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Serinus Energy

Serinus Energy revenue for H1 more than doubles despite COVID 19

Serinus Energy plc (LON:SENX, WSE:SEN) has announced the release of its interim results for the Six Months Ended 30 June 2020.

HIGHLIGHTS

Operational

·      Serinus Energy plc has continued to operate safely and effectively through the COVID-19 crisis, with the successful implementation of operational and monitoring protocols in line with the recommendations of local jurisdictions to ensure the health and safety of our employees.

·      For the six months ended 30 June 2020, average production (boe/d) increased by 1,815 or 267% to 2,495 (2019 – 680), comprised of 1,903 (2019 – 372) in Romania and 592 (2019 – 308) in Tunisia, an increase of 1,531 or 412% and 284 or 92%, respectively.

·      The first half production exit rate (boe/d) at the end of June 2020 was 2,514 comprised of 1,931 in Romania and 583 in Tunisia.

·      The Company’s Romanian 3D acquisition programme, due to be completed in the first half of 2020, has been postponed due to the restrictions caused by COVID-19 since mid-March.

·      Production increases in Tunisia have been lower than anticipated due to the inability of the Company to mobilize necessary technical experts across national borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

·      The Company has lowered the production expense per barrel, which averaged $8.68 (2019 – $16.54), in the face of a significant decline in commodity prices experienced during the period.

Financial

·      For the six months ended 30 June 2020 the Company generated $13.3 million (2019 – $6.4 million) in gross revenue or $12.4 million (2019 – $6.4 million) net of royalties. This was comprised of $9.9 million (2019 – $3.0 million) in Romania and $3.4 million (2019 – $3.4 million) in Tunisia.

·      For the six months ended 30 June 2020 funds from operations amounted to $4.3 million (2019 – $1.4 million).

·      For the six months ended 30 June 2020 realised crude oil price per barrel (“bbl”) averaged $31.96 (2019 – $63.07) and realised natural gas price per thousand cubic feet (“mcf”) averaged $4.74 (2019 – $7.82).

·      Capital expenditures for the six months ended 30 June 2020 of $3.1 million (2019 – $1.6 million).

·      Given the ongoing uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis and the difficulty in moving personnel and equipment during this crisis all future capital investment plans have been postponed. Capital will only be allocated to ensure the safe and continued operation of our production facilities.

·      On 22 June 2020, the Group agreed with its lender, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (“EBRD”), to pay $2.0 million of its 30 June 2020 payment under the Convertible Loan and defer the remaining $6.4 million for a period of 12 months.

OPERATIONAL UPDATE

In Romania, the Company currently has three wells producing from the Moftinu field. The Company has begun the permitting process for M-1008 which was expected to be drilled in late 2020 or early 2021. Currently all drilling plans have been postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis. The Company expects to advance this well as soon as it is deemed safe and restrictions imposed by the Romanian Government are lifted. The Company had permitted a 148 km2 3D seismic acquisition programme in the Capleni area just north of the Moftinu Gas Plant and reached land access agreements with all landowners within the seismic acquisition area. The Company had ordered the mobilization of the seismic equipment and staff to begin the programme, however, due to restrictions imposed by the declaration of a state of emergency in Romania as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts on travel and services in Romania and the Satu Mare County, the Company and its seismic contractor have postponed the programme. The Company is in constructive discussions with the Romanian regulatory authorities to agree an extension to this commitment.

Production has continued to increase in Tunisia from more efficient subsurface pumps and the steady decrease in water cuts. Since returning the Chouech and Ech Chouech fields to production following their prolonged shut-in due to social disturbances, the Company has seen steady improvements in production. The Company has continued to identify programs to replace older pumps and other low-cost workovers that have demonstrated positive production increases. These programs will be implemented when there is more certainty with regard to the restrictions dictated by the COVID-19 crisis.

OUTLOOK

COVID-19

The Company’s top priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of all our staff throughout this difficult time. During the second quarter, Tunisia and Romania have reopened their offices with strict safety measures, such as social distancing, reduced daily occupancy and wearing masks. Field operations have had modifications to ensure social distancing and to ensure safe practices and have continued to operate with no setbacks. Governments around the world are implementing strategies to reopen their economies gradually, therefore the Group is closely monitoring each jurisdiction and will continue to abide by the recommendations set forth by their local jurisdiction.

Romania

All capital plans in Romania have been postponed as well as the scheduled maintenance programme at the Moftinu Gas Plant that was set for May 2020, which is now scheduled for September 2020. Our teams have designed an incremental maintenance programme considering the postponed gas plant turn-around and has ensured this change will not have any negative impacts to the safety or performance of the gas plant.

The Company had previously announced that it had fully permitted and was preparing to commence a 3D seismic acquisition programme in the Capleni area. This programme has been delayed by the governmental restrictions on the movement of personnel and equipment and the limitations of large gatherings during this period. The Company has agreed with its seismic contractor to extend the existing contracts by one year to allow for the future completion of this programme. Subject to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 crisis the Company hopes to recommence this programme in early 2021.

The M-1008 production well has been permitted and was expected to be drilled in late 2020 or early 2021, however due to the COVID-19 restrictions, it is uncertain when any further work may be completed for the drilling of this well.

Tunisia

The Company continues to identify work in Tunisia focused on low capital, high return production enhancements that can be implemented in the future. During the period the Company performed additional work in the Chouech and Ech Chouech fields focused on pump replacement and pump performance, resulting in a gradual but progressive increase in production. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, there have been minor disruptions due to the availability of service providers, delaying further pump enhancement work. The Company will continue to monitor the crisis and the commodity prices to determine when to continue with the workover programs.
 

FINANCIAL REVIEW

Liquidity, Debt and Capital Resources

In Romania, the Group invested $2.3 million (2019 – $1.4 million) in the six months ended 30 June 2020 primarily to drill, complete, and tie in the M-1004 well. Romania remained a significant cash flow generating unit during the period as production increased from the addition of M-1004. The Moftinu field generated a netback per boe of $21.34 (2019 – $34.72) for the first half of the year.

In Tunisia, the Group invested $0.8 million (2019 – $0.2 million) for the six months ended 30 June 2020. The capital was spent in the Chouech field, related to workovers on the CS-1 and CS-3 wells. Tunisia continued to see positive production from the Sabria, Chouech, and Ech Chouech fields during the quarter while realizing a netback per boe of $9.42 (2019 – $27.61) for the first half of the year.

Funds from operations increased to $4.3 million (2019 – $1.4 million) for the six months ended 30 June 2020. This increase is mainly attributable to increased production from the Moftinu field in 2020 offset by lower commodity prices.

The Convertible debt with the EBRD was due to be repaid in four instalments commencing 30 June 2020, when 25% of the principal and accrued interest at that date would be repayable with the three remaining repayments made annually thereafter on 30 June. On 22 June 2020, the Company entered into an agreement with the EBRD to defer $6.4 million of the $8.4 million debt payment that was due at 30 June 2020, for a period of one year and paid $2 million to the EBRD. The outstanding balance will be combined with the 30 June 2021 payment for a combined payment of $14.9 million due on 30 June 2021 and is reported as a current liability at 30 June 2020.

On 22 June 2020, the Group received a waiver from the EBRD formally waiving compliance with the financial covenant for the period ended 30 June 2020.

As at($000)30 June202031 December 2019
Current assets13,00215,243
Current liabilities35,11732,194
Working capital deficit(22,115)(16,951)

The working capital deficit of the Group at 30 June 2020 was $22.1 million, an increase of $5.2 million since 31 December 2019, largely due to the 30 June 2021 debt payment now being classified as current.

Included in current liabilities at 30 June 2020 was $14.9 million of EBRD debt (31 December 2019: $7.7 million); accounts payable of $13.3 million (31 December 2019: $16.2 million), of which $6.0 million relates to Brunei and dates back to 2012/2013; decommissioning provision of $6.3 million (31 December 2019: $6.3 million), income taxes payable of $0.3 million (31 December 2019: $1.4 million); and lease obligations of $0.3 million (31 December 2019: $0.5 million). Included in the asset retirement obligations are $1.8 million relating to Brunei, $1.0 million relating to Canada, and $3.5 million relating to Tunisia. The obligations in Canada are offset by cash held on deposit as restricted cash of $1.1 million (2019 – $1.1 million) in current assets.

Going Concern Statement

The Group’s ability to settle its obligations as they come due is dependent on its ability to generate future cash flows from operations and/or obtain the necessary financing. The Group has modelled cash flow forecasts in order to identify how available funds could be managed in order to allow the Group to meet its obligations as they fall due or identify where additional funding may be required. Given the above, there are material uncertainties as to whether the Group can meet all its cash obligations as they fall due.

The ability to generate sufficient future cash flows from operations to meet obligations as they fall due and the continued availability of existing facilities, should loan covenants not be met, represent material uncertainties that may cast significant doubt on the ability of the Group to continue as a going concern. Refer to note 2 below for further information.

FINANCIAL REVIEW – FIRST HALF 2020

Funds from Operations

The Group uses funds from operations as a key performance indicator to measure the ability of the Group to generate cash from operations to fund future exploration and development activities. The following table is a reconciliation of funds from operations to cash flow from operating activities:

 Six months ended 30 June
($000)20202019
Cash flow from operations3,0773,492
Changes in non-cash working capital1,240(2,090)
Funds from operations4,3171,402
Funds from operations per share0.020.01

The increase in funds from operations in 2020 was primarily attributable to Romania generating cash flows for the full period in 2020, compared to just the second quarter in 2019. Funds from operations generated in Romania were $6.3 million (2019 – $1.7 million), Tunisia funds used in operations were $0.3 million (2019 – funds from operations were $1.4 million) and funds used corporately was $1.7 million (2019 – used $1.7 million). The increase in Romania is directly attributable to a full period of production at the Moftinu field compared to limited production in the comparative period as the field started producing 25 April 2019. The decrease in Tunisia is the result of tax payments totaling $1.2 million (2019 – $0.1 million).

Production

 Six months ended 30 June
 20202019
Tunisia  
Crude oil (bbl/d)485226
Natural gas (Mcf/d)641494
Tunisia (boe/d)592308
   
Romania  
Natural gas (Mcf/d)11,3312,188
Condensate (bbl/d)147
Romania (boe/d)1,903372
   
Group  
Crude oil (bbl/d)485226
Natural gas (Mcf/d)11,9722,682
Condensate (bbl/d)147
Total Group production (boe/d)2,495680
   
% liquids weighting20%34%
% gas weighting80%66%

For the six months ended 30 June 2020 Romania production (boe/d) averaged 1,903 (2019 – 372), an increase of 1,531 (412%). The increase is due to production only commencing on 25 April 2019, as well as M-1004 coming onto production in February 2020.

Tunisia production (boe/d) was from the Sabria, Chouech and Ech Chouech fields and averaged 592 (2019 – 308), an increase of 284 (92%). The increase in production is due to the Chouech and Ech Chouech fields producing for the full period compared to being shut-in during the first half of 2019, as well as the performance of the wells continuing to improve as water cuts decrease.

For the Group, production (boe/d) averaged 2,495 (2019 – 680), an increase of 1,815 (267%).

Oil and Gas Revenue

 Six months ended 30 June
($000)20202019
Tunisia  
Oil revenue2,8132,583
Gas revenue611845
Tunisia revenue3,4243,428
   
Romania  
Gas revenue9,7842,953
Condensate revenue7567
Romania revenue9,8593,020
   
Group  
Oil revenue2,8132,583
Gas revenue10,3953,798
Condensate revenue7567
Total Group revenue13,2836,448
   
Liquids revenue (%)22%41%
Gas revenue (%)78%59%
   
Realised Price  
Tunisia  
Oil ($/bbl)31.9663.07
Gas ($/Mcf)5.239.46
Tunisia average realised price ($/boe)31.8661.39
   
Romania  
Gas ($/Mcf)4.717.45
Condensate ($/bbl)29.9252.00
Romania average realised price ($/boe)28.2644.87
   
Group  
Oil ($/bbl)31.9663.07
Gas ($/Mcf)4.747.82
Condensate ($/bbl)29.9252.00
Group average realised price ($/boe)29.1152.36


Oil and gas revenues for the six months ended 30 June 2020 increased by $6.8 million (106%) to $13.3 million (2019 – $6.4 million). The increase was attributable to the increase in production described above, offset by a 44% decrease in the average realised price per boe. The average realised price was impacted by the decrease in the Brent crude price as well as the product mix consisting of 80% gas (2019 – 66%) which realised a lower price per boe compared to crude oil.

The Group is required to sell 20% of its annual crude oil production from the Sabria concession into the local market, which is sold at an approximate 10% discount to the price obtained on its other crude sales. The remaining crude oil production is sold to the international market, which the Group has a marketing agreement with Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Limited. Natural gas prices are nationally regulated and in Sabria are tied to the current month average of high sulphur heating oil (benchmarked to Brent).

In Romania, at least 40% of the natural gas production must be sold on the open market, with the remainder sold through a gas sales agreement with Vitol Gas and Power BV. The sales price under this agreement is linked to an average of transactions concluded on the centralized markets of Romania.

Royalties

 Six months ended 30 June
($000)20202019
Tunisia415336
Romania488227
Total903563
Total ($/boe)1.994.57
Tunisia (% of revenue)12.1%9.8%
Romania (% of revenue)5.0%7.5%
Total (% of revenue)6.8%8.7%


Royalties for the six months ended 30 June 2020 were $0.9 million (2019 – $0.6 million) due to the increased production discussed above. The realised royalty rate in Tunisia was 12.1% (2019 – 9.8%). The increase is due to the Chouech and Ech Chouech fields having a flat royalty rate of 15% and producing during the quarter compared to being shut-in in the comparative period. In Romania, the realised royalty rate was 5.0% (2019 – 7.5%). The decrease in Romania is due to a change in the price structure used in the royalty calculation, using a statutory price in the royalty calculation instead of the realised price used in the comparative period.

Tunisian royalties are based on individual concession agreements. In Sabria, the royalty rate varies depending on a calculation of cumulative revenues, net of taxes, as compared to cumulative investment in the concession, known as the “R factor”. As the R factor increases, so does the royalty percentage to a maximum rate of 15%. The royalty rates for the six months ended 30 June 2020 in the Sabria concession for oil was 10% (2019 – 10%) and for gas 8% (2019 – 8%). In the Chouech and Ech Chouech concession, royalty rates were flat at 15% (2019 – 15%).

Romanian natural gas royalties step-up from 3.5% to 13.0% and condensate from 3.5% to 13.5% based on the level of production in the quarter. Romanian royalties are calculated using the reference price set by Romania.

Production Expenses

 Six months ended 30 June
($000)20202019
Tunisia2,0031,550
Romania1,908456
Canada3031
Group3,9412,037
   
Tunisia production expense ($/boe)18.5927.76
Romania production expense ($/boe)5.516.78
Total production expense ($/boe)8.6816.54

For the six months ended 30 June 2020, the Group incurred production expenses of $3.9 million (2019 – $2.0 million). The overall increase is due to the addition of the Moftinu, Chouech and Ech Chouech production in 2020. Production expenses per boe were $8.68 (2019 – $16.54). The decrease per boe is attributable to the low-cost production costs in Romania along with the significant increase in overall production.

Tunisian production expenses for the period were $2.0 million (2019 – $1.6 million). Additional costs are directly attributable to the addition of producing fields, Chouech and Ech Chouech, though the incremental production reduced production costs per boe to $18.59 (2019 – $27.76).

Romanian production expenses for the period were $1.9 million (2019 – $0.5 million). The comparative period had minimal production expenses as production of the Moftinu field commenced on 25 April 2019.

Canadian production expenses relate to the Sturgeon Lake assets, which are not producing and are incurring minimal operating costs to maintain the property.

Operating Netback

Serinus uses operating netback as a key performance indicator to assist management in understanding Serinus’ profitability relative to current market conditions and as an analytical tool to benchmark changes in operational performance against prior periods. Operating netback consists of petroleum and natural gas revenues less direct costs consisting of royalties and production expenses. Netback is not a standard measure under IFRS and therefore may not be comparable to similar measures reported by other entities.

 Six months ended 30 June
($/boe)20202019
Tunisia  
Production volume (boe/d)592308
Realised price31.8661.39
Royalties(3.85)(6.02)
Production expense(18.59)(27.76)
Operating netback – Tunisia9.4227.61
   
Romania  
Production volume (boe/d)1,903372
Realised price28.2644.87
Royalties(1.41)(3.37)
Production expense(5.51)(6.78)
Operating netback – Romania21.3434.72
   
Group  
Production volume (boe/d)2,495680
Realised price29.1152.36
Royalties(1.99)(4.57)
Production expense(8.68)(16.54)
Operating netback – Group18.4431.25

For the six months ended 30 June 2020, the operating netback per boe for the Group was $18.44 (2019 – $31.25). The decrease was primarily due to lower realised pricing offset by a decrease in royalty and production expenses described above.

Windfall Tax

 Six months ended 30 June
($000)20202019
Windfall tax1,152669
Windfall tax ($/Mcf – Romania gas)0.561.69
Windfall tax ($/boe – Romania gas)2.5410.14

In Romania, the Group is subject to a windfall tax on its natural gas production which is applied to supplemental income once natural gas prices exceed 47.53 RON/Mwh (approximately $3.22 per mcf). This supplemental income is taxed at a rate of 60% between 47.53 RON/Mwh and 85.00 RON/Mwh and at a rate of 80% above 85.00 RON/Mwh. Expenses deductible in the calculation of the windfall tax include royalties and capital expenditures (limited to 30% of the supplemental income).

For the six months ended 30 June 2020, the Group incurred windfall taxes of $1.2 million (2019 – $0.7 million) which equates to $0.56 per Mcf (2019 – $1.69) of Romanian gas production volumes. The decrease in gas prices during Q2 2020 has pushed prices near the windfall tax thresholds resulting in $0.1 million of windfall tax during Q2 2020.

Depletion and Depreciation

 Six months ended 30 June
($000)20202019
Tunisia1,739728
Romania6,3781,358
Corporate342309
Total8,4592,395
   
Tunisia ($/boe)16.1413.04
Romania ($/boe)18.4220.18
Total ($/boe)18.6319.45


For the six months ended 30 June 2020, depletion and depreciation expense in Tunisia was $1.7 million (2019 – $0.7 million). This increase in directly attributable to the increased production from the Chouech and Ech Chouech fields. Depletion and depreciation expense in Romania was $6.4 million (2019 – $1.4 million). This increase was due to six months of production in the current year compared to two months in the comparative period, due to the Moftinu field being put onto production on 25 April 2019.

Depletion and depreciation expense is computed on a field by field basis considering the net book value, the future development costs associated with the reserves as well as the proved and probable reserves of each concession.

General and Administrative Expense (“G&A”)

 Six months ended 30 June
($000)20202019
G&A expense1,6841,643
G&A expense ($/boe)3.7213.34


For the six months ended 30 June 2020, G&A costs were $1.7 million (2019 – $1.6 million). The nominal increase is primarily attributable to higher professional fees. On a per boe basis G&A expenses significantly decreased due to higher production volumes from the Moftinu, Chouech, and Ech Chouech fields compared to the prior period.

G&A costs incurred by the Group are expensed, with certain costs directly related to exploration and development assets being capitalised or reported as production costs. The G&A expense reported is on a net basis, representing gross G&A costs incurred less recoveries of those costs presented as capital or production costs.

Share-based payment expense

 Six months ended 30 June
($000)20202019
Share-based payment expense254500
Share-based payment expense ($/boe)1.144.06

For the six months ended 30 June 2020, the share-based payment expense was $0.3 million (2019 – $0.5 million). The decrease was a result of fewer unvested corporate stock options being expensed during the quarter offset by the executive directors receiving shares in lieu of salary during Q2 2020.

Impairment Expense

 Six months ended 30 June
($000)20202019
Impairment expense9,600


At 30 June 2020, an impairment test was conducted on the Group’s Property, plant, and equipment to assess the impact of the continuing weakness and volatility of commodity prices, largely as a result of the economic impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic. An impairment expense of $9.6 million (2019 – nil) was recorded as a result of the impairment test. See note 4 for details.

Net Finance Expense

 Six months ended 30 June
($000)20202019
Interest expense on long-term debt1,5751,650
Amortization of debt costs4499
Amortization of debt modification12722
Interest on leases5247
Accretion on decommissioning provision336614
Other interest and foreign exchange7(212)
 2,1412,220

For the six months ended 30 June 2020, the net finance expense was $2.1 million (2019 – $2.2 million). This slight decrease is due to the repayment of the Senior Loan in 2019, lower interest rates on the convertible loan for the period, a decrease in accretion expense due to the decreased ARO liability, offset by a larger principal balance on the convertible loan with the EBRD debt.

Share Data

As at the date of issuing this report, the following are the options outstanding and changes to directors’ shares owned since 30 June 2020, up to the date of this report. An agreement with the executive directors was reached to settle 20% of their salaries in common shares in lieu of cash payments. For the second quarter of 2020, this amounted to 405,007 common shares issued. These shares were issued on 14 July 2020 for services rendered during the quarter.

 Options held atShares held at
Name of Director30 June 202014 Aug 202030 June 202014 Aug 2020
Executive Directors:    
Jeffrey Auld8,000,0008,000,00022,197258,451
Andrew Fairclough1,750,0001,750,000168,753
     
Non-Executive Directors:    
Jim Causgrove100,000100,000
Eleanor Barker100,000100,000100,000100,000
 9,950,0009,950,000122,197527,204

As of the date of issuing this report, management is aware of the following shareholders holding more than 5% of the ordinary shares of the Group, as reported by the shareholders to the Group: Kulczyk Investments S.A. 38.02%, Marlborough Fund Managers 9.85% and JCAM Investments Ltd 7.88%.

The directors are responsible for the maintenance and integrity of the corporate and financial information on the Group’s website. Legislation in Jersey governing the preparation and dissemination of financial statements may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions.

Other Comprehensive Loss

Other comprehensive loss consists of foreign currency translation adjustments to convert the functional currency of different business units to the reporting currency of the Group. The translation consists of adjusting Canadian dollars and Romanian Leu to USD at the end of the reporting period.

Declarations of the Board of Directors Concerning Accounting Policies

The Board of Directors of the Company confirms that, to the best of their knowledge, the interim condensed consolidated financial statements together with comparative figures have been prepared in accordance with applicable accounting standards and give a true and fair view of the state of affairs and the financial result of the Group for the period ended 30 June 2020.

The Highlights Report in this report gives a true and fair view of the situation on the reporting date and of the developments during the period ended 30 June 2020, and include a description of the major risks and uncertainties.

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