Murphy Oil Corporation Announces First Quarter Financial and Operating Results

Source Press Release
Company Murphy Oil Corporation 
Tags Montney, Eagle Ford, Duvernay, Unconventional Resources, Strategy - Upstream, Capital Spending, Guidance, Strategy - Corporate, Financial & Operating Data
Date May 02, 2019

Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE: MUR) today announced its financial and operating results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019, including net income attributable to Murphy of $40 million, or $0.23 per diluted share. Adjusted net income, which excludes discontinued operations and other one-off items, was $27 million, or $0.15 per diluted share.

On March 21, 2019, Murphy announced the divestiture of its Malaysia assets. Beginning with the first quarter 2019, Malaysian operations will be reported as “discontinued operations” and classified as “held for sale” for financial reporting purposes. Unless otherwise noted, the financial and operating highlights and metrics discussed in this commentary, will exclude discontinued operations and noncontrolling interest.1

Highlights for the first quarter include:

  • Signed a purchase and sale agreement to divest Malaysia assets for $2.127 billion cash, with an expected book gain of $0.9 billion to $1.0 billion
  • Realized adjusted EBITDAX over $24 per barrel of oil equivalent sold
  • Obtained operatorship approval from regulators for Gulf of Mexico assets acquired from Petrobras America Inc.

Highlights subsequent to quarter end include:

  • Signed purchase and sale agreement to acquire accretive, oil-weighted Gulf of Mexico assets for $1.375 billion
  • Drilled a discovery in Block 15-1/05 in the Cuu Long Basin in Vietnam with the LDT-1X exploration well
  • Entered into 20,000 barrels per day of new fixed price oil swaps for the remainder of 2019 and full year 2020


The company recorded net income, attributable to Murphy, of $40 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, for the first quarter 2019. The company reported adjusted net income, which excludes both the results of discontinued operations and certain other items that affect comparability of results between periods, of $27 million, or $0.15 per diluted share. The adjusted income from continuing operations excludes the following after-tax items: a $13 million write-off of previously suspended exploration well costs, an $11 million mark-to-market non-cash expense related to the valuation of potential Petrobras America Inc. (“PAI”) contingent consideration, and a $10 million charge for non-recurring PAI transition service fees. Details for first quarter results can be found in the attached schedules.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) from continuing operations attributable to Murphy, totaled $311 million, or $23.00 per barrel of oil equivalent (BOE) sold. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and exploration expenses (EBITDAX) from continuing operations attributable to Murphy, totaled $330 million, or $24.43 per BOE sold. Details for first quarter EBITDA and EBITDAX reconciliation can be found in the attached schedules.

Production from continuing operations in the first quarter averaged 148 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBOEPD) with production from discontinued operations averaging 44 MBOEPD. Production from continuing operations was below plan due to the following reasons; North American onshore business production was lower than expected by 4,400 BOEPD, with the majority in the Eagle Ford Shale where 3,500 BOEPD was due to a significant delay in the execution of a ten well pad along with offset frac impacts. Production levels were also impacted by higher than planned downtime at key facilities along with historically higher than normal failure rates on artificial lift systems that impacted high volume wells. The onshore Canada business was lower than expected by 900 BOEPD due primarily to third party mid-stream specification constraints causing production from three new high-rate Kaybob Duvernay wells to be shut in coupled with cold weather in the region causing unplanned shut ins. The North American offshore business had a negative variance of 2,100 BOEPD of which 1,500 BOEPD was the result of a royalty adjustment due to cumulative productionlevels in a newly acquired Gulf of Mexico field, and lower than planned production levels at other smaller Gulf of Mexico fields.

Details for first quarter production can be found in the attached schedules.

“The first quarter was an extremely busy quarter at Murphy. We demonstrated again that we are proven deal-makers by successfully executing agreements to divest our Malaysia assets, which are becoming gassier, followed shortly thereafter by an agreement to re-deploy the expected proceeds by acquiring oil-weighted, tax-advantaged Gulf of Mexico assets further enhancing our ability to generate cash flow. While our lower than planned production across our North American business was disappointing, many of the causes were one-off events and are now behind us with productionstabilized as we move into the second quarter. As always, we remain committed to rewarding shareholders with cash returns through our long-standing competitive dividend, along with beginning to execute our recently Board-approved share repurchase, all while keeping forward investment in our assets in line with cash flows,” stated Roger W. Jenkins, President and Chief Executive Officer.


As of March 31, 2019, the company had $2.8 billion of outstanding long-term, fixed-rate notes, $325 million of borrowings on the $1.6 billion unsecured senior credit facility, and approximately $286 million in cash and cash equivalents, net to Murphy at quarter end. The fixed-rate notes had a weighted average maturity of 7.5 years and a weighted average coupon of 5.5 percent.


On March 21, 2019, the company announced it signed a purchase and sale agreement to divest the fully issued share capital of the subsidiaries that own Murphy’s Malaysia assets, to a subsidiary of PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited (“PTTEP”). PTTEP will pay Murphy $2.127 billionin an all-cash transaction, payable upon closing and subject to customary closing adjustments, plus up to a $100 million bonus payment contingent upon certain future exploratory drilling results prior to October 2020. The transaction has an effective economic valuation date of January 1, 2019.

Since announcing the divestiture, significant progress has been made toward a closing in the second quarter 2019. Closing of the transaction is subject to customary conditions precedent including, among other things, necessary regulatory approvals. Under the terms of the transaction, Murphy will exit the country of Malaysia. The expected gain on the sale of the assets is estimated to be between $0.9 billion to $1.0 billion.

At year end 2018, the proved reserves (1P) net to Murphy attributable to Malaysia, were 129 million barrels of oil equivalent (Mmboe), which represented 16 percent of the company’s total proved reserves at that time. Of the 129 Mmboe of proved reserves, 70 Mmboe are characterized as proved undeveloped. The proved reserves are comprised of 78 Mmboe of natural gas and 51 million barrels (Mmbbl) of liquids. As previously disclosed, full year 2019 production from Malaysia was estimated to be 46 to 48 MBOEPD.


Subsequent to quarter end, Murphy announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Murphy Exploration& Production Company – USA, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire deep water Gulf of Mexico assets from LLOG Exploration Offshore, L.L.C. and LLOG Bluewater Holdings, L.L.C., (“LLOG”). The accretive, cash flow providing Gulf of Mexico assets currently produce approximately 38,000 BOEPD and are expected to add approximately 66 Mmboe of proved reserves and 122 Mmboe of proved and probable (2P) reserves2. The proved reserves are comprised of 16 Mmboe of natural gas and 51 Mmbbl of liquids. The transaction will have an effective date of January 1, 2019 and is expected to close in the second quarter, subject to normal closing adjustments. The new assets have an estimated 2019 annualized production range of 32 to 35 MBOEPD.

Murphy will pay a cash consideration of $1.375 billion. Additional contingent consideration payments are based on the following: up to $200 million in the event that revenue from certain properties exceeds certain contractual thresholds between 2019 and 2022; $50 million following first oil from certain development projects.

“Over the past seven months Murphy has undertaken three major transactions as part of the strategic transformation to focus our company primarily in the western hemisphere with oil-weighted growth that can generate significant after tax cash flow for many years. Viewed in combination, our sale of Malaysia along with the purchase of two Gulf of Mexico assets illustrates very compelling metrics across all fronts. We look forward to closing the transactions during the second quarter and executing on our new long range plan,” stated Jenkins.


North American Onshore

The North American onshore business produced approximately 86 MBOEPD in the first quarter.

Eagle Ford Shale – Production in the quarter averaged approximately 36 MBOEPD, with 86 percent liquids. The company brought 13 operated wells online during the quarter, of which four were in the Tilden area and nine were in the Karnes area. The nine Karnes wells were completed with four in the Upper Eagle Ford Shale and five in the Lower Eagle Ford Shale, and due to a variety of delays, flowed only two days in the quarter. The nine new wells had high 30 day (IP30 rate) rates averaging over 1,700 BOEPD, with the Upper Eagle Ford Shale wells averaging over 1,400 BOEPD IP30 with the Lower Eagle Ford Shale wells average exceeding 2,100 BOEPD. The 2019 Eagle Ford Shale drillingand completion schedule has been amended to include a slightly higher average well count per pad. As compared to the original plan, the company now plans to bring two additional wells online, bringing the total wells online to 92.

“Following a weak production month for March in our Eagle Ford Shale business we are back on track with production increasing daily as volumes are currently approaching 44,000 BOEPD. With almost 80 percent of our planned wells to come online in the second and third quarters, we expect to see continued strong growth in this asset,” commented Jenkins.

Tupper Montney – Natural gas production in the quarter averaged 223 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD). As planned, the company brought three operated wells online during the quarter. As a result of the company’s sales price diversification and hedging strategy, Murphy achieved a natural gas price of C$2.98 per million cubic feet per day AECO for the Tupper Montney.

Kaybob Duvernay – During the quarter production averaged approximately 10 MBOEPD with 61 percent liquids. As planned, the company brought four operated wells online: a three well pad in Simonette and one well in Kaybob North. Due to a third party mid-stream specification constraint, the three well pad in Simonette was unable to flow to sales for the entire quarter. For future productionforecasts, it is assumed that the three wells will not produce for the remainder of the year. The one well in Kaybob North achieved an IP30 rate of over 830 BOEPD with 89 liquids with restricted flow rates.

As a result of reviewing land retention plans and capital allocation, Murphy has elected to drill and complete fewer wells in the Kaybob Duvernay based on the current market conditions. The company expects to bring seven wells online as compared to the previously planned twelve wells. The lower well count also includes the three well pad that was unable to flow due to third party mid-stream constraints.

Global Offshore

The offshore business produced 62 MBOEPD for the first quarter, with 96 percent liquids. This excludes production from discontinued operations.

North America – Production in the quarter for the Gulf of Mexico averaged 54 MBOEPD, with 95 percent liquids. Canada offshore averaged 8 MBOEPD.

Significant planning for 2019 rig operations took place in the first quarter. The company has solidified its rig and partner plans to drill a development well at Dalmatian field in the second quarter. That operation will be followed by the drilling of the Hoffe Park exploration well in Mississippi Canyon 122. Following that exploration well, the contracted rig will move onto the Cascade #5 well to repair a subsea safety valve that is expected to revive production levels, with an anticipated increase of approximately 7,500 BOEPD gross. In additional development work, there will be a rig placed on the Medusa facility late in the second quarter for a one well workover. A different rig will move to Front Runner to sidetrack and complete a three well program commencing in the fourth quarter.

Vietnam – Early in 2019, Murphy received the Declaration of Commerciality for the LDV field and expects to move forward with sanction of the field development later this year.


Mexico Exploration – During the first quarter, the company drilled a discovery with its first exploration test on Block 5 in the Salinas Basin, offshore Mexico. The Cholula-1EXP exploration well reached a total depth (TD) of over 8,800 feet in approximately 2,300 feet of water. The well was spud and drilled to total depth in less than 30 days with a drilling cost of approximately $12 million net to Murphy. The exploration well discovered hydrocarbons in the upper Miocene target objectives, encountering approximately 185 feet of net pay. The results of the well have significantly de-risked the block and the company is currently evaluating future appraisal plans. Murphy’s subsidiary, Murphy Sur, S. de R.L. de C.V., is the operator of Block 5 holding a 30 percent working interest (WI). Partners in the block are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Petrolium Nasional Berhad (“PETRONAS”) (23.34 percent WI), Ophir Energy (23.33 percent WI) and Sierra Oil and Gas (23.33 percent WI).

Vietnam Exploration – Murphy drilled a discovery in the LDT-1X exploration well in Block 15-1/05 in the Cuu Long Basin in Vietnam. The well completed drilling operations in April drilling to a TD of 14,090 feet measured depth at a net cost to Murphy of approximately $13 million. The well successfully encountered approximately 320 feet of net oil pay in the primary objective and an additional 62 feet of net oil pay in a secondary objective. The LDT-1X discovery will be incorporated into the development of the adjacent LDV field where Murphy is operator and progressing toward first oil in 2021. Murphy’s subsidiary, Murphy Cuu Long Bac Oil Co., Ltd, is the operator of the block and holds 40 percent WI in Block 15-1/05. Partners in the block include  PetroVietnam Exploration and Production Company(“PVEP”) with 35 percent carried interest and SK Innovation (“SKI”) with a 25 percent interest.

“I am extremely pleased with the early success of our 2019 exploration program. Our drilling team did an outstanding job executing a pace-setter well in Mexico that allows us to dramatically improve the economics for the development of the block. The well confirms our view of the highly prospective Block 5 and, along with our partners, we are planning a Cholula appraisal and further explorationprogram in 2020. While it is too early to quantify ultimate volumes without additional appraisal, we are excited to have successfully encountered pay in all of our objectives in an oil-charged system. We especially look forward to incorporating the well results into multiple look-a-like prospects that are near the Cholula well,” Jenkins stated. “In Vietnam, the LDT-1X well has met our pre-drill expectations and is a positive resource addition to our growing business in the country, with the oil reservoir section having properties exceeding our pre drill estimates. The data collected from the well also yielded valuable information that will be utilized in future exploration activity on Block 15-1/05.”

Gulf of Mexico Exploration – During the third quarter, Murphy plans to spud the Hoffe Parkexploration well in Mississippi Canyon 122 targeting a gross mean volume of 75 Mmboe at a 60 percent working interest.


The company employs derivative commodity instruments to manage certain risks associated with commodity prices and to underpin capital spending associated with certain assets. Subsequent to quarter end, Murphy entered into WTI based fixed price derivative swaps as detailed in the table below.

Hedge & Fixed Price Sales Open Positions, as of April 30, 2019 
                    Remaining Period 
Area    Commodity    Type    Volume
  Start Date    End Date 
U.S.    WTI    Fixed Price Derivative Swap    20,000    $63.64    May 1, 2019    Dec. 31, 2019 
U.S.    WTI    Fixed Price Derivative Swap    20,000    $60.10    Jan. 1, 2020    Dec. 31, 2020 

Currently, Murphy has the following natural gas fixed price forward sales as detailed in the table below.

Fixed Price Sales Open Positions, as of April 30, 2019 
                    Remaining Period 
Area    Commodity    Type    Volume
  Start Date    End Date 
Montney    Natural Gas    Fixed Price Forward
Sales at AECO 
  59    $2.81    Jan. 1, 2019    Dec. 31, 2020 


Subsequent to quarter end, Murphy released its 2019 Sustainability Report. This inaugural online report reinforces the strategic importance of responsible oil and natural gas development while investing in local communities. Highlights from the report include; safeguarding people conducting business in a manner that protects the health, safety and security of everyone who works for and alongside Murphy, protecting the environment and practicing conservation by committing to minimize environmental impact through comprehensive policies, resource efficiency, and emission reduction programs; and, investing in and engaging with local communities where Murphy employees live and work with the commitment to making a lasting difference.

To view an electronic version of Murphy’s 2019 Sustainability Report, visit .


Murphy’s previously disclosed capital program had a range of $1.25 to $1.45 billion. The Malaysiabusiness as previously disclosed had a capital program of $109 million. With Malaysia capitalremoved, the new range of estimated capital spend for continuing operations is $1.15 to $1.35 billion. This range does not include new capital that will be allocated to the recently announcement agreement to acquire Gulf of Mexico assets as the company will update upon the closing. Full yearproduction guidance will be updated following the closing of the recently announced Gulf of Mexicoacquisition.

For the second quarter Murphy estimates that production will be 143 to 147 MBOEPD. This level of production is below that of the first quarter due to significant planned downtime events at the non-operated St. Malo field where planned maintenance is scheduled for approximately 22 days as well as a planned outage at the Tupper Montney non-operated gas plants for approximately 11 days in the second quarter. The company has historically experienced major planned downtime events in the second quarter of each year associated with offshore assets and as such, second quarter productionhas been lower than the first quarter for three of the last four years.

The operated onshore well cadence for the year is updated to include the following revisions, two additional Eagle Ford Wells and six less wells it the Kaybob Duvernay.

2019 Operated Onshore Wells Online 
      1Q 2019A      2Q 2019E      3Q 2019E      4Q 2019E      2019 TotalE 
Eagle Ford Shale      13      23      35      21      92 
Kaybob Duvernay                     
Tupper Montney                     
Placid Montney                     

“At this time our capital and production ranges are simply a reduction of our discontinued operations in Malaysia being removed from our ongoing business. We are especially keen to maintain capitalspending for our continuing business at planned levels and annual production guidance will be updated following the closing of our latest Gulf of Mexico transaction later this quarter. As usual, our goal remains to keep spending levels, including our dividend in line with cash flow,” commented Jenkins.

Detailed guidance for the second quarter is contained in the following schedule.


Murphy will host a conference call to discuss first quarter 2019 financial and operating results on Thursday, May 2, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. ET. The call can be accessed either via the Internet through the Investor Relations section of Murphy Oil’s website at  or via the telephone by dialing toll free 1-888-886-7786, reservation number 11507639.


Summary financial data and operating statistics for first quarter 2019, 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 and schedules comparing EBITDA and EBITDAX between periods are included with these schedules as well as guidance for the second quarter 2019.

1With the close of the previously announced Gulf of Mexico transaction in the fourth quarter 2018, and in accordance with GAAP, Murphy reports the 100 percent interest, including a 20 percent noncontrolling interest (NCI), in its new subsidiary, MP Gulf of Mexico, LLC (MP GOM). The GAAP financials will 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, will exclude the NCI, thereby representing only the amounts attributable to Murphy.

2Transaction reserves are based on internal engineering estimates as of January 1, 2019, using strip prices in effect on April 3, 2019.

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