CALGARY, ALBERTA – Whitecap Resources Inc. ("Whitecap" or the "Company") (TSX: WCP) is pleased to announce that as part of a 19.1 million share transaction at a price of $10.34 per share, Whitecap has repurchased 10.0 million shares for cancellation by way of a block trade using its normal course issuer bid (“NCIB”) and other institutional shareholders have purchased the remaining shares. For the 10.0 million shares that were repurchased by Whitecap using its NCIB the total consideration is $103.4 million. We now have 26.1 million shares remaining on our current NCIB and intend to renew the NCIB for another year when it expires on May 20, 2022.
Since announcing our return of capital strategy in late 2021, we have repurchased 29.2 million common shares which has decreased our future annual dividend obligation by $10.5 million and, therefore, increased the long-term sustainability and growth potential of our dividend. We remain committed to allocating 50% of our 2022 funds flow after capital and dividends towards return of capital to shareholders, while the remaining amount will be allocated towards our balance sheet to maintain financial flexibility.
Based on actual to-date and forward prices, we anticipate achieving our net debt1 target of $800 million or lower by June 30, 2022. This would result in a net debt to funds flow ratio1 of 1.0 times at US$45/bbl WTI and 0.4 times based on forecasted second quarter annualized funds flow. Maintaining low leverage has been a significant competitive advantage for Whitecap, and we plan to retain the financial flexibility to further advance the long-term sustainability of our business.
Whitecap is in a unique position to be an active participant in supplying current global energy demand while contributing to the transformation to a lower carbon economy. Our New Energy team has continued to advance multiple projects focused on carbon sequestration along with assisting various industry and government working groups to provide input on technical aspects of proposed regulations. Our experience and technical expertise, along with having a dedicated team working towards advancing these initiatives, has so far proven to be valuable.
· Saskatchewan Hub Update. Whitecap has now signed five memorandums of understanding with industrial parties to support our plans to build a carbon hub in the Regina/Belle Plaine area. Total CO2 emissions from the five sources range from 1.2 million tonnes (“MT”) per year to over 3.0 MT per year when including proposed expansions and certain process emissions and are incremental to our existing CO2 supply sources.
· Alberta Carbon Hub Update. As announced on March 31st, Whitecap, Wolf Midstream, the First Nation Capital Investment Partnership (consisting of Alexander First Nation, Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, Enoch Cree Nation and Paul First Nation) and Heart Lake First Nation have been selected by the Government of Alberta to enter into an agreement to pursue the development of a carbon hub to transport and permanently sequester CO2 emissions captured from sources in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland. The project partnership group will commence a technical evaluation with the goal of moving the project forward in an expedited timeframe given the infrastructure already in place and carbon capture plans by the industrial parties supporting this project, with an in-service date prior to the end of 2024. Initial hub volumes are expected to be between 2.0 and 3.0 MT per year.
Whitecap’s 2022 production guidance of 130,000 – 132,000 boe/d now represents 12% annual production growth on a per share basis, higher than the 11% per share production growth achieved in 2021. We remain committed to our business plan that will generate substantial returns to our shareholders while continuing to advance our strategy to improve our long-term profitability and sustainability, which also includes New Energy initiatives as we transition to a lower carbon intensive business. On behalf of our employees, management team and Board of Directors, we would like to thank our shareholders for their support and look forward to updating you on our progress throughout the year.
1 Capital management measure or supplementary financial measure. See "Specified Financial Measures".
For further information:
Grant Fagerheim, President & CEO
Thanh Kang, Senior Vice President & CFO
Refer to full press release for forward-looking statements and advisories.