As the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, Tidewater is taking proactive and preventative measures to protect the health and safety of our workforce and do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the community. The Corporation remains confident in our in-depth business continuity plans and our ability to execute during these challenging times. Tidewater wishes to thank all our employees, contractors and the communities where we operate for their extraordinary efforts and commitment during this unprecedented and difficult time.
As previously announced on March 12th, 2020 the sale of the Pioneer pipeline continues to proceed on the previously disclosed terms and timeline for cash proceeds of approximately $138 million which Tidewater will use to reduce indebtedness.
Pipestone Gas Plant
At Pipestone, all third-party infrastructure is now in place and Tidewater is pleased to announce throughput at the plant has reached design capacity and is currently averaging 95mmcf/d. The Pipestone Gas Plant is fully contracted with over 80% of the volume under take or pay contracts.
Prince George Refinery (“PGR”)
Crack spreads at PGR have remained above $50/bbl vs. Tidewater’s previously disclosed forecast of $44/bbl, however Tidewater has seen demand on refined products at Prince George decrease by approx. 10% – 20% for the last two weeks of March and the first two weeks of April. Refining margins for the first quarter will be impacted as PGR continues to process higher cost crude oil feedstock purchased prior to the price decline. With refined product pricing forecast to increase over the medium term, and the current price at which Tidewater is acquiring crude oil feedstock for PGR, Tidewater expects a positive impact to margins in the second quarter which will partially offset the expected decline in demand. It is anticipated that these factors resulting from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will impact Tidewater’s first and second quarter earnings by approximately 10% – 20%.
Husky has issued a notice of force majeure under the offtake agreement at PGR as a result of decreased refined product demand related to COVID-19. Husky has indicated they remain committed to working with Tidewater on the impact to volume forecasts and the companies are actively exploring opportunities for incremental demand and volumes through the second quarter. Husky has committed to providing regular updated demand forecasts as the COVID-19 situation evolves. Tidewater continues to evaluate the merits of the force majeure. Tidewater is also actively marketing product outside the Prince George orbit as well as utilizing its large storage capacity at the refinery.
Tidewater plans to move forward with previously disclosed debottlenecking maintenance at Prince George in April which will last approximately two weeks and reduce throughput by approximately 40% for two weeks. The annual spring debottlenecking will enable Tidewater to throughput record volumes when refined product demand stabilizes.
Tidewater is encouraged by the resilience of the PGR asset in an unprecedented time and has not seen the drastic narrowing of crack spreads observed in other locations across North America. This further reinforces the refinery’s long-term value in servicing the markets where it operates.
As a result of reduced refined product demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Tidewater expects first and second quarter earnings to be impacted by 10% – 20%. Tidewater expects minimal impact to second half 2020 guidance should demand return to moderate levels post the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to monitor market conditions closely. Tidewater expects to exit 2020 with approximately 3.0x-3.5x net debt to Adjusted EBITDA proforma the sale of the Pioneer Pipeline.
First Quarter 2020 Earnings Call
Tidewater intends to release its first quarter 2020 results before market open on May 14, 2020. In conjunction with the earnings release, investors will have the opportunity to listen to Tidewater senior management review its first quarter 2020 results via conference call on Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 11:00 am MDT (1:00 pm EDT).
To access the conference call by telephone, dial 647-427-7451 (local / international participant dial in) or 1-888-231-8192 (North American toll free participant dial in). A question and answer session for analysts will follow management’s presentation.
A live audio webcast of the conference call will be available by following this link: https://produceredition.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1307036&tp_key=ad57628744 and will also be archived there for 90 days.
For those accessing the call via Cision’s investor website, we suggest logging in at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the live event. For those dialing in, participants should ask to be joined into the Tidewater Midstream and Infrastructure Ltd. earnings call.
Tidewater is traded on the TSX under the symbol “TWM”. Tidewater’s business objective is to build a diversified midstream and infrastructure company in the North American natural gas, natural gas liquids (“NGL“), crude oil and refined product space. Its strategy is to profitably grow and create shareholder value through the acquisition and development of oil and gas infrastructure. Tidewater plans to achieve its business objective by providing customers with a full service, vertically integrated value chain through the acquisition and development of oil and gas infrastructure including: gas plants, pipelines, railcars, trucks, export terminals storage facilities and downstream facilities.