Touchstone Exploration year end reserves increased and operational update

Touchstone Exploration

Touchstone Exploration Inc. (TSX, LON:TXP) has announced a summary of its 2021 year-end reserves and an operational update.

Our independent reserves evaluation was prepared by GLJ Ltd. with an effective date of December 31, 2021. Highlights of our total proved (“1P”), total proved plus probable (“2P”) and total proved plus probable plus possible (“3P”) reserves from the Reserves Report are provided below. All finding and development costs below include changes in future development capital. Unless otherwise stated, all financial amounts referenced herein are stated in United States dollars. Financial information contained herein is based on the Company’s unaudited results for the year ended December 31, 2021 and is subject to change. Readers are further cautioned to read the applicable advisories contained herein.

2021 Year-end Reserves Report Highlights

·      Relative to year-end 2020, increased 3P gross reserves by 21% to 121,332 Mboe, increased 2P gross reserves by 16% to 75,547 Mboe and increased 1P gross reserves by 13% to 38,731 Mboe in 2021.

·      Touchstone’s net present value of future net revenues discounted at 10% (“NPV10”) on a before tax 3P basis increased by 31% to $1.31 billion, before tax 2P NPV10 increased by 29% to $881.8 million and before tax 1P NPV10 increased by 31% to $474.9 million from the prior year.

·      Realized after tax 3P NPV10 of $535.6 million, representing an increase of 28% from the prior year, after tax 2P NPV10 increased by 26% from year-end 2020 to $363.1 million and after tax 1P NPV10 increased by 29% from the prior year to $210 million.

·      Achieved 1P F&D costs of $10.36 per boe, resulting in a recycle ratio of 2.6 times using our unaudited annual estimated 2021 operating netback of $26.55 per boe.

·      Realized 2P F&D costs of $6.96 per boe, resulting in a 2P recycle ratio of 3.8 times, demonstrating our capital efficient operations on the Ortoire block.

·      Relative to year-end 2020, increased Cascadura 1P reserves by 14% to 26,902 Mboe and 2P total reserves by 16% to 52,082 Mboe following our successful Cascadura Deep-1 well tested in 2021.

·      The Royston exploration discovery was assigned gross working interest 3P reserves of 4,800 Mboe, gross working interest 2P reserves of 3,520 Mboe and gross working interest 1P reserves of 1,280 Mboe.

·      Our independent reserves evaluator estimates that the Royston structure has a low estimate of 128.3 MMbbl, a best estimate of 165.7 MMbbl and a high estimate of 211.7 MMbbl of total petroleum initially-in-place from the overthrust and intermediate sheets of the Herrera Formation, with no estimate provided in the subthrust sheet.

Paul Baay, Touchstone Exploration President and Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“Our 2021 independent reserves evaluation confirms the significant opportunities at our Ortoire property and the profitability of all of our assets in Trinidad. The estimated additions of both future net revenues and reserves at the newly discovered Royston light oil pool are reflective of our successful drilling activities in 2021 and the considerable size of the prospect in the Herrera Formation. The initial Royston reserves evaluation was conservative, given only one well was drilled to date and no reserves were assigned to the subthrust sheet. We have two exciting opportunities to substantially increase reserves in the area with the Royston Deep well intended to evaluate the subthrust sheet of the Herrera Formation and the Kraken well targeting the deeper Cretaceous Formation.

We are proceeding with the final step to bring the Coho gas field online with anticipated first natural gas production in May 2022, which will represent a milestone for Touchstone and Trinidad. We also remain on track with our operations at Cascadura, as we have submitted the required regulatory applications and procured the long lead items for the surface facility, providing visibility to estimated completion in September 2022.

Our focus is to convert our extensive Trinidad resource base to cash flows while continuing to target further exploration opportunities across our licence areas. It is an exciting time for Touchstone, as it is rare to have a combination of solid low decline base production, a near-term step change in production, a multi-year development drilling program and extensive exploration opportunities. I would encourage anyone requiring additional information to view the updated corporate presentation available on our website.”

Operational Highlights

·      With all relevant agreements executed, pipeline tie-in operations for the Coho-1 well are proceeding with anticipated first gas in May 2022 subject to weather conditions.

·      The Company is currently awaiting regulatory approvals to commence constructing the Cascadura natural gas facility, with equipment procurement and delivery of pressure vessels on track for facility completion in September 2022 assuming timely receipt of required regulatory approvals.

·      The extended flow test at Royston has confirmed the well is capable of over 675 bbls/d of light, sweet oil production from a combination of the overthrust and intermediate sheets of the Herrera Formation.

·      The three development wells drilled on our legacy crude oil blocks in the fourth quarter of 2021 have produced a field estimated 210 bbls/d since coming on production, contributing to our current field estimated aggregate net base production of approximately 1,449 bbls/d, excluding production testing volumes from Royston-1.

Operational Update

Coho

All of the required agreements with our third-party partners to allow for the final tie-in of the Coho gas field on the Ortoire block have been executed. Pipeline installation operations have commenced with first gas anticipated in May 2022 subject to weather delays that may hinder trenching and welding operations. Following testing and purging of the pipeline, we are anticipating natural gas production to increase over time to a gross target of 10 MMcf/d (8 MMcf/d net, representing approximately 1,333 boe/d net production).

Cascadura

The Cascadura facility is proceeding with the major facility components nearing completion for transportation to Trinidad. The components will be delivered on skids and will be assembled in the field by local contractors. In parallel with the facilities procurement and construction, we have submitted the required regulatory application and expect to receive a response on or before mid-May 2022. Upon approval, we will proceed with four distinct projects at Cascadura: road construction, condensate pipeline construction, facility construction and construction of future development drilling locations.

Royston

We commenced a long-term production test of the uppermost 84 feet of the Herrera overthrust section in January 2022 with the goal of evaluating different flowing regimes and possible pump configurations to maximize oil production. While conducting the test, approximately 2,200 feet of pipe and perforating guns were stuck in the bottom portion of the well, not allowing any further testing of the deeper zones. However, with these constraints, the well has continued to deliver both pumping and flowing volumes from the uppermost 84 feet.

Combined with the previous test in the intermediate zone, the well has shown that the completed intervals are capable of producing over 675 bbls/d of oil. Produced oil is being sold at our Barrackpore sales facility, and all associated water has been separated on-site and reinjected at our water disposal facility. We anticipate production testing continuing until the commencement of future drilling operations at Royston.

Legacy Wells

The three development wells drilled by the Company in the fourth quarter of 2021 are on production. Since being brought onstream, they have contributed an aggregate average of 210 bbls of net oil per day. We have prepared the next location on our Coora-1 block where we plan to drill two commitment infill wells targeting the Forest and Cruse Formations.

James Shipka, Chief Operating Officer, commenting on the Royston-1 well test, said:

“Testing of the Royston-1 exploration well resumed in early January with the well initially flowing at rates of over 250 barrels of oil per day from the uppermost 84 feet of the overthrust reservoir. Over the course of flow testing and, as anticipated, production rates gradually declined due to liquid loading in the wellbore and we subsequently moved a service rig to the location to install a pump to increase production. While attempting to raise the downhole assembly, we discovered an issue with the casing at approximately 7,250 feet that prevented us to run the optimized downhole pumping assembly. The wellbore could not be cleared, and we ultimately severed the existing tubing string at approximately 7,200 feet. In early February, we ran a downhole pump above the pre-existing tubing string, and we are currently working on optimizing production in this restricted configuration.

Despite these mechanical challenges, our testing program at Royston-1 has confirmed that the Royston structure will be a core oil development property for Touchstone. The light oil discoveries in the intermediate and overthrust sheets have displayed production rates in excess of 675 barrels of oil per day from the structure. With an independent estimate of up to 212 million barrels of total petroleum initially-in-place in the high case, including upside potential from the upper two sheets, Royston will be an exciting long-term project. Our 2021 reserves bookings reflect Royston’s initial development stage, and we look forward to our future exploration wells which will further delineate and expand our understanding of the structure. Until then, we will continue our testing program at Royston to gather additional information and refine our model of the reservoir. The similarities between Royston and the Penal-Barrackpore fields are significant and have given us confidence in our understanding of how the different thrust sheets may contribute to the ultimate recovery of the field.”

2021 Year-end Reserves Report Summary

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Touchstone’s 2021 capital program focused on exploration activities on our Ortoire property, where we conducted production testing operations on the Cascadura Deep-1 well drilled in the fourth quarter of 2020, completed the Royston area 22-kilometre seismic program, and drilled and tested the Royston-1 exploration well. In addition, we drilled three gross and net wells on our legacy oil properties representing our first infill drilling since 2019. The Reserves Report includes those reserves associated with our legacy development properties, our Coho natural gas discovery in 2019, our Cascadura discovery in 2020, as well as additions relating to the Cascadura Deep-1 and Royston-1 wells.

Touchstone’s year-end crude oil, natural gas and NGL reserves in Trinidad were evaluated by independent reserves evaluator, GLJ, in accordance with definitions, standards and procedures contained in the Canadian Oil and Gas Evaluation Handbook and National Instrument 51-101 Standards of Disclosure for Oil and Gas Activities (“NI 51-101”). Additional reserves information as required under NI 51-101 will be included in the Company’s Annual Information Form, which will be filed on SEDAR on or before March 31, 2022. The reserve estimates set forth below are based upon GLJ’s Reserves Report dated March 4, 2022 with an effective date of December 31, 2021. All values in this announcement are based on GLJ’s forecast prices and estimates of future operating and capital costs as of December 31, 2021. Please refer to “Advisories: Reserves Advisories” for further information. In certain tables set forth below, the columns may not add due to rounding.

2021 Reserves Summary by Category

1P2P3P
Total gross reserves(1) (Mboe)38,73175,547121,332
Reserve additions(2) (Mboe)4,98511,09221,674
NPV10 before income tax(3) ($000’s)474,922881,7531,313,006
NPV10 after income tax(3) ($000’s)210,036363,068535,613

Notes:

(1)    Gross reserves are the Company’s working interest share before deduction of royalties.

(2)    See “Advisories: Oil and Gas Metrics“.

(3)    Based on GLJ’s December 31, 2021 forecast prices and costs. See “Forecast prices and costs“.

Year-Over-Year Reserves Data

December 31, 2021December 31, 2020(1)% Change
1P gross reserves(2) (Mboe)38,73134,23813
2P gross reserves(2) (Mboe)75,54764,94716
3P gross reserves(2) (Mboe)121,332100,15021
1P NPV10 before income tax(3) ($000’s)474,922362,89131
2P NPV10 before income tax(3) ($000’s)881,753683,08429
3P NPV10 before income tax(3) ($000’s)1,313,0061,002,83531
1P NPV10 after income tax(3) ($000’s)210,036163,02229
2P NPV10 after income tax(3) ($000’s)363,068289,17226
3P NPV10 after income tax(3) ($000’s)535,613419,43428

Notes:

(1)    Prior year reserve estimates per GLJ’s independent reserves evaluation dated March 4, 2021 with an effective date of December 31, 2020.

(2)    Gross reserves are the Company’s working interest share before deduction of royalties.

(3)    Based on GLJ’s December 31, 2021 forecast prices and costs. See “Forecast prices and costs“.

Summary of Crude Oil and Natural Gas Reserves by Product Type

Company Gross(1) ReservesLight and Medium Crude Oil (Mbbl)Heavy Crude Oil(Mbbl)Conventional Natural Gas (MMcf)Natural Gas Liquids (Mbbl)(2)Total Oil Equivalent (Mboe)
Proved
Developed Producing3,3872613,648
Developed Non-Producing2,14821093,2522,19820,098
Undeveloped4,63853,8411,37414,985
Total Proved10,174471147,0933,57138,731
Probable8,908458144,6423,34236,815
Total Proved plus Probable19,082929291,7356,91375,547
Possible6,186340205,7274,97245,785
Total Proved plus Probable plus Possible25,2681,269497,46211,885121,332

Notes:

(1)    Gross reserves are the Company’s working interest share before deduction of royalties.

(2)    NGLs are comprised of 100% condensate.

Company Net(1) ReservesLight and Medium Crude Oil (Mbbl)Heavy Crude Oil(Mbbl)Conventional Natural Gas (MMcf)Natural Gas Liquids (Mbbl)(2)Total Oil Equivalent (Mboe)
Proved
Developed Producing2,1192322,352
Developed Non-Producing1,59918781,5951,92317,308
Undeveloped3,28547,1111,20212,339
Total Proved7,003419128,7063,12531,999
Probable6,719407126,5612,92531,145
Total Proved plus Probable13,723827255,2686,04963,143
Possible4,581302180,0114,35039,236
Total Proved plus Probable plus Possible18,3041,129435,27910,399102,379

Notes:

(1)    Net reserves are the Company’s working interest share after the deduction of royalty obligations.

(2)    NGLs are comprised of 100% condensate.

Summary of Net Present Values of Future Net Revenues(1)

Net Present Values Before Income Taxes ($000’s)UndiscountedDiscounted at 5%Discounted at 10%Discounted at 15%Discounted at 20%
Proved
Developed Producing70,58659,73051,73745,79941,267
Developed Non-Producing375,339302,251253,336217,580190,218
Undeveloped285,210217,561169,849135,347109,717
Total Proved731,135579,541474,922398,726341,202
Probable827,687559,969406,831310,348245,521
Total Proved plus Probable1,558,8221,139,510881,753709,074586,723
Possible1,050,052636,255431,253315,331243,050
Total Proved plus Probable plus Possible2,608,8741,775,7651,313,0061,024,405829,773
Net Present Values After Income Taxes(2) ($000’s)UndiscountedDiscounted at 5%Discounted at 10%Discounted at 15%Discounted at 20%
Proved
Developed Producing40,46138,81835,78132,90630,445
Developed Non-Producing93,10677,05666,81859,34553,537
Undeveloped178,040136,986107,43785,75669,482
Total Proved311,607252,860210,036178,006153,464
Probable317,593213,545153,032114,80089,205
Total Proved plus Probable629,200466,405363,068292,806242,669
Possible413,968254,122172,545126,10397,118
Total Proved plus Probable plus Possible1,043,168720,527535,613418,909339,787

Notes:

(1)    Based on GLJ’s December 31, 2021 forecast prices and costs. See “Forecast prices and costs“.

(2)    The after-tax net present values prepared by GLJ in the evaluation of the Company’s crude oil and natural gas assets presented herein are calculated by considering current Trinidad tax regulations and are based on the Company’s estimated tax pools and non-capital losses as of December 31, 2021. The values reflect the expected income tax burden on the assets on a consolidated basis. Values do not represent an estimate of the value at the business entity level or consider tax planning, which may be significantly different. See “Advisories: Unaudited Financial Information“.

Reconciliation of Gross Reserves by Product Type

The following table sets forth a reconciliation of the Company’s total gross proved, gross probable and total gross proved plus probable reserves as of December 31, 2021 by product type against such reserves as at December 31, 2020 based on forecast prices and cost assumptions.

Reserves Category and FactorsLight and Medium Crude Oil (Mbbl)Heavy Crude Oil(Mbbl)Conventional Natural Gas (MMcf)Natural Gas Liquids (Mbbl)(1)Total Oil Equivalent (Mboe)
Total Proved
December 31, 2020(2)8,890542130,0213,13634,238
Exploration discoveries(3)1,2801,280
Extensions and improved recovery(4)24417,0724363,525
Technical revisions(5)195(16)179
Dispositions(6)(11)(11)
Economic factors(7)1313
Production(449)(43)(492)
December 31, 202110,174471147,0933,57138,731
Total Probable
December 31, 2020(2)6,562469125,0222,84230,709
Exploration discoveries(3)2,2402,240
Extensions and improved recovery(4)7219,6205003,842
Technical revisions(5)28(6)22
Dispositions(6)(5)(5)
Economic factors(7)77
Production
December 31, 20218,908458144,6423,34236,815
Total Proved plus Probable
December 31, 2020(2)15,4521,010255,0435,97764,947
Exploration discoveries(3)3,5203,520
Extensions and improved recovery(4)31636,6919367,367
Technical revisions(5)222(21)201
Dispositions(6)(16)(16)
Economic factors(7)2020
Production(449)(43)(492)
December 31, 202119,082929291,7356,91475,547

Notes:

(1)    NGLs are comprised of 100 percent condensate.

(2)    Prior year reserve estimates per GLJ’s independent reserves evaluation dated March 4, 2021 with an effective date of December 31, 2020.

(3)    Discoveries are associated with the evaluation of the Royston area discovery on the Ortoire block.

(4)    Reserve amounts for Infill Drilling, Extensions and Improved Recovery are combined and reported as “Extensions and Improved Recovery”.

(5)    Technical revisions factor includes all changes in reserves due to well performance and previously booked wells which were drilled in the year.

(6)    The assets associated with three non-core properties were classified as held for sale with an effective date of December 31, 2021. The Company is currently awaiting regulatory approvals to close the asset dispositions.

(7)    Economic factors are the change in reserves exclusively due to changes in pricing.

In comparison to December 31, 2020 on a proved plus probable reserve basis, light and medium crude oil reserves increased 558 Mbbl from technical revisions, economic factors and drilling extensions in 2021. 222 Mbbl of the annual increase reflected improved well performance from our Coora, WD-4, WD-8, San Francique and Barrackpore blocks, and 316 Mbbl of this change was based on our 2021 drilling campaign at WD-4 and WD-8 resulting in drilling extension reserve additions. In addition, heavy crude oil was attributed downward technical revisions and economic factors of 21 Mbbl as of December 31, 2021, primarily due to reduced well performance at our Fyzabad block. Effective December 31, 2021, we sold our non-core New Dome, South Palo Seco, and Palo Seco properties, resulting in an aggregate decrease of 16 Mbbl.

Our successful Royston-1 exploration well drilled in 2021 on the Ortoire block led to a proved plus probable exploration discovery of 3,520 Mbbl of light and medium crude oil reserves in 2021. In addition, our Cascadura Deep-1 well which was tested in the first quarter of 2021 led to a 7,051 Mboe increase in proved plus probable conventional natural gas and NGL reserves as of December 31, 2021.

Future Development Costs

The following table provides information regarding the development costs deducted in the estimation of the Company’s future net revenue using forecast prices and costs as included in the Reserves Report.

Year ($000’s)1P2P3P
202227,70831,09831,098
202323,70037,35337,353
20248,12636,65036,650
202510,34114,54214,542
202610,13813,93113,931
Thereafter
Total undiscounted80,014133,574133,574
Total discounted at 10% per year67,375110,397110,397

The following table sets forth the changes in undiscounted future development costs included in the Reserves Report against such costs in our December 31, 2020 reserves report prepared by GLJ dated March 4, 2021.

($000’s unless otherwise stated)1P2P3P
Increase in forecasted well costs1,8593,1543,154
Increase in forecasted facility and pipeline costs3,8674,7074,707
Royston exploration discovery development costs18,36841,78641,786
Total increase in future development costs from 202024,09449,64749,647
Total increase in future development costs from 2020 (%)435959

Forecast Pricing and Costs

Forecast pricing and costs are prices and costs that are generally acceptable, in the opinion of GLJ, as being a reasonable outlook of the future as of the evaluation effective date. The forecast cost assumptions consider inflation with respect to future operating and capital costs. The following table sets forth the benchmark reference prices and inflation rates reflected in the Reserves Data as of December 31, 2021. These price assumptions were provided to the Company by GLJ and were GLJ’s then current forecast as of the date of the Reserves Report.

Summary of GLJ January 1, 2022 Forecast Prices and Inflation Rate Assumptions

Forecast YearBrent Spot Crude Oil(1)($/bbl)Henry Hub Natural Gas(1)($/MMBtu)Conway Condensate(1)($/bbl)Inflation Rate(% per year)
202276.003.8067.160.0
202372.513.5063.493.0
202471.243.1561.862.0
202572.663.2163.092.0
202674.123.2864.362.0
202775.593.3465.642.0
202877.113.4166.962.0
202978.663.4868.302.0
203080.223.5569.662.0
203181.833.6271.062.0
Thereafter+2.0% / year+2.0% / year+2.0% / year2.0

Note:

(1)    This summary table identifies benchmark reference pricing schedules that might apply to a reporting issuer. Product sales prices will reflect these reference prices with further adjustments for specific marketing arrangements, quality differentials and transportation to point of sale.

Capital Program Efficiency

 2021 2021 – 2019 Total
 1P2P1P2P
 
Estimated exploration and development capital expenditures(1) ($000’s)27,54627,54657,61757,617
Change in FDC ($000’s)24,09449,64734,01564,932
F&D costs(2),(4) ($000’s)51,64077,19391,632122,549
 
Reserve additions(2),(3) (Mboe)4,98511,09229,16857,931
 
F&D costs per boe(2),(4) ($/boe)10.366.963.142.12
 
Estimated operating netback(1),(4) ($/boe)26.5526.5522.8822.88
 
Recycle ratio(2),(4)2.6x3.8x7.3x10.8x

Notes:

(1)    Financial information is based on the Company’s preliminary 2021 unaudited financial statements and is therefore subject to change. See “Advisories: Unaudited Financial Information“.

(2)    See “Advisories: Reserves Advisory” and “Advisories: Oil and Gas Metrics“.

(3)    Based on gross reserves, which are the Company’s working interest share before deduction of royalties.

(4)    Non-GAAP financial measure or ratio. See “Advisories: Non-GAAP Financial Measures and Ratios“.

Touchstone Exploration Inc.

Touchstone Exploration Inc. is a Calgary, Alberta based company engaged in the business of acquiring interests in petroleum and natural gas rights and the exploration, development, production and sale of petroleum and natural gas. Touchstone is currently active in onshore properties located in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. The Company’s common shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange under the symbol “TXP”.

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