Wentworth Resources (AIM: WEN), the independent, Tanzania-focused natural gas production company, is pleased to announce the following operational update.
· The health and safety of our employees is always our priority and robust precautionary measures remain in place to ensure the continued safety of our staff; to date, there have been zero reported cases of COVID-19 at Mnazi Bay
· Mnazi Bay continues to remain fully operational with no adverse impact on supply from the pandemic
· 2020 annual production guidance remains on track to average between 60 - 70 MMscf/d (gross)
· As projected, production volumes were higher in Q3 2020 at 68.8 MMscf/d (gross) compared to 58.3 MMscf/d (gross) for H1 2020, due to increased demand as a result of the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions; production volumes have also risen during Q4 2020
· Mnazi Bay is well-positioned to supply increased gas volumes and support incremental demand growth as seen in Q4 2020 and expected in 2021, with the capacity to supply volumes of 100 MMscf/d (gross)
· Interim dividend of $1.2 million declared, an increase of 20% from H1 2019 ($1.0 million), bringing thetotal dividend distribution declared in the last 12 months to $4.2 million
· Revenues of $15.0 million to October 2020, underpinned by long-term fixed price contracts with the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania
· Adjusted EBITDAX of $7.9 million
· Debt free with $17 million cash on hand at 31 October 2020
· Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation ("TPDC") continues to be fully current with payments
· 2020 annual production guidance range of 60 - 70 MMscf/day (gross) remains on track
· 63.8 MMscf/d for the period 1 January 2020 to 30 November 2020 and 74.2 MMscf/d for the month of November 2020; this represents a significant increase over H1 2020 volumes of 58.3 MMscf/d
· Remedial repairs to the MB-2 flow line, as a result of a rupture, have been ongoing and are estimated to be completed by the end of the year; there has been no impact on Mnazi Bay's ability to supply gas and fully satisfy volume nominations during these repairs
· Low operational cost of production of $1.72/Mscf (2019: $1.88/Mscf)
· 2P Reserves of 95.1 Bscf valued at $118.6 million (post-tax NPV10) as at 31 December 2019 as per published RPS Reserves Assessment Report
During 2020, we have undertaken a strategic review of our ESG priorities and reporting and look forward to publishing our inaugural Sustainability Report for 2020 next year
· With an energy access rate of only 37% according to the IEA, population growth set to double by 2050 and an economy shifting from an agricultural to an industrial base, there is a real need for transformational growth in Tanzania's domestic energy supply to deliver the Government's target of universal energy access by 2030
· Wentworth's robust gas-to-power production platform is well-positioned to service this future demand growth, working hand-in-hand with low carbon technologies such as hydropower, for the development of a low carbon energy system that can ensure reliable, affordable access
· Wentworth remains focused on identifying sustainable and responsible growth opportunities that create value for Tanzania, Wentworth and all its stakeholders
Sustainable Dividend Policy
· Since the commencement of Wentworth's dividend policy in September 2019, the Company has made distributions totalling $4.2 million to shareholders.
Katherine Roe, CEO, commented:
"The safety and wellbeing of our employees continues to be our number one priority and we're pleased that Mnazi Bay has remained fully operational since the pandemic with no COVID-19 cases to date, a safe and healthy crew and no adverse impact on supply. Our annual production guidance range remains unchanged at 60 - 70 MMscf/d (gross).
We continue to operate a robust and resilient business due to stable production and reliable cash flows from our long-term fixed gas price contracts. We are especially proud of the strength of the business despite the challenging macroeconomic backdrop, which is reflected in our balance sheet, with zero debt and $17 million cash at the end of October. This has enabled us to return capital to shareholders totalling $4.2 million.
During 2020, a priority for myself and the wider team at Wentworth has been to ensure that our net impact on our communities and wider society in Tanzania is positive and that we have the appropriate disclosure in place to demonstrate how we are manging our core ESG risks. We have undertaken a strategic review of our ESG performance and look forward to sharing our inaugural report with you next year.
Our ambition is to grow our domestic gas business in Tanzania in a responsible way that enhances the lives of our domestic stakeholders whilst increasing returns for shareholders. We remain committed to being a long-term partner for Tanzania in the delivery of low-carbon, domestic energy supply growth that will underpin the socio-economic development of the country in the near and longer-term."