PDC Energy Announces 2018 Full-Year Production and Year-End Proved Reserves; Issues 2019 Production & Capital Guidance – Expects to be Cash Flow Positive at $50 WTI Oil

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DENVER, Feb. 11, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PDC Energy, Inc. ("PDC" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: PDCE) today reported its 2018 full-year production and year-end SEC proved reserves, as well as its production and capital investment guidance for 2019.

“Our team performed extremely well in 2018, overcoming several hurdles that were largely out of our direct control while maintaining our high standard of safe, reliable operations,” said President and Chief Executive Officer, Bart Brookman.

Brookman added, “The industry is clearly faced with a new set of operational and financial expectations and I applaud our team’s resolve in creating a plan that mirrors our strategic priorities and commitment to generating free cash flow at $50 WTI oil prices.  I’m extremely pleased that our 2019 plan is focused on capital discipline as seen through an approximate $150 million reduction in our capital investments as well as an expected 15 percent reduction in our combined LOE and G&A costs per Boe compared to 2018. These achievements highlight the strength of our portfolio and ability to drive value for our shareholders.” 

PDC’s investment decisions are currently based on $50 WTI oil and $3 NYMEX gas for both 2019 and 2020 as it strives to deliver sustainable financial results over the next several years, with an added emphasis on organic free cash flow generation and more moderate growth in cash flows and production.  As a result, anticipated capital investments for 2019 has decreased by an estimated $150 million compared to 2018 to a range of $810 to $870 million, which can be categorized into two primary uses.

First, the Company plans to invest $770 to $830 million of capital towards continued development of the Wattenberg Field and Delaware Basin.  This operational plan is expected to generate $840 to $890 million in adjusted cash flows from operations through utilization of three drilling rigs in Wattenberg and a two and a half drilling rig pace in the Delaware. The Company has approximately 50% of its expected oil volumes hedged in 2019 at approximately $54.50 per barrel weighted average floor price. For every $5 increase or decrease in NYMEX oil pricing off the assumed $50 per barrel price, the Company expects its adjusted cash flows to be impacted by approximately $40 million, holding gas prices and all commodity differentials constant.  The 2019 plan includes modest Delaware basin well cost reductions to reflect a new completion design featuring increased stage spacing.

Second, approximately $40 million of capital is planned to be invested in the further build-out of Delaware Basin midstream infrastructure throughout 2019.  The Company continues to work towards the potential monetization of these assets and anticipates that a portion of the invested capital in 2019 will be recouped in the net proceeds upon divestiture.

The Company also plans to invest approximately $20 million of corporate capital towards implementation of an Enterprise Resource Planning system to replace its existing operating and financial systems.  Similar to 2018, this investment has been excluded from the Company’s capital investment range.

Production in 2019 is expected to increase approximately 20% over 2018 to a range of 46 to 50 MMBoe.  Due to the timing of expected turn-in-lines in the Delaware, as well as the timing of planned third party gas processing expansions in Wattenberg, the Company expects its first quarter 2019 production to decrease slightly compared to the fourth quarter of 2018 before showing steady sequential growth through the rest of the year.  Similarly, the Company expects to outspend cash flows in the first half of 2019 before generating its expected free cash flow in the latter half of the year.  Oil production for 2019 is expected to grow approximately 20% compared to 2018 volumes while accounting for 41 to 45% of total production.

Additional details, including 2019 spuds and turn-in-lines for each basin, detailed financial guidance and operating cost structure and a preliminary 2020 outlook will be provided in the Company’s 2018 year-end earnings release on Wednesday, February 27, 2019.

PDC’s total proved reserves as of December 31, 2018 increased 20% to 544.9 MMBoe compared to 452.9 MMBoe reported at year-end 2017.  The composition of the reserves at the end of 2018 was 59% liquids and 41% natural gas, with 33% of the reserves classified as proved developed.  Year-end 2017 reserves were 58% liquid, 41% natural gas, and 32% proved developed.  Proved reserves in the Wattenberg Field increased 21% to 425.4 MMBoe, while proved reserves in the Delaware Basin increased 22% to 119.5 MMBoe. 

PDC’s independent reserve engineering firms, Ryder Scott Company, L.P. (Wattenberg) and Netherland, Sewell and Associates, Inc. (Delaware) completed their estimates of the Company’s year-end 2018 proved reserves in accordance with Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) guidelines.  NYMEX pricing used in the preparation of the December 31, 2018 reserves was $65.56 per barrel for crude oil and $3.10 per million British Thermal Units for natural gas, before adjustments for energy content, quality, midstream fees, and basis differentials.  The Company has stress-tested its proved reserves to determine the impact of lower crude oil prices.  Replacing the 2018 SEC NYMEX crude oil price with a flat $50 per barrel NYMEX price, and leaving all other parameters unchanged, results in a decrease in PDC’s total proved reserves of approximately 2%.

The value of the Company’s proved reserves, utilizing the SEC price guidelines, discounted at ten percent and before tax (“PV10”), increased to $5.3 billion as of December 31, 2018, compared to $3.2 billion as of year-end 2017.  The increase in PV10 is primarily the result of an increase in the average NYMEX price of oil by more than 25%, along with an increase of approximately 20% in year-end proved reserves.

(1) All-sources reserve replacement defined as the sum of the year-over-year net additions in proved reserves from extensions, revisions, dispositions and acquisitions, divided by 2018 estimated production.

The Company invites you to join Bart Brookman, President and Chief Executive Officer; Lance Lauck, Executive Vice President Corporate Development and Strategy, Scott Meyers, Chief Financial Officer; and Scott Reasoner, Chief Operating Officer, for a conference call on Thursday, February 28, 2019 to discuss its 2018 fourth quarter results and year-end results.  The related slide presentation will be available on PDC’s website at www.pdce.com.

The replay of the call will be available for six months on PDC's website at www.pdce.com.

PDC is scheduled to present at the Credit Suisse Energy Summit in Vail on Tuesday, February 12, 2019.  Webcast information will be posted to the Company’s website, www.pdce.com, prior to the start of the conference, along with any presentation materials.

PDC Energy, Inc. is a domestic independent exploration and production company that acquires, explores and develops properties for the production of crude oil, natural gas and NGLs, with operations in the Wattenberg Field in Colorado and the Delaware Basin in Reeves and Culberson Counties, Texas.  PDC’s operations are focused in the horizontal Niobrara and Codell plays in the Wattenberg Field and in the Wolfcamp zones in the Delaware Basin.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act"), Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and the United States ("U.S.") Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in and incorporated by reference into this report are "forward-looking statements." Words such as expect, anticipate, intend, plan, believe, seek, estimate and similar expressions or variations of such words are intended to identify forward-looking statements herein. Forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements regarding future: production, costs and cash flows; drilling locations, zones and growth opportunities; commodity prices and differentials; capital expenditures and projects, including the number of rigs employed; management of lease expiration issues; midstream capacity and related curtailments; midstream divestitures and related capital and timing and adequacy of infrastructure projects of our midstream providers, including the impact of having a new plant come online during the third quarter of 2018.

The above statements are not the exclusive means of identifying forward-looking statements herein. Although forward-looking statements contained in this report reflect our good faith judgment, such statements can only be based on facts and factors currently known to us. Forward-looking statements are always subject to risks and uncertainties, and become subject to greater levels of risk and uncertainty as they address matters further into the future. Throughout this report or accompanying materials, we may use the term “projection” or similar terms or expressions, or indicate that we have “modeled” certain future scenarios. We typically use these terms to indicate our current thoughts on possible outcomes relating to our business or our industry in periods beyond the current fiscal year. Because such statements relate to events or conditions further in the future, they are subject to increased levels of uncertainty. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to:

Further, we urge you to carefully review and consider the cautionary statements and disclosures, specifically those under the heading "," made in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017 filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") on February 27, 2018 and as amended on May 1, 2018 (the "2017 Form 10-K"), and our other filings with the SEC for further information on risks and uncertainties that could affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects, which are incorporated by this reference as though fully set forth herein. We caution you not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this report.

Contacts:

Michael EdwardsSenior Director Investor Relations303-860-5820michael.edwards@pdce.com

Kyle SourkManager Investor Relations303-318-6150kyle.sourk@pdce.com

More news and information about PDC Energy, Inc.

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Globe Newswire: 21:30 GMT Monday 11th February 2019

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