Talos Energy Announces Q4 & Full Year 2023 Results

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 2/29/2024, Location: North America

Talos Energy Inc. ("Talos") (NYSE: TALO) announced its operational and financial results for fiscal quarter and full year ended December 31, 2023. Talos also announced its year-end 2023 reserves estimates and the Company's 2024 operational and financial guidance pro forma for the pending QuarterNorth acquisition.

Recent Highlights
- Fourth quarter 2023 production and full year 2023 production, operating expenses, general and administrative expenses, and capital expenditures all in-line or better than guidance.
- First production from Lime Rock and Venice projects was achieved ahead of schedule at rates near the high end of expectations.
- Announced the $1.29 billion acquisition of QuarterNorth Energy Inc. ("QuarterNorth"), which is expected to close in March 2024.
- Refinanced approximately $865 million in 2026 notes, extending maturities to 2029 and 2031 and reducing interest costs on Talos's bonds by 275-300 basis points.

2024 Guidance
- Production between 87.0 and 93.0 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day ("MBoe/d") (over 70% oil), assuming only nine months of contributions from QuarterNorth. As a reference, actual production from the combined asset base was approximately 99 MBoe/d in the fourth quarter of 2023 and 106 MBoe/d in January 2024.
- Upstream capital expenditures, inclusive of QuarterNorth, of $565 to $595 million, a reduction from Talos standalone 2023 levels.
- Evaluating a full range of strategic alternatives for the Talos Low Carbon Solutions ("TLCS") subsidiary.
- Capital allocation framework focused on material debt reduction and investment in key Upstream projects.
- Based on recent strip pricing, Talos is targeting year-end 2024 leverage of 1.0x or less, including acquisition debt incurred offset by targeted debt paydown of approximately $400 million throughout the year from cash flow generation, excluding any potential proceeds from TLCS.

Talos President and Chief Executive Officer Timothy S. Duncan, stated, "The fourth quarter and early 2024 provided several examples of progress toward our goal of becoming a large-scale offshore exploration and production company. We had a solid operational fourth quarter, delivering 67.7 Mboe/d of oil-weighted production, generating Upstream margins of approximately $42 per barrel of oil equivalent. We brought our Venice and Lime Rock discoveries online ahead of schedule and near the high end of our rate guidance, allowing us to enter 2024 with a strong production rate. Through multiple tactical transactions, we laid the groundwork for inventory expansion, consolidating leases and adding acreage and prospects with high-quality partners. Finally, in January we announced the QuarterNorth acquisition, which should significantly grow our 2024 production, lower our corporate decline rate, expand our inventory, and improve our margins."

Duncan continued, "Following the announcement of the QuarterNorth transaction, we launched several capital markets offerings, which reduced our financing rates and deferred bond maturities to the end of the decade. In 2024, we expect year-over-year production growth of approximately 35%-40%, while capital expenditures are expected to be less than standalone 2023 levels, resulting in material expected free cash flow generation. I am pleased about the trajectory of our business and look forward to an exciting year."


Exploration and Production Updates:

QuarterNorth Acquisition: In January 2024, Talos announced the acquisition of QuarterNorth, a privately-held U.S. Gulf of Mexico exploration and production company. The transaction advances Talos's portfolio with valuable operated infrastructure and oil-weighted deepwater assets that will grow our production and provide attractive future development opportunities. We expect the transaction to enhance Talos's financial performance on key metrics, accelerate deleveraging and improve credit strength. The transaction is currently expected to close in March 2024.

Lime Rock and Venice: Talos successfully started production from the Lime Rock and Venice discoveries in late 2023 ahead of schedule and with early production rates near the high end of expected ranges. Talos expects combined gross recoverable resources of 20-30 MMBoe and owns a 60% working interest in both wells.

Exploration Updates: In December 2023, Talos executed agreements to consolidate acreage across 15 deepwater blocks in the Green Canyon area. The consolidation provides the ability to execute prospective drilling opportunities more efficiently and includes several identified prospects. Talos's participation is expected to be between 15% and 20%. Also in December 2023, Talos was selected as a high bidder on 13 deepwater blocks in the latest federal offshore lease sale. In November 2023, Talos and Repsol S.A. entered into a drilling joint venture covering approximately 400,000 prospective gross acres. The joint venture aims to identify future subsea tie-back prospects in the area using Talos's Neptune facility as the host platform.

Joint Decommissioning Agreement: In February 2024, Talos and Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. ("Helix") executed a five-year agreement in which Helix will provide decommissioning services for offshore wells and infrastructure, primarily on the U.S. Gulf of Mexico Shelf. Decommissioning work under the agreement is expected to start in the second quarter 2024.

TLCS Updates:
Seeking Strategic Alternatives: Talos is expanding its capital raise process to include a full range of strategic alternatives for its TLCS subsidiary, and will provide additional updates as available. Talos intends to focus its capital allocation in 2024 on maximizing free cash flow generation net of planned Upstream investments and is primarily focused on debt reduction in the near term.

Other CCS Updates: Bayou Bend CCS LLC commenced drilling an offshore and an onshore stratigraphic well for carbon sequestration in the first quarter 2024. Harvest Bend CCS LLC filed and received administrative completeness status from the EPA for two Class VI permit applications in late 2023.

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