Painted Pony Energy Ltd. [PONY-TSX] said Friday October 18 that it has struck a definitive deal to sell a 75% working interest in 11,280 acres in the northeast British Columbia Montney formation for $45 million in cash.
The acreage outlined in the proposed transaction represents approximately 4.0% of Painted Pony’s total Montney acreage.
“We are very pleased with this sale as it will reduce our balance sheet leverage and improve our financial flexibility without any impact on our current production volumes and proved developed producing reserves,” said Painted Pony President and CEO Patrick Ward.
Painted Pony shares advanced on the news, rising 10.5% or $0.06 to 63 cents. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of 54 cents and $2.52.
Based in Calgary, Painted Pony Energy is a growth-oriented natural gas producer, operating in the Montney formation in northeast B.C. It aims to achieve growth through production development drilling for natural gas and natural gas liquids.
The company has said that over the next 20 years, natural gas production from Montney will continue to grow and by 2040 is estimated to account for 38% of Canada’s total gas production.
Due to ongoing pipeline maintenance in western Canada the second half of 2019 has delivered low natural gas prices.
In the three months ended June 30, 2019, Painted Pony reported a net loss of $14.7 million or $0.09 per share on petroleum and natural gas revenue of $59.1 million.
As a result, capital discipline is a key for the company as it continues to limit net capital investment to adjusted funds flow from operations.
Painted Pony recently reduced its 2019 expected capital spending range to $80-$95 million from $95-$110 million, a reduction of 15% from previous guidance.
As a result of the reduced capital spending and shut-in volumes to date, combined with anticipated shut-ins during the second half of 2019, the company recently said production volumes for 2019 are now expected to average 294 MMcfe/d (49,000 boe/d) to 306 MMcfe/d (51,000 boe/d) compared to the previous forecast of 324 MMcfe/d (54,000 boe/d) and 336 MMcfe/d (56,000 boe/d). That marks a reduction of 9.0% from earlier guidance.
“Increasing the average lateral length of some of our wells from our standard 1,850 metres to approximately 2,750 metres has resulted in capital efficiencies improving by 15%,” the company said in a statement containing its second quarter financial results.
The company has also said it was contemplating asset dispositions while continuing to build a portfolio of physical and financial marketing contracts to maximize its natural gas price realizations.
Meanwhile on Friday, the company said the proposed sale of the B.C. Montney acres is expected to close on October 31, 2019.