL   NGL   Gas   Total   Discounted
Category   (MBbl)   (MBbl)   (Mmcf)   (Mmcfe)   at 10% ($000)
Developed   3,364   3,596   82,133   123,895   200,723
Undeveloped   7,285   2,011    9,586     65,359     56,560
Total Proved   10,649   5,607   91,719   189,254   257,283
  1. These estimates do not include net reserves of approximately 30.7 Bcfe (PV-10 of approximately $24.4 million) attributable to our 37% equity ownership investment in Exaro as of December 31, 2017.   

Derivative Instruments

As previously disclosed in our March 5, 2018 operations update, we took advantage of rising commodity prices and added additional minimum price protection for our forecasted monthly production volumes and now have the following financial derivative contracts in place with members of our bank group.  These contracts represent approximately 28% of our currently forecasted 2018 PDP natural gas production; 69% of our currently forecasted 2018 PDP crude oil production and 38% of our currently forecasted 2019 PDP oil production.

Commodity Period Derivative Volume/Month   Price/Unit     
Natural Gas Jan – July 2018 Swap 370,000 MMbtu $3.07 (1)
  Aug – Oct 2018 Swap 70,000 MMbtu $3.07 (1)
  Nov – Dec 2018 Swap 320,000 MMbtu $3.07 (1)
         
Crude Oil Jan - Jun 2018 Swap 20,000 Bbls $56.40 (2)
  Jul – Oct 2018 Collar 20,000 Bbls $52.00 x $56.85 (2)
  Nov – Dec 2018 Collar 15,000 Bbls $52.00 x $56.85 (2)
  Jan – Dec 2018 Collar 2,000 Bbls $52.00 x $58.76 (3)
  Jan – Jul 2018 Collar 6,000 Bbls $58.00 x $68.00 (2)
  Nov – Dec 2018 Collar 5,000 Bbls $58.00 x $68.00 (2)
  Jan – Dec 2019 Collar 7,000 Bbls $50.00 x $58.00 (2)
  Jan – Dec 2019 Collar 4,000 Bbls $52.00 x $59.45 (3)
  1. Based on Henry Hub NYMEX natural gas prices
  2. Based on Argus/LLS oil prices
  3. Based on West Texas Intermediate oil prices


Selected Financial and Operating Data

The following table reflects certain comparative financial and operating data for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017 and 2016: 

    Three Months Ended   Year ended
    December 31,    December 31, 
    2017   2016   %   2017   2016   %
Offshore Volumes Sold:                                
Oil and condensate (Mbbls)      21      31   -32 %      99      137   -28 %
Natural gas (Mmcf)      2,571      3,369   -24 %      11,189      14,211   -21 %
Natural gas liquids (Mbbls)      76      97   -22 %      330      420   -21 %
Natural gas equivalents (Mmcfe)      3,154      4,137   -24 %      13,762      17,552   -22 %
                                 
Onshore Volumes Sold:                                
Oil and condensate (Mbbls)      109      96   14 %      419      460   -9 %
Natural gas (Mmcf)      689      846   -19 %      2,721      3,892   -30 %
Natural gas liquids (Mbbls)      44      60   -27 %      187      296   -37 %
Natural gas equivalents (Mmcfe)      1,610      1,779   -9 %      6,361      8,430   -25 %
                                 
Total Volumes Sold:                                
Oil and condensate (Mbbls)      130      127   2 %      518      597   -13 %
Natural gas (Mmcf)      3,260      4,215   -23 %      13,910      18,103   -23 %
Natural gas liquids (Mbbls)      120      157   -24 %      517      716   -28 %
Natural gas equivalents (Mmcfe)      4,764      5,916   -19 %      20,123      25,982   -23 %
                                 
Daily Sales Volumes:                                
Oil and condensate (Mbbls)     1.4     1.4   2 %     1.4     1.6   -13 %
Natural gas (Mmcf)     35.4     45.8   -23 %     38.1     49.5   -23 %
Natural gas liquids (Mbbls)     1.3     1.7   -24 %     1.4     2.0   -28 %
Natural gas equivalents (Mmcfe)      51.8      64.3   -19 %      55.1      71.0   -23 %
                                 
Average sales prices:                                
Oil and condensate (per Bbl)   $  55.30   $  46.08   20 %   $  48.90   $  38.52   27 %
Natural gas (per Mcf)   $  2.87   $  2.98   -4 %   $  2.97   $  2.42   23 %
Natural gas liquids (per Bbl)   $  28.59   $  20.76   38 %   $  22.97   $  15.79   45 %
Total (per Mcfe)   $  4.20   $  3.66   15 %   $  3.90   $  3.01   30 %
                                     

  

                                 
    Three Months Ended   Year Ended
    December 31,    December 31, 
    2017   2016   %   2017   2016   %
Offshore Selected Costs ($ per Mcfe)                                
Lease operating expenses (1)   $  0.61   $  0.66   -8 %   $  0.72   $  0.60   20 %
Production and ad valorem taxes   $  0.06   $  0.05   20 %   $  0.06   $  0.07   -14 %
                                 
Onshore Selected Costs ($ per Mcfe)                                
Lease operating expenses (1)   $  2.78   $  1.77   57 %   $  2.32   $  1.81   28 %
Production and ad valorem taxes   $  0.25   $  0.13   92 %   $  0.28   $  0.25   12 %
                                 
Average Selected Costs ($ per Mcfe)                                
Lease operating expenses (1)   $  1.34   $  1.00   34 %   $  1.22   $  1.00   22 %
Production and ad valorem taxes   $  0.12   $  0.07   71 %   $  0.13   $  0.13   0 %
General and administrative expense (cash)   $  0.83   $  1.00   -17 %   $  0.90   $  0.78   15 %
Interest expense   $  0.27   $  0.13   108 %   $  0.20   $  0.15   33 %
                                 
Adjusted EBITDAX (2) (thousands)   $  10,213   $  8,159       $  35,087   $  30,142    
                                 
Weighted Average Shares Outstanding (thousands)                                
Basic      24,757      24,563          24,686      21,424    
Diluted      24,757      24,563          24,686      21,424    
  1. LOE includes transportation and workover expenses.
  2. Adjusted EBITDAX is a non-GAAP financial measure. See below for reconciliation to net loss.



             
CONTANGO OIL & GAS COMPANY
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(in thousands)
             
    December 31,    December 31, 
    2017   2016
ASSETS   (unaudited)
Cash and cash equivalents   $  —   $  —
Accounts receivable, net      13,059      16,727
Other current assets      2,714      2,327
Net property and equipment      345,957      340,382
Investment in affiliates and other non-current assets      19,723      17,078
             
TOTAL ASSETS   $  381,453   $  376,514
             
LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY            
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities      46,755      55,135
Other current liabilities      3,782      7,754
Long-term debt      85,380      54,354
Asset retirement obligations      20,388      22,618
Other non-current liabilities      548      248
Total shareholders' equity      224,600      236,405
             
TOTAL LIABILITIES & SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY   $  381,453   $  376,514
             


                         
CONTANGO OIL & GAS COMPANY
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(in thousands)
                         
    Three Months Ended   Year Ended
    December 31,    December 31, 
    2017     2016     2017     2016  
    (unaudited)
REVENUES                        
Oil and condensate sales   $  7,213     $  5,842     $  25,347     $  23,006  
Natural gas sales      9,361        12,564        41,317        43,847  
Natural gas liquids sales      3,441        3,257        11,881        11,330  
Total revenues      20,015        21,663        78,545        78,183  
                         
EXPENSES                        
Operating expenses      6,980        6,329        27,183        29,111  
Exploration expenses      416        728        1,106        1,816  
Depreciation, depletion and amortization      11,537        13,737        47,215        63,323  
Impairment and abandonment of oil and gas properties      880        6,304        2,395        10,572  
General and administrative expenses      5,513        8,030        24,161        26,802  
Total expenses      25,326        35,128        102,060        131,624  
                         
OTHER INCOME (EXPENSE)                        
Gain (loss) from investment in affiliates, net of income taxes      222        (257 )      2,697        1,545  
Gain (loss) from sale of assets      (56 )      (103 )      2,280        (92 )
Interest expense      (1,278 )      (757 )      (4,100 )      (3,802 )
Gain (loss) on derivatives, net      (1,249 )      (2,368 )      3,325        (1,632 )
Other income (expense)      1,302        38        1,275        (265 )
Total other income (expense)      (1,059 )      (3,447 )      5,477        (4,246 )
                         
NET LOSS BEFORE INCOME TAXES      (6,370 )      (16,912 )      (18,038 )      (57,687 )
                         
Income tax benefit (provision)      792        68        395        (342 )
                         
NET LOSS   $  (5,578 )   $  (16,844 )   $  (17,643 )   $  (58,029 )
                                 


Non-GAAP Financial Measures

EBITDAX represents net income (loss) before interest expense, taxes, and depreciation, depletion and amortization, and oil & gas expenses.  Adjusted EBITDAX represents EBITDAX as further adjusted to reflect the items set forth in the table below, all of which will be required in determining our compliance with financial covenants under our credit facility. 

We have included EBITDAX and Adjusted EBITDAX in this release to provide investors with a supplemental measure of our operating performance and information about the calculation of some of the financial covenants that are contained in our credit agreement.  We believe EBITDAX is an important supplemental measure of operating performance because it eliminates items that have less bearing on our operating performance and so highlights trends in our core business that may not otherwise be apparent when relying solely on GAAP financial measures.  We also believe that securities analysts, investors and other interested parties frequently use EBITDAX in the evaluation of companies, many of which present EBITDAX when reporting their results.  Adjusted EBITDAX is a material component of the covenants that are imposed on us by our credit agreement.  We are subject to financial covenant ratios that are calculated by reference to Adjusted EBITDAX.  Non-compliance with the financial covenants contained in our credit agreement could result in a default, an acceleration in the repayment of amounts outstanding and a termination of lending commitments.  Our management and external users of our financial statements, such as investors, commercial banks, research analysts and others, also use EBITDAX and Adjusted EBITDAX to assess:

  • the financial performance of our assets without regard to financing methods, capital structure or historical cost basis;
     
  • the ability of our assets to generate cash sufficient to pay interest costs and support our indebtedness;
     
  • our operating performance and return on capital as compared to those of other companies in our industry, without regard to financing or capital structure; and
     
  • the feasibility of acquisitions and capital expenditure projects and the overall rates of return on alternative investment opportunities.

EBITDAX and Adjusted EBITDAX are not presentations made in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP.  As discussed above, we believe that the presentation of EBITDAX and Adjusted EBITDAX in this release is appropriate.  However, when evaluating our results, you should not consider EBITDAX and Adjusted EBITDAX in isolation of, or as a substitute for, measures of our financial performance as determined in accordance with GAAP, such as net income (loss).  EBITDAX and Adjusted EBITDAX have material limitations as performance measures because they exclude items that are necessary elements of our costs and operations.  Because other companies may calculate EBITDAX and Adjusted EBITDAX differently than we do, EBITDAX may not be, and Adjusted EBITDAX as presented in this release is not, comparable to similarly-titled measures reported by other companies.

The following table reconciles net income to EBITDAX and Adjusted EBITDAX for the periods presented:

    Three Months Ended   Year Ended
    December 31,    December 31, 
    2017     2016     2017     2016  
    (in thousands)
Net loss   $  (5,578 )   $  (16,844 )   $  (17,643 )   $  (58,029 )
Interest expense      1,278        757        4,100        3,802  
Income tax provision (benefit)      (792 )      (68 )      (395 )      342  
Depreciation, depletion and amortization      11,537        13,737        47,215        63,323  
Exploration expense      416        728        1,106        1,816  
EBITDAX   $  6,861     $  (1,690 )   $  34,383     $  11,254  
                         
Unrealized loss (gain) on derivative instruments   $  1,593     $  1,046     $  (2,204 )   $  3,446  
Non-cash stock-based compensation charges      1,540        2,142        6,100        6,457  
Impairment of oil and gas properties      385        6,301        1,785        10,438  
Loss (gain) on sale of assets and investment in affiliates      (166 )      360        (4,977 )      (1,453 )
Adjusted EBITDAX   $  10,213     $  8,159     $  35,087     $  30,142  
                                 

Guidance for First Quarter 2018

The Company is providing the following guidance for the first calendar quarter of 2018.

Production   50,000 - 55,000 Mcfe per day
     
LOE (including transportation and workovers)   $6.4 million - $6.9 million
     
Production and ad valorem taxes (% of Revenue)   3.0 - 3.5%
     
Cash G&A   $4.5 million - $5.0 million
     
DD&A Rate   $2.30 - $2.55

Teleconference Call

Contango management will hold a conference call to discuss the information described in this press release on Friday, March 9, 2018 at 9:30am Central Standard Time.  Those interested in participating in the earnings conference call may do so by calling 1-800-289-0517, (International 1-323-994-2083) and entering participation code 5264056.  A replay of the call will be available from Friday, March 9, 2018 at 12:30pm CST through Friday, March 16, 2018 at 12:30pm CDT by clicking here.

Contango Oil & Gas Company is a Houston, Texas based, independent energy company whose business is to maximize production from its shallow offshore Gulf of Mexico properties and onshore properties in Texas and Wyoming, and to use that cash flow to explore, develop, exploit, produce and acquire crude oil and natural gas properties in the Texas and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States. Additional information is available on the Company's website at http://www.contango.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding Contango that are intended to be covered by the safe harbor "forward-looking statements" provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, based on Contango's current expectations and includes statements regarding acquisitions and divestitures, estimates of future production, future results of operations, quality and nature of the asset base, the assumptions upon which estimates are based and other expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions, strategies or statements about future events or performance (often, but not always, using words such as "expects", "projects", "anticipates", "plans", "estimates", "potential", "possible", "probable", or "intends", or stating that certain actions, events or results "may", "will", "should", or "could" be taken, occur or be achieved). Statements concerning oil and gas reserves also may be deemed to be forward looking statements in that they reflect estimates based on certain assumptions that the resources involved can be economically exploited. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections that involve a number of risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those, reflected in the statements. These risks include, but are not limited to: the risks of the oil and gas industry (for example, operational risks in exploring for, developing and producing crude oil and natural gas; risks and uncertainties involving geology of oil and gas deposits; the uncertainty of reserve estimates; the uncertainty of estimates and projections relating to future production, costs and expenses; potential delays or changes in plans with respect to exploration or development projects or capital expenditures; health, safety and environmental risks and risks related to weather such as hurricanes and other natural disasters); uncertainties as to the availability and cost of financing; fluctuations in oil and gas prices; risks associated with derivative positions; inability to realize expected value from acquisitions, inability of our management team to execute its plans to meet its goals, shortages of drilling equipment, oil field personnel and services, unavailability of gathering systems, pipelines and processing facilities and the possibility that government policies may change or governmental approvals may be delayed or withheld. Additional information on these and other factors which could affect Contango's operations or financial results are included in Contango's other reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Investors are cautioned that any forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from the projections in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on the estimates and opinions of management at the time the statements are made. Contango does not assume any obligation to update forward-looking statements should circumstances or management's estimates or opinions change. Initial production rates are subject to decline over time and should not be regarded as reflective of sustained production levels.

     
Contact:    
Contango Oil & Gas Company    
E. Joseph Grady – 713-236-7400 Sergio Castro – 713-236-7400                              
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Vice President and Treasurer  

 

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