Murphy Oil Corporation (MUR) announced its financial and operating results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2022, including net income attributable to Murphy of $351 million, or $2.23 net income per diluted share. Adjusted net income, which excludes discontinued operations and other one-off items, was $305 million, or $1.93 net income per diluted share.
Unless otherwise noted, the financial and operating highlights and metrics discussed in this commentary exclude noncontrolling interest.
Highlights for the second quarter include:
- Produced at the high end of guidance 164 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day, with 91 thousand barrels of oil per day
- Initiated production from four wells in the Khaleesi, Mormont, Samurai field development project in the Gulf of Mexico with total current gross production of 70 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day
- Estimated to achieve investment recovery, or payback, in less than six months on average from Eagle Ford Shale and Tupper Montney wells brought online during the quarter
- Acquired additional working interests in the non-operated Kodiak field for $47 million after closing adjustments, with expected payback in approximately one year
- Generated $647 million of adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and exploration, or $43 per barrel of oil equivalent
- Redeemed $200 million of 6.875 percent senior notes due 2024
Subsequent to quarter-end:
- Declared quarterly dividend of $0.25 per share, or $1.00 per share annualized, representing a 100 percent increase from fourth quarter 2021
- Disclosed additional long-term debt reduction of approximately $242 million through the redemption announcement for the remaining $42 million of 6.875 percent senior notes due 2024; as well as the aggregate tender offer of up to $200 million of senior notes due 2025, 2027 and 2028
- Announced capital allocation framework with increasing shareholder returns through the dividend and share repurchases coinciding with long-term debt reduction goals
- Executed Purchase and Sale Agreement to acquire additional working interests in the non-operated Lucius field for approximately $77 million after estimated closing adjustments, with expected payback in less than two years
- Published 2022 Sustainability Report, advancing disclosures on clean water and air improvement activities, governance oversight and positive impacts within the community
“I am very pleased with our company’s accomplishments this quarter as the offshore team continues to successfully execute a significant and intricate project in the Gulf of Mexico, while our onshore team has enhanced production volumes and accelerated returns across our North American unconventional business through new completion designs and longer laterals. This outstanding execution has enabled us to capitalize on current high oil prices, as the additional production provides excess cash flow to support our delevering strategy while increasing our dividend. With our strong operational capabilities and meaningful debt reduction progress, we are now in a position to disclose a capital allocation framework that will highlight targeted returns to our shareholders through the dividend and share repurchases,” said Roger W. Jenkins, President and Chief Executive Officer.
SECOND QUARTER 2022 RESULTS
The company recorded net income attributable to Murphy of $351 million, or $2.23 net income per diluted share, for the second quarter 2022. Adjusted net income, which excludes both the results of discontinued operations and certain other items that affect comparability of results between periods, was $305 million, or $1.93 adjusted net income per diluted share for the same period. The adjusted net income from continuing operations adjusts for the following after-tax items: $70 million non-cash mark-to-market gain on derivative instruments and $25 million non-cash mark-to-market loss on contingent consideration. Details for second 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 $632 million, or $42.46 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 $647 million, or $43.48 per BOE sold. Details for second quarter EBITDA and EBITDAX reconciliations can be found in the attached schedules.
Second quarter production averaged 164 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBOEPD) with 55 percent oil and 62 percent liquids. Volumes were at the high end of the guidance range for the quarter as a result of above-plan well performance in the Gulf of Mexico and Eagle Ford Shale, in addition to lower than projected downtime across multiple assets. Most meaningfully, production from the new Khaleesi, Mormont, Samurai wells exceeded expectations, with 97 percent uptime achieved at the King’s Quay floating production system.
Details for second quarter production results can be found in the attached schedules.
Murphy had approximately $2.0 billion of liquidity as of June 30, 2022, comprised of the $1.6 billion undrawn senior unsecured credit facility and $432 million of cash and cash equivalents, inclusive of noncontrolling interest (NCI).
During the quarter, Murphy redeemed $200 million of 6.875 percent senior notes due 2024, thereby continuing to execute on the company’s delevering strategy. Total debt of $2.3 billion as of the end of second quarter 2022 consists of long-term, fixed-rate notes with a weighted average maturity of 7.4 years and a weighted average coupon of 6.2 percent.
Subsequent to the quarter, Murphy announced approximately $242 million of further debt reduction through the redemption of the remaining $42 million of 6.875 percent senior notes due 2024, to occur on August 19, 2022. Additionally, Murphy announced an aggregate tender offer of up to $200 million of senior notes due 2025, 2027 and 2028.
2022 CAPITAL EXPENDITURE AND PRODUCTION GUIDANCE
Murphy is reaffirming its 2022 accrued capital expenditures (CAPEX) guidance range of $900 million to $950 million, excluding acquisitions. Second quarter CAPEX of $266 million was $39 million lower than guidance as a result of timing. Including the non-operated Kodiak working interest acquisition of approximately $47 million, second quarter CAPEX was $312 million.
As a result of stronger well performance in oil-weighted assets and Gulf of Mexico bolt-on acquisitions, Murphy is increasing its full year 2022 production guidance to 168 to 176 MBOEPD, with a production mix of approximately 52 percent oil and 58 percent total liquids volumes. This represents a new annual production midpoint of 172 MBOEPD, compared to the previous midpoint of 168 MBOEPD.
Third quarter 2022 production is estimated to be in the range of 180 to 188 MBOEPD with 49 percent oil volumes. This range is impacted by planned operated downtime of 3.6 MBOEPD onshore, operated and non-operated downtime of 6.2 MBOEPD offshore and assumed Gulf of Mexico storm downtime of 6.0 MBOEPD. Both production and CAPEX guidance ranges exclude Gulf of Mexico NCI.
CAPITAL ALLOCATION FRAMEWORK
Murphy has made significant progress in debt reduction over the past 18 months. To expand on the company’s previously announced 2022 debt reduction goal of $600 to $650 million, the Board of Directors has approved a capital allocation framework as detailed below. This framework allows for additional shareholder returns, while advancing toward a long-term debt target of $1.0 billion and seeking an investment grade credit rating.
Based on current oil and natural gas prices and assuming average annual production of 168 to 176 MBOEPD for 2022, Murphy expects year-end total debt to be approximately $1.8 billion and year-end cash to approximately $450 million. The company is expecting fourth quarter production to be in the range of 194 to 202 MBOEPD. Overall, the company’s priorities are to maintain or slightly increase production from these fourth quarter levels, while continuing to reduce debt and distribute cash to its shareholders through the dividend and share repurchases.
At the August board meeting, Murphy’s Board of Directors approved a quarterly dividend of $0.25 per share to shareholders of record as of August 15, 2022. This increase will restore the annual dividend to the $1.00 per share rate that existed prior to 2020. The Board also approved a share repurchase program of up to $300 million and a long-term debt target of $1.0 billion.
The timing and magnitude of debt reductions and share repurchases will largely depend on oil and natural gas prices, development costs and operating expenses, as well as any high-return investment opportunities. Because of the uncertainties around these matters, it is not possible to forecast how and when the company’s targets might be achieved. However, the current plan of the company is that upon achieving an interim debt level of approximately $1.8 billion, approximately 75 percent of adjusted free cash flow will be utilized to reduce long-term debt, and approximately 25 percent will be allocated for share repurchases and potential dividend increases. As long-term debt levels reach approximately $1.0 billion, the company plans to allocate 50 percent of its adjusted free cash flow to the balance sheet, with the remainder returned to shareholders through share repurchases and potential dividend increases.
“We are pleased to follow our more than 60-year history of returns to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases by announcing this targeted capital allocation framework, including the approval of a new share repurchase program. This framework allows our company to continue our delevering strategy while stating our intentions to enhance shareholder returns that are tied to total long-term debt goals. As we continue targeting investment grade credit ratings, this disciplined framework will enable us to simultaneously achieve further balance sheet strength while rewarding shareholders for their support,” said Jenkins.
The share repurchase program allows the company to repurchase shares through a variety of methods, including but not limited to open market purchases, privately negotiated transactions and other means in accordance with federal securities laws, such as through Rule 10b5-1 trading plans and under Rule 10b-18 of the Exchange Act. This repurchase program has no time limit and may be suspended or discontinued completely at any time without prior notice as determined by the company at its discretion and dependent upon a variety of factors.
Adjusted free cash flow in this framework is a non-GAAP financial measure defined as cash from operating activities before changes in working capital, less capital spending, acquisitions, the current dividend, distributions to noncontrolling interest, and other projected payments such as the contractual contingent payments that are projected to end after the second quarter of 2023.
The onshore business produced approximately 90 MBOEPD, comprised of 41 percent liquids volumes in the second quarter.
Eagle Ford Shale – Murphy produced an average 36 MBOEPD in the second quarter with 72 percent oil volumes and 86 percent liquids volumes. The company brought online 23 operated wells as planned for the quarter, with 17 wells in Karnes, and 6 wells in Catarina.
The Eagle Ford Shale produced ahead of guidance on better than planned execution and a new enhanced completion design. As a result of the scope changes previously announced, the second quarter wells are achieving significant production rates with an average gross 30-day (IP30) rate of approximately 1,900 barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOEPD) in Karnes and 1,100 BOEPD in Catarina. Additionally, these wells are expected to achieve full payback in less than a year at current strip pricing.
Tupper Montney – In the second quarter, natural gas production averaged 275 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD). Murphy brought online 15 operated wells during the quarter, of which 5 wells were ahead of schedule. Subsequent to quarter end, the remaining five wells of the 2022 program were brought online, with Murphy’s total Tupper Montney program achieving a peak record-high gross production level of 415 MMCFD. Overall, Murphy’s drilling and completion program averaged $4.8 million per well for the year.
Kaybob Duvernay – During the second quarter, production averaged 6 MBOEPD with 75 percent liquids volumes. No activity occurred during the quarter.
The offshore business produced 73 MBOEPD for the second quarter, comprised of 80 percent oil and excluding noncontrolling interest.
Gulf of Mexico – Production averaged 70 MBOEPD, consisting of 79 percent oil during the quarter. As of the end of the second quarter, four wells in the Khaleesi, Mormont, Samurai field development project were flowing into the Murphy-operated King’s Quay floating production system. Combined, these wells are currently achieving a total gross production rate of approximately 70 MBOEPD, or 18 MBOEPD net, with 87 percent oil. Completions work continues, with three wells remaining in the seven-well program.
In the second quarter, Murphy increased its working interest in the non-operated Kodiak field to 59.3 percent from 48.3 percent for $47 million after closing adjustments, with an expected payback time of approximately one year.
Subsequent to the second quarter, Murphy executed two purchase and sale agreements to high-grade the Gulf of Mexico portfolio. Murphy has agreed to acquire 3.4 percent additional working interest in the non-operated Lucius field for approximately $77 million after estimated closing adjustments, with an expected payback of less than two years, bringing Murphy’s total working interest in the field to 16.1 percent. Closing is anticipated to occur in the third quarter 2022.
Additionally, the company has agreed to divest its 50 percent working interest in the operated Thunder Hawk field for approximately $16 million less estimated closing adjustments, which will allow the company to reduce liabilities by approximately $37 million. This asset currently produces 800 BOEPD net to Murphy. Closing is expected in the third quarter of 2022.
All acquisition and divestiture activities have been included in third quarter and full year guidance provided today.
“As a long-term, experienced operator in the Gulf of Mexico, Murphy has a competitive advantage in finding, reviewing and executing strategic acquisitions. This quarter, two opportunities arose that would allow for accretive production with a high return and fast payback, thereby enhancing our offshore portfolio. Both Kodiak and Lucius have rig programs ongoing today, leading to total incremental estimated production of 1.5 MBOEPD annualized for 2022, with total incremental production of 4.1 MBOEPD forecast for 2023,” said Jenkins.
Canada – Production averaged 3 MBOEPD in the second quarter, comprised of 100 percent oil. The asset life extension project is ongoing for the non-operated Terra Nova floating, production, storage and offloading vessel, and it is anticipated to sail back to Canada for safe return to operations by year-end 2022.
Brazil – During the quarter, Murphy received offshore operator approval from the Brazilian National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels. This completes a necessary step in attaining Wintershall Dea’s 70 percent working interest position in the Potiguar Basin at no cost following the partner’s announcement to exit its operations in Brazil.
Murphy employs commodity derivative instruments to manage certain risks associated with commodity price volatility and underpin capital returns associated with certain assets.
Murphy utilizes collars to provide hedge protection on 25 thousand barrels of oil per day (MBOPD) for full-year 2022 with a weighted average put price of $63.24 per barrel and weighted average call price of $75.20 per barrel.
The company also utilizes swaps to protect 20 MBOPD of full-year 2022 production with an average fixed price of $44.88 per barrel.
Murphy maintains a combination of fixed price forward sales contracts and diversification contracts tied to US pricing points to lessen its dependence on variable AECO prices. These contracts are for physical delivery of natural gas volumes at a fixed price, with no mark-to-market income adjustment. Details for the current fixed price contracts can be found in the attached schedules.
CONFERENCE CALL AND WEBCAST SCHEDULED FOR AUGUST 4, 2022
Murphy will host a conference call to discuss second quarter 2022 financial and operating results on Thursday, August 4, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. EDT. The call can be accessed either via the Internet through the Investor Relations section of Murphy’s website at http://ir.murphyoilcorp.com or via the telephone by dialing toll free 1-888-886-7786, reservation number 14108968.
Summary financial data and operating statistics for second quarter 2022, with comparisons to the same period from the previous year, are contained in the following schedules. Additionally, a schedule indicating the impacts of items affecting comparability of results between periods, a reconciliation of EBITDA and EBITDAX between periods, as well as guidance for the third quarter and full year 2022, are also included.
1 In accordance with GAAP, Murphy reports the 100 percent interest, including a 20 percent noncontrolling interest (NCI), in its subsidiary, MP Gulf of Mexico, LLC (MP GOM). The GAAP financials include the NCI portion of revenue, costs, assets and liabilities and cash flows. Unless otherwise noted, the financial and operating highlights and metrics discussed in this news release, but not the accompanying schedules, exclude the NCI, thereby representing only the amounts attributable to Murphy.