Gran Tierra Energy Inc. Announces 2023 Guidance

  • 2023 Capital Expenditure Budget of $210-250 Million, Expected 2023 Cash Flow1 of $270-320 Million in Base Case
  • Plan to Drill 18-23 Development Wells and 4-6 Exploration/Appraisal Wells
  • Forecast 2023 Production of 32,000-34,000 BOPD, an Increase of 8% from 2022 and 24% from 2021
  • Forecast 2023 Free Cash Flow2 of $135 Million Before Exploration, $65 Million After Exploration in Base Case

CALGARY, Alberta, Dec. 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gran Tierra Energy Inc. ("Gran Tierra" or the "Company") (NYSE American:GTE)(TSX:GTE)(LSE:GTE) today announced its 2023 capital budget and production guidance. All dollar amounts are in United States dollars and all production volumes are on a working interest before royalties basis and are expressed in barrels ("bbl") of oil per day ("BOPD"), unless otherwise stated.

Key Highlights:

  • 2023 Guidance:
    • Gran Tierra is forecasting the following ranges for the Company's 2023 budget:
2023 BudgetLow CaseBase CaseHigh Case
Average Brent Oil Price ($/bbl)75.0085.0095.00
Total Company Production (BOPD)32,000-34,00032,000-34,00032,000-34,000
Operating Netback4 ($ million)380-430470-520550-600
EBITDA3 ($ million)350-400440-490510-560
Cash Flow1 ($ million)230-280270-320310-360
Total Capital ($ million)210-250210-250210-250
Free Cash Flow2 ($ million)2565105
Number of Development Wells (gross)18-2318-2318-23
Number of Exploration/Appraisal Wells (gross)4-64-64-6
  • 2023 Capital Program - Profitable Production Growth and High Impact Exploration:
    • Gran Tierra has a large, diversified development and exploration portfolio in Colombia and Ecuador. The Company's planned 2023 capital program is a balanced program between development and optimization of existing assets and potentially high-impact exploration.
    • Development: Gran Tierra expects to allocate approximately 70% of its 2023 capital program towards development activities in its core assets in Colombia. The Company plans to drill 10 to 12 development wells in the Acordionero oil field in the Middle Magdalena Valley Basin. Acordionero's 2023 plans also include drilling pad extensions, expanded polymer injection pilots (after encouraging 2022 results), and ongoing waterflood optimization. In the Putumayo Basin, Gran Tierra plans to drill 6 to 8 development wells in the Costayaco oil field and 2 to 3 development wells in the Moqueta oil field. The Company expects to execute its Colombian development drilling campaign during the first half of 2023.
    • Exploration: Approximately 30% of the Company's 2023 capital program is expected to be allocated to exploration activities and the drilling of 4 to 6 exploration/appraisal wells in Colombia and Ecuador. Gran Tierra's 2023 exploration drilling is planned to follow up on the encouraging results from the Company's 2022 exploration program. The Company focuses its exploration program on short-cycle time, near-field prospects in proven basins with access to infrastructure.
  • Fully Funded Capital Program Generating Free Cash Flow2: Gran Tierra's mid-point Base Case 2023 capital budget of $230 million is expected to be fully funded from the Base Case 2023 mid-point cash flow1 forecast of $295 million, based on an assumed average $85.00/bbl Brent oil price. The Company's midpoint Base Case 2023 EBITDA3 guidance of $465 million is well above the midpoint of the Base Case 2023 capital budget of $230 million. Gran Tierra remains focused on generating strong free cash flow2, ongoing net debt5 reduction via bond buybacks and shareholder returns via share buybacks.
  • Control of Capital Program: Gran Tierra has 100% working interest in and operatorship of the Company's major assets in Colombia and Ecuador. This full control gives the Company the flexibility to quickly optimize its development and exploration programs with changes, either up or down, in oil prices.
  • Impact of Colombian Tax Reforms: After accounting for Colombia's recently enacted tax reforms, Gran Tierra's mid-point Base Case 2023 budget is expected to incur 2023 current taxes of approximately $110 to $130 million (payable in second quarter 2024).

Message to Shareholders

Gary Guidry, President and Chief Executive Officer of Gran Tierra, commented: "Our teams' excellent work throughout 2022 has strongly positioned the Company for continued development and enhanced oil recovery activities in 2023 to optimize the value from each of our producing assets in Colombia. In addition, we plan to allocate about 30% of our 2023 capital program to prioritized exploration drilling opportunities in Colombia and Ecuador to follow up on our exciting initial exploration results in that 2022.

Our forecast 2023 capital budget is a balanced, returns-focused program which is expected to provide free cash flow2 generation, ongoing strengthening of our balance sheet, shareholder returns via share buybacks, optimization of ultimate oil reserves value and exposure to exploration upside. We see material potential in our exploration portfolio located in highly prospective geological trends in Ecuador and Colombia. We believe Gran Tierra is well-positioned to navigate the current volatile environment with our low base decline, conventional oil asset base and the operational control for capital allocation and timing, while maintaining a low-cost structure and the safety of our people."

1 "Cash flow" refers to line item "net cash provided by operating activities" under generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America ("GAAP").
2 "Free cash flow" is a non-GAAP measure and does not have a standardized meaning under GAAP. Free cash flow is defined as "net cash provided by operating activities" less capital expenditures. Refer to "Non-GAAP Measures" in this press release. Forecast 2023 free cash flow of $135 million "before exploration" is equal to the Base Case midpoint cash flow of $295 million less the Base Case midpoint total capital of $230 million, with Base Case midpoint exploration-only capital of approximately $70 million added back. Forecast 2023 free cash flow of $65 million "after exploration" is equal to the Base Case midpoint cash flow of $295 million less the Base Case midpoint total capital of $230 million. Free cash flows in the table above are the midpoints of the ranges of cash flows less the midpoints of the ranges of capital expenditures for each oil price scenario.
3 Earnings before interest, taxes and depletion, depreciation and accretion ("EBITDA") is a non-GAAP measure and does not have a standardized meaning under GAAP. Refer to "Non-GAAP Measures" in this press release.
4 "Operating netback" is a non-GAAP measures and does not have standardized meaning under GAAP. Refer to "Non-GAAP Measures" in this press release.
5 Net debt is defined as GAAP total debt before deferred financing fees less cash.

Contact Information

For investor and media inquiries please contact:

Gary Guidry
President & Chief Executive Officer

Ryan Ellson
Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

Rodger Trimble
Vice President, Investor Relations

+1-403-265-3221

info@grantierra.com

About Gran Tierra Energy Inc.

Gran Tierra Energy Inc. together with its subsidiaries is an independent international energy company currently focused on oil and natural gas exploration and production in Colombia and Ecuador. The Company is currently developing its existing portfolio of assets in Colombia and Ecuador and will continue to pursue additional new growth opportunities that would further strengthen the Company's portfolio. The Company's common stock trades on the NYSE American, the Toronto Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol GTE. Additional information concerning Gran Tierra is available at www.grantierra.com. Information on the Company's website does not constitute a part of this press release. Investor inquiries may be directed to info@grantierra.com or (403) 265-3221.

Gran Tierra's Securities and Exchange Commission filings are available on the SEC website at http://www.sec.gov. The Company's Canadian securities regulatory filings are available on SEDAR at http://www.sedar.com and UK regulatory filings are available on the National Storage Mechanism website at https://data.fca.org.uk/#/nsm/nationalstoragemechanism.

Forward Looking Statements and Legal Advisories:

This press release contains opinions, forecasts, projections, and other statements about future events or results that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and financial outlook and forward looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws (collectively, "forward-looking statements"). The use of the words "expect", "plan", "can," "will," "should," "guidance," "forecast," "signal," "measures taken to" and "believes", derivations thereof and similar terms identify forward-looking statements. In particular, but without limiting the foregoing, this press release contains forward-looking statements regarding: the Company's capital budget amount and uses; ability of hedges to protect cash flows, the Company's strategies related to drilling and operation activities; expectations regarding reservoir prospects and production amounts; future well results (including initial oil production rates and productive capacity based on past performance); expected future net cash provided by operating activities (described in this press release as "cash flow"), free cash flow, operating netback, EBITDA and certain associated metrics; anticipated capital expenditures, including the location and impact of capital expenditures; operating and general and administrative costs; production guidance for 2022 and 2023; the impact of the Company's COVID-19 protocols; and the Company's expectations as to debt repayment, share repurchases and its positioning for 2022 and 2023. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release reflect several material factors and expectations and assumptions of Gran Tierra including, without limitation, that Gran Tierra will continue to conduct its operations in a manner consistent with its current expectations, pricing and cost estimates (including with respect to commodity pricing and exchange rates), and the general continuance of assumed operational, regulatory and industry conditions in Colombia and Ecuador, and the ability of Gran Tierra to execute its business and operational plans in the manner currently planned.

Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements in this press release are: Gran Tierra's operations are located in South America and unexpected problems can arise due to guerilla activity or local blockades, strikes or protests; technical difficulties and operational difficulties may arise which impact the production, transport or sale of our products; other disruptions to local operations; global health events (including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic); global and regional changes in the demand, supply, prices, differentials or other market conditions affecting oil and gas, including inflation and changes resulting from a global health crisis or from the imposition or lifting of crude oil production quotas or other actions that might be imposed by OPEC and other producing countries and the resulting company or third-party actions in response to such changes; changes in commodity prices, including volatility or a decline in these prices relative to historical or future expected levels; the risk that current global economic and credit conditions may impact oil prices and oil consumption more than Gran Tierra currently predicts, which could cause Gran Tierra to further modify its strategy and capital spending program; prices and markets for oil and natural gas are unpredictable and volatile; the accuracy of productive capacity of any particular field; geographic, political and weather conditions can impact the production, transport or sale of our products; the ability of Gran Tierra to execute its business plan and realize expected benefits from current initiatives; the risk that unexpected delays and difficulties in developing currently owned properties may occur; the ability to replace reserves and production and develop and manage reserves on an economically viable basis; the accuracy of testing and production results and seismic data, pricing and cost estimates (including with respect to commodity pricing and exchange rates); the effect of hedges; the risk profile of planned exploration activities; the effects of drilling down-dip; the effects of waterflood and multi-stage fracture stimulation operations; the extent and effect of delivery disruptions, equipment performance and costs; actions by third parties; the timely receipt of regulatory or other required approvals for our operating activities; the failure of exploratory drilling to result in commercial wells; unexpected delays due to the limited availability of drilling equipment and personnel; volatility or declines in the trading price of our common stock or bonds; the risk that Gran Tierra does not receive the anticipated benefits of government programs, including government tax refunds; Gran Tierra's ability to comply with financial covenants in its credit agreement and indentures and make borrowings under its credit agreement; and the risk factors detailed from time to time in Gran Tierra's periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, under the caption "Risk Factors" in Gran Tierra's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021 and its other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These filings are available on the Securities and Exchange Commission website at http://www.sec.gov and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based on certain assumptions made by Gran Tierra based on management's experience and other factors believed to be appropriate. Gran Tierra believes these assumptions to be reasonable at this time, but the forward-looking statements are subject to risk and uncertainties, many of which are beyond Gran Tierra's control, which may cause actual results to differ materially from those implied or expressed by the forward looking statements. In particular, the unprecedented nature of the current economic downturn, pandemic and industry decline may make it particularly difficult to identify risks or predict the degree to which identified risks will impact Gran Tierra's business and financial condition. All forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release and the fact that this press release remains available does not constitute a representation by Gran Tierra that Gran Tierra believes these forward-looking statements continue to be true as of any subsequent date. Actual results may vary materially from the expected results expressed in forward-looking statements. Gran Tierra disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as expressly required by applicable law.

The estimates of future production, EBITDA, net cash provided by operating activities (described in this press release as "cash flow"), free cash flow, operating netback, total capital, taxes and certain expenses and costs may be considered to be future-oriented financial information or a financial outlook for the purposes of applicable Canadian securities laws. Financial outlook and future-oriented financial information contained in this press release about prospective financial performance, financial position or cash flows are provided to give the reader a better understanding of the potential future performance of the Company in certain areas and are based on assumptions about future events, including economic conditions and proposed courses of action, based on management's assessment of the relevant information currently available, and to become available in the future. In particular, this press release contains projected operational and financial information for 2023. These projections contain forward-looking statements and are based on a number of material assumptions and factors set out above. Actual results may differ significantly from the projections presented herein. The actual results of Gran Tierra's operations for any period could vary from the amounts set forth in these projections, and such variations may be material. See above for a discussion of the risks that could cause actual results to vary. The future-oriented financial information and financial outlooks contained in this press release have been approved by management as of the date of this press release. Readers are cautioned that any such financial outlook and future-oriented financial information contained herein should not be used for purposes other than those for which it is disclosed herein. The Company and its management believe that the prospective financial information has been prepared on a reasonable basis, reflecting management's best estimates and judgments, and represent, to the best of management's knowledge and opinion, the Company's expected course of action. However, because this information is highly subjective, it should not be relied on as necessarily indicative of future results.

Presentation of Oil and Gas Information

This press release contains certain oil and gas metrics, including operating netback, which do not have standardized meanings or standard methods of calculation and therefore such measures may not be comparable to similar measures used by other companies and should not be used to make comparisons. Such metrics are calculated as described in this press release and have been included herein to provide readers with additional measures to evaluate the Company's performance; however, such measures are not reliable indicators of the future performance of the Company and future performance may not compare to the performance in previous periods.

References to a formation where evidence of hydrocarbons has been encountered is not necessarily an indicator that hydrocarbons will be recoverable in commercial quantities or in any estimated volume. Gran Tierra's reported production is a mix of light crude oil and medium and heavy crude oil for which there is no precise breakdown since the Company's oil sales volumes typically represent blends of more than one type of crude oil. Well test results should be considered as preliminary and not necessarily indicative of long-term performance or of ultimate recovery. Well log interpretations indicating oil and gas accumulations are not necessarily indicative of future production or ultimate recovery. If it is indicated that a pressure transient analysis or well-test interpretation has not been carried out, any data disclosed in that respect should be considered preliminary until such analysis has been completed. References to thickness of "oil pay" or of a formation where evidence of hydrocarbons has been encountered is not necessarily an indicator that hydrocarbons will be recoverable in commercial quantities or in any estimated volume.

Non-GAAP Measures

This press release includes forward-looking non-GAAP financial measures as further described herein. These non-GAAP measures do not have a standardized meaning under GAAP. Investors are cautioned that these measures should not be construed as an alternative to net income or loss or other measures of financial performance as determined in accordance with GAAP. Gran Tierra's method of calculating these measures may differ from other companies and, accordingly, it may not be comparable to similar measures used by other companies. These non-GAAP financial measures are presented along with the corresponding GAAP measure so as to not imply that more emphasis should be placed on the non-GAAP measure.

Gran Tierra is unable to provide forward-looking net income, net cash provided by operating activities, and oil and gas sales, the GAAP measures most directly comparable to the non-GAAP measures EBITDA, free cash flow and operating netback, respectively, due to the impracticality of quantifying certain components required by GAAP as a result of the inherent volatility in the value of certain financial instruments held by the Company and the inability to quantify the effectiveness of commodity price derivatives used to manage the variability in cash flows associated with the forecasted sale of its oil production and changes in commodity prices.

Operating netback as presented is defined as projected 2023 oil and gas sales less projected 2023 operating and transportation expenses. The most directly comparable GAAP measures are oil and gas sales and oil and gas sales price, respectively. Management believes that operating netback is useful supplemental measures for management and investors to analyze financial performance and provides an indication of the results generated by our principal business activities prior to the consideration of other income and expenses. Gran Tierra is unable to provide a quantitative reconciliation of either forward-looking operating netback to its most directly comparable forward-looking GAAP measure because management cannot reliably predict certain of the necessary components of such forward-looking GAAP measures.

EBITDA as presented is defined as projected 2023 net income adjusted for DD&A expenses, interest expense and income tax expense or recovery. The most directly comparable GAAP measure is net income. Management uses this financial measure to analyze performance and income or loss generated by our principal business activities prior to the consideration of how non-cash items affect that income, and believes that this financial measure is also useful supplemental information for investors to analyze performance and our financial results. Gran Tierra is unable to provide a quantitative reconciliation of forward-looking EBITDA to its most directly comparable forward-looking GAAP measure because management cannot reliably predict certain of the necessary components of such forward-looking GAAP measure.

Free cash flow as presented is defined as GAAP projected "net cash provided by operating activities" less projected 2023 capital spending. The most directly comparable GAAP measure is net cash provided by operating activities. Management believes that free cash flow is a useful supplemental measure for management and investors to in order to evaluate the financial sustainability of the Company's business. Gran Tierra is unable to provide a quantitative reconciliation of forward-looking free cash flow to its most directly comparable forward-looking GAAP measure because management cannot reliably predict certain of the necessary components of such forward-looking GAAP measure.



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