MEG Energy announces 2023 Capital Investment Plan and Operational Guidance


All financial figures are in Canadian dollars ($ or C$) and all references to barrels are per barrel of bitumen sales unless otherwise noted

CALGARY, AB, Nov. 28, 2022 /CNW/ – MEG Energy Corp. (TSX: MEG) (“MEG” or the “Corporation”) today announced its 2023 capital investment plan and operational guidance. Highlights include:

  • Annual production guidance of 100,000 to 105,000 bbls/d including a planned Q2 turnaround which will impact full year production by approximately 6,000 bbls/d;
  • Capital investments of $450 million;
  • Non-energy operating costs and general & administrative (“G&A”) expense guidance of $4.75 to $5.05/bbl and $1.70 to $1.90/bbl, respectively;
  • Effective Crown Royalty payments increasing to 20-25% of realized plant gate bitumen revenue as our Christina Lake project achieves royalty payout;
  • Free cash flow to be split equally between debt reduction and share buybacks as MEG executes its financial strategy and advances toward its US$600 million net debt target; and
  • Continued emphasis on operations excellence and safety leadership development

2023 Guidance

MEG’s production estimate represents an 8% increase from the top end of our revised 2022 production guidance.   Record production of 102,000 bbls/d in the third quarter of 2022 and greater than 110,000 bbls/d in October were achieved, and the 2023 estimate reflects sustained field and plant reliability throughout the year.  The annual production estimate also incorporates a second quarter turnaround in our Phase 1 & 2 facilities, which will impact the full year by approximately 6,000 bbls/d, as well as other maintenance activities.

MEG has capacity to ship 100,000 bbls/d of AWB blend sales, on a pre-apportionment basis, to the U.S. Gulf Coast market via its committed capacity on the Flanagan South and Seaway Pipeline systems (“FSP”).  In addition, 20,000 bbls/d of capacity is contracted on the TMX pipeline system to the Canadian west coast.  TMX is scheduled to come into service in the fourth quarter of 2023, which will further broaden MEG’s market access and position the company to optimize realized prices.

MEG’s improved balance sheet and strong operating performance, together with the current oil price environment, provide a solid foundation to fund the 2023 capital program.  As a result, no WTI or WTI:WCS differential hedges have been entered for 2023.

2023 Guidance (1)

Capital investment

$450 million

Production (average)

100,000 – 105,000 bbls/d

Non-energy operating costs

$4.75 – $5.05 per bbl

G&A expense

$1.70 – $1.90 per bbl


2023 guidance includes the impact of the scheduled second quarter turnaround which is expected to impact annual production by approximately 6,000 bbls/d.

2023 Capital Investment Summary


2023 Guidance

Well Pads & Redevelopment

$235 million

Facility & Field Infrastructure

$140 million


$55 million

Corporate, Other

$20 million


$450 million

MEG is focused on the delivery of safe and reliable operations from our Christina Lake asset.  We will continue to invest in our safety development program, for both employees and contractors, and to advance operational excellence.

The corporation’s continued focus on operational excellence is driving increased production at industry leading steam oil ratios (“SOR”) with reduced green-house gas (“GHG”) intensity.  This is being accomplished with enhanced completion designs, optimized inter-well spacing, short-cycle high return redevelopment projects and steam allocation techniques that are lowering field SOR ratios and associated GHG intensity.

Approximately 52%, or $235 million, of the program is allocated towards new well pads, gathering systems, and redevelopment drilling which will generate short-cycle production, improve resource recovery and reduce capital intensity.

An additional $140 million is directed toward facility and field infrastructure.  Investments in areas, such as high-pressure steam deployment, gas and water processing, reliability improvements, well work, and sulphur recovery will enhance facility utilization.

Turnaround activities, planned for the second quarter of 2023, comprise $55 million.

Budgeted 2023 capital costs reflect an estimated 7% year-over-year impact from inflationary and supply chain pressures.

Adjusted Funds Flow (“AFF”) Sensitivity

MEG’s production is entirely comprised of crude oil and AFF is highly correlated with crude oil benchmark prices.  The following table provides an annual sensitivity estimate to the most significant market variables.



2023 AFF Sensitivity1, 2 (C$mm)

WCS Differential (US$/bbl)

+/- US$1.00/bbl

+/- C$45mm

WTI (US$/bbl)

+/- US$1.00/bbl

+/- C$28mm

Condensate (US$/bbl)

+/- US$1.00/bbl

+/- C$14mm

Bitumen Production (bbls/d)

+/- 1,000 bbls/d

+/- C$13mm

Exchange Rate (C$/US$)

+/- $0.01

+/- C$9mm

Non-energy Opex (C$/bbl)

+/- C$0.25/bbl

+/- C$6mm

AECO Gas3 (C$/GJ)

+/- C$0.50/GJ

+/- C$2mm

1. Each sensitivity is independent of changes to other variables.
2. Assumes mid point of 2023 production guidance, US$80/bbl WTI, US$23/bbl WTI:AWB Edmonton discount, C$1.32/US$ F/X rate, condensate purchased at 100% of WTI and one bbl of bitumen per 1.44 bbls of blend sales (1.44 blend ratio).
3. Assumes 1.3 GJ/bbl of bitumen, 70% of 150 MW of power generation sold externally and a 30.0 heat rate (every $0.50/GJ change in AECO natural gas price changes the power price by C$15.00/MWh).

Capital Allocation Strategy

MEG is applying free cash flow to ongoing debt reduction and share buybacks.  Year-to-date the corporation has returned $304 million to shareholders by buying 16.3 million shares and has repurchased US$ 966 million (approximately $1,257 million) of debt.

The Corporation reached US$1.2 billion of net debt as at September 30, 2022 and has increased the percentage of free cash flow allocated to share buybacks to 50% with the remainder applied to further debt reduction.  This allocation will remain in place until net debt reaches US$600 million, which is expected to occur beyond 2023 at current oil prices.  Once the net debt floor of US$ 600 million is reached 100% of free cash flow will be returned to shareholders.

Pathways Alliance

MEG and its Pathways Alliance (“Alliance”) partners are making significant progress in advancing the early work required to build one of the world’s largest carbon capture and storage (“CCS”) facilities.  The goals of this unique alliance and project are to support Canada in meeting its climate commitments, position Canada as the preferred global supplier of crude oil and to achieve net zero GHG emissions from oil sands operations by 2050.

Stakeholder engagement and engineering work to develop the project is already underway.  The Alliance has progressed engagement with more than 20 Indigenous communities along the proposed CO2 storage corridor, completed pre-engineering for the CO2 pipeline and is conducting field programs to support regulatory applications and engineering studies related to the CO2 capture facilities.  On October 4, 2022 the Alliance was one of 19 CCS proposals chosen to proceed to the next stage of evaluation by the Alberta government.  The Alliance partners have identified $24.1 billion of investments in CCS and other emissions projects as part of the first phase of its goal to reduce emissions by 22 million tonnes per year by 2030 and reach net zero emissions from the oil sands by 2050.

Alliance work also continues with the Federal and Alberta governments on the appropriate co-investment mechanisms, in addition to the planned Federal Investment Tax Credit, required to get major CCS projects off the drawing board and into the field.




You can read more of the news on source

Related posts