Murphy Oil Corporation announced its financial and operating results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2020, including a net loss attributable to Murphy of $244 million, or $1.59 net loss per diluted share. Adjusted net loss, which excludes discontinued operations and other one-off items, was $24 million, or $0.15 net loss per diluted share.
Unless otherwise noted, the financial and operating highlights and metrics discussed in this commentary exclude noncontrolling interest. 1
Significant items include:
- Produced 153 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day in the third quarter, including 56 percent or 86 thousand barrels of oil per day, despite the most severe hurricane season on record
- Continued G&A reduction trajectory, with expenses of $29 million in the third quarter compared to $39 million in second quarter 2020
- Increased 2021 crude oil hedge position, resulting in a total of 18 thousand barrels of oil per day hedged at an average price of $43.31 per barrel
- Added fixed price forward sales contracts related to the Tupper Montney asset to underpin cash flow in calendar years 2021 through 2024
- Published 2020 Sustainability Report, with expanded disclosures and greenhouse gas emissions intensity reduction goals
THIRD QUARTER 2020 FINANCIAL RESULTS
The company recorded a net loss, attributable to Murphy, of $244 million, or $1.59 net loss per diluted share, for the third quarter 2020. Adjusted net loss, which excludes both the results of discontinued operations and certain other items that affect comparability of results between periods, was $24 million, or $0.15 net loss per diluted share for the same period. The adjusted loss from continuing operations primarily excludes the following after-tax items: a $55 million non-cash mark-to-market loss on crude oil derivative contracts and an $11 million non-cash mark-to-market loss on liabilities associated with contingent consideration. It also includes an after-tax $146 million non-cash charge for the impairment of certain assets primarily related to the Cascade and Chinook field in the Gulf of Mexico. Details for third quarter results can be found in the attached schedules.
Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) from continuing operations attributable to Murphy was $249 million, or $17.61 per barrel of oil equivalent (BOE) sold. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortization and exploration expenses (EBITDAX) from continuing operations attributable to Murphy was $262 million, or $18.46 per BOE sold. Details for third quarter adjusted EBITDA and EBITDAX reconciliations can be found in the attached schedules.
Third quarter production averaged 153 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBOEPD) with 56 percent oil and 63 percent liquids. Murphy’s offshore production for the quarter was negatively impacted by an uncharacteristically active hurricane season, resulting in 12.4 MBOEPD of storm-related downtime, compared to 4.8 MBOEPD as guided for storm downtime. Offshore storm downtime was partially offset by stronger performance in the onshore business. Details for third quarter production can be found in the attached schedules.
“Murphy, like all Gulf of Mexico operators, experienced the most severe hurricane season on record this year with four major storms during the third quarter causing short-term production shut-ins, as well as two additional storms following in October. Our assets generated strong production aside from these storms and otherwise would have reached the high end of guidance. Our cost structure improvements continue to take hold leading to improving margins. Further, we were able to safely execute evacuating and re-manning processes of our facilities, along with managing COVID-19 concerns with our proven shore base protocols,” stated Roger W. Jenkins, President and Chief Executive Officer of Murphy Oil Corporation.
PROTECTING THE COMPANY’S FINANCIAL POSITION
As of September 30, 2020, Murphy had approximately $1.6 billion of liquidity, comprised of $1.4 billion undrawn under the $1.6 billion senior unsecured credit facility and approximately $220 million of cash and cash equivalents.
At the end of third quarter 2020, Murphy had outstanding debt of $2.8 billion in long-term, fixed-rate notes with a weighted average maturity of 7 years and a weighted average coupon of 5.9 percent. The company also had $200 million drawn under its senior unsecured credit facility.
For third quarter 2020, Murphy incurred a total $120 million of CAPEX, including approximately $19 million for the King’s Quay floating production system (FPS) construction. Note that this total CAPEX figure excludes Gulf of Mexico noncontrolling interest (NCI). Murphy incurred a total $663 million of CAPEX for the nine months ended September 30, 2020, including $81 million for King’s Quay.
The company generated free cash flow of $74 million in the third quarter, including NCI. Excluding the impact of a working capital outflow of $28 million, free cash flow was $102 million.
COMMODITY HEDGE POSITIONS MITIGATE CASH FLOW VOLATILITY
The company employs commodity derivative instruments to manage certain risks associated with commodity price volatility and underpin capital returns associated with certain assets. During the third quarter, Murphy layered on hedges to protect cash flow with the execution of WTI fixed price swaps, resulting in a total 18 thousand barrels of oil per day (MBOPD) hedged for full year 2021 at an average price of $43.31 per barrel. Also during the quarter, the company entered into fixed price forward sales contracts for the delivery of 20 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) at the Malin hub in Oregon at an average price of $2.60 per thousand cubic feet (MCF) for calendar years 2021 and 2022.
Subsequent to quarter end, Murphy entered into fixed price forward sales contracts for physical delivery at the AECO hub in Canada for calendar year 2021, resulting in total contracts of 96 MMCFD at an average price of C$2.53 per MCF. Murphy further extended its price protection with fixed price forward sales contracts at AECO for full years 2022 through 2024 for the delivery of 71 MMCFD at an average price of C$2.50 per MCF.
North American Onshore
The North American onshore business produced approximately 90 MBOEPD in the third quarter. No operated drilling and completions activity is planned across the onshore business for the remainder of 2020.
Eagle Ford Shale – Production averaged 35 MBOEPD with 71 percent oil volumes in the third quarter. As planned, eight non-operated Karnes wells came online in the quarter. Murphy’s operating partner plans to drill four Karnes wells during the fourth quarter, with completions anticipated in early 2021.
Tupper Montney – For the quarter, natural gas production averaged 235 MMCFD. No drilling or completions activity occurred in the third quarter.
Kaybob Duvernay – Production averaged 13 MBOEPD in the third quarter. Four wells were brought online during the quarter.
Placid Montney – Murphy’s non-operated position produced 3 MBOEPD in the third quarter. As previously disclosed, six non-operated wells resumed production in July after being shut in for May and June due to low commodity prices.
The offshore business produced 63 MBOEPD in the third quarter, comprised of 82 percent oil. This excludes production from discontinued operations and noncontrolling interest. Gulf of Mexico production in the quarter averaged 59 MBOEPD, consisting of 80 percent oil. Canada offshore production averaged 4 MBOEPD, comprised of 100 percent oil.
Gulf of Mexico – The non-operated Highgarden well (Green Canyon 895) was spud in the third quarter for an estimated $11 million cost net to Murphy as a 20 percent working interest owner. Drilling was delayed due to an active Gulf of Mexico storm season.
Subsequent to quarter-end, Murphy published its 2020 Sustainability Report, taking into consideration various third-party reporting standards and ratings, and including additional disclosures spanning climate-related performance metrics to workforce diversity. As part of this report, the company announced its goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 15 to 20 percent by 2030 from 2019 levels, excluding Malaysia.