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California Resources Corp. First Quarter 2021 Results

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   |    Thursday,May 13,2021

California Resources Corp. reported first quarter 2021 operational and financial results.

Mac McFarland, President and Chief Executive Officer, said: "CRC delivered on its strategy with strong first quarter results while maintaining solid environmental and safety records. Given the positive first quarter results, supported by the previously announced capital structure simplification through a senior debt offering and the recent amendment to our Revolving Credit Facility, CRC's Board of Directors authorized a $150 million Share Repurchase Program. This promising step underpins our robust financial fundamentals which are further strengthened by CRC's 2021 projected free cash flow1. As CRC is tracking to the high end of 2021 free cash flow1 guidance, we will look for additional ways to return capital to our shareholders as the year progresses."

First Quarter 2021 Highlights


  • Reported a net loss attributable to common stock of $94 million, or $1.13 per diluted share. Adjusted net income1 was $102 million, or $1.22 per diluted share
  • Generated adjusted EBITDAX1 of $189 million and free cash flow1 of $120 million
  • Reaffirmed 2021 free cash flow1 guidance and optimized CRC investment dollars by shifting $15 million from drilling and completions to downhole maintenance projects which provide efficiencies and faster payouts
  • Closed the quarter with $130 million of cash on hand, an undrawn credit facility and $545 million of liquidity2
  • Simplified CRC's capital structure with a senior unsecured $600 million debt offering
  • Subsequent to quarter end, signed an amendment to its Revolving Credit Facility which provides CRC with additional strategic flexibility with regard to returning capital to shareholders and to future hedging levels, and completed the borrowing base review which set the borrowing base at $1.2 billion
  • Quarterly operating costs were $164 million and general and administrative (G&A) expenses were $48 million, a reduction of 15% and 20%, respectively, as compared to 1Q20
  • Generated net cash provided by operating activities of $147 million with quarterly capital expenditures of $27 million


  • Produced an average of 99,000 net barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day, including 60,000 barrels per day of oil
  • Maintained industry leading HSE standards
  • Operated one drilling rig in the San Joaquin Basin; operated 30 maintenance rigs; drilled 17 wells (15 online in 1Q21, final two online in 2Q21); and completed 40 capital workovers

2021 Guidance

Given the strength of the first quarter results, CRC reaffirmed previously issued 2021 free cash flow1 guidance of $250 to $350 million and it sees 2021 free cash flow1 trending towards the high end of the stated guidance range. Recognizing capital efficiency improvements and faster payouts on downhole maintenance projects, CRC revised its operating and capital guidance by shifting $15 million of drilling and completions capital to these opportunities. CRC made $27 million of capital investments in the first quarter of 2021. The current capital program anticipates CRC to gradually increase quarterly investment throughout the year if the commodity environment continues to strengthen. If commodity prices decline significantly from current levels, CRC may need to adjust its capital program in response to market conditions. The Company's capital program will be dynamic in response to oil market volatility while focusing on maintaining its oil production, strong liquidity and maximizing its free cash flow.




Total Year 2021E


Total Production (Mboe/d)


96 - 99

Oil Production (Mbo/d)


60 - 62

Operating Costs ($ millions)


$615 - $630

General and administrative expenses ($ millions)


$180 - $190

Capital ($ millions)


$185 - $210

Free cash flow ($ millions)1


$250 - $350

Initiating a Share Repurchase Program

In May 2021, CRC's Board of Directors authorized a Share Repurchase Program (SRP) to acquire up to $150 million of CRC's common stock through March 31, 2022. The repurchases may be affected from time-to-time through open market purchases, privately negotiated transactions, Rule 10b5-1 plans, accelerated stock repurchases, derivative contracts or otherwise in compliance with Rule 10b-18, subject to market conditions. The SRP does not obligate CRC to repurchase any dollar amount or number of shares and CRC's Board of Directors may modify, suspend, or discontinue authorization of the program at any time. The Share Repurchase Program expires on March 31, 2022.

Sustainability Update

CRC remains dedicated to environmental stewardship and will continue to deliver on its 2030 Sustainability Goals. Given significant progress on CRC's Water and Methane goals, management and the Board are reviewing the current ESG initiatives to enhance them with a strengthened decarbonization strategy. This review will focus particularly on actionable energy transition opportunities including carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), solar power and other renewable projects. The Company expects to provide additional details about this approach next quarter.

Underscoring CRC's commitment to safe and responsible production, the Company's ESG performance and progress on its 2030 Sustainability Goals, which align with California's climate goals toward carbon neutrality in accordance with the Paris Climate Accord, are directly tied to the performance-based compensation of its executives, senior managers and employees. The Board, through its Operations and Sustainability Committee, will continue to highlight, monitor and provide guidance to CRC's efforts to serve as a responsible steward of California's natural resources, safeguard people and the environment, and advance California's long-term goals.

Fresh Start Accounting 

Upon emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings on October 27, 2020, CRC adopted and applied fresh start accounting at which point we became a new entity for financial reporting purposes. We adopted an accounting convenience date of October 31, 2020 for the application of fresh start accounting. As a result of the application of fresh start accounting and the effects of the implementation of the plan of reorganization, the financial statements after October 31, 2020 may not be comparable to the financial statements prior to that date. References to "Predecessor" refer to the Company for periods ended on or prior to October 31, 2020 and references to "Successor" refer to the Company for periods subsequent to October 31, 2020.

Ops & Financial Review - Q1 2021

Total daily net production volumes decreased 18% from 121,000 BOE per day for the first quarter of 2020 to 99,000 BOE per day for the first quarter of 2021. The decrease from the same period in 2020 was primarily due to limited drilling activity and capital investment during the prior twelve months. Production was also negatively impacted by approximately 1,000 BOE per day in the first quarter of 2021 due to downtime at one of CRC's gas processing plants. Production sharing type contracts (PSC-type) at CRC's Long Beach assets negatively impacted oil production by approximately 2,600 BOE per day in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same prior-year period. CRC's total daily production decreased by approximately 15% compared to the same period in 2020 after excluding the impact of PSC-type contracts and unscheduled downtime at one of its gas processing plants. See Attachment 3 for further information on production.

Realized oil prices, including the effect of settled hedges, decreased by $1.77 per barrel from $55.50 per barrel in the first quarter of 2020 to $53.73 per barrel in the first quarter of 2021. Realized oil prices were lower in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same prior-year period primarily due to settlement payments on commodity contracts, compared to receipts from commodity contracts in the first quarter of 2020, despite an increase in benchmark prices between comparative periods. See Attachment 4 for further information on prices.

Adjusted EBITDAX1 for the first quarter of 2021 was $189 million and net cash provided by operating activities was $147 million. Internally funded capital invested during the first quarter of 2021 was $27 million. Free cash flow1 was $120 million. CRC's adjusted EBITDAX1 is not reduced by the one-time restructuring charge of $14 million related to its workforce reductions during the three months ended March 31, 2021.

G&A expenses were $48 million for the first quarter of 2021, compared to $60 million in the same prior-year period. The decrease in G&A expenses resulted from efficiencies and streamlining of CRC's operations, including a $7 million decrease in employee related expenses as a result of workforce reductions. We expect CRC's quarterly G&A expenses to modestly trend down throughout the year from current levels.

CRC reported taxes other than on income of $40 million for the first quarter of 2021, compared to $41 million for the same prior-year period. Exploration expense was $2 million for the first quarter of 2021 and $5 million in the first quarter of 2020.

Balance Sheet and Liquidity Update

In January 2021, CRC further simplified its balance sheet by completing an offering of $600 million in aggregate principal amount of its 7.125% senior unsecured notes due 2026. The net proceeds of $588 million, after $12 million of debt issuance costs, were used to repay in full CRC's Second Lien Term Loan and EHP Notes. The remaining proceeds were used to pay down substantially all of CRC's then outstanding Revolving Credit Facility.

CRC's aggregate commitment of $540 million as of March 31, 2021 was automatically reduced to $492 million in April 2021 pursuant to the terms of CRC's Revolving Credit Facility. The borrowing base for the Revolving Credit Facility is redetermined around April and October of each year and was most recently set at $1.2 billion in May 2021. The amount CRC is able to borrow under the Revolving Credit Facility is limited to the amount of the commitment described above.

In May 2021, CRC amended its Revolving Credit Facility to provide further strategic flexibility with respect to CRC's minimum and maximum hedging restrictions and to increase CRC's capacity to make certain restricted payments, including paying dividends on its common stock and repurchasing its common stock.

Based on the timing of anticipated cash distributions to Benefit Street Partners (BSP) at current commodity prices, CRC believes the preferred interest held by BSP in its development joint venture could be automatically redeemed early in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Operational Update

During the first quarter of 2021, CRC operated one drilling rig in the San Joaquin Basin, drilled 17 net wells, 15 of which were brought online, and completed 40 capital workovers. Subsequent to the end of the first quarter, CRC added a second drilling rig and increased its maintenance rigs to 38. The San Joaquin basin produced 73,000 net BOE per day. The Los Angeles basin produced 20,000 net BOE per day, the Ventura basin produced 3,000 net BOE per day and the Sacramento basin produced 3,000 net BOE per day.

Organization Changes

In connection with CRC's emergence from bankruptcy, its Board of Directors was reconstituted in October 2020. On December 31, 2020, CRC's former President, Chief Executive Officer and director Todd A. Stevens departed and Mark A. (Mac) McFarland was appointed as interim Chief Executive Officer in addition to his role as Chair of CRC's Board of Directors. On March 22, 2021, the Board of Directors appointed Mr. McFarland as President and Chief Executive Officer on a permanent basis. On April 15, 2021, Tiffany (TJ) Thom Cepak replaced Mr. McFarland as the Chair of CRC's Board of Directors. Mr. McFarland will continue to serve as a director.

On April 30, 2021, Noelle M. Repetti was appointed Principal Accounting Officer. Mrs. Repetti joined CRC in 2014 as Vice President - Tax, and she assumed additional duties and was appointed Vice President and Controller in August 2017. On May 1, 2021, Jay Bys was appointed Chief Commercial Officer responsible for CRC's marketing and trading operations. Mr. Bys has nearly 30 years of experience across various segments of the energy industry in senior management roles. He will oversee the integration of CRC's renewable energy efforts.

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