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California Resources Third Quarter 2022 Results

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   |    Thursday,November 03,2022

California Resources Corp. reported third quarter 2022 operational and financial results.

Mac McFarland, CRC's President and Chief Executive Officer, said: "CRC's strong financial performance, coupled with our consistent operational execution, allowed us to increase our fixed dividend by 66% and our Share Repurchase Program by an additional $200 million. Our disciplined capital allocation and shareholder return strategy demonstrate our continued commitment to our stakeholders. With these changes, CRC is on track to deliver nearly $1 billion in cumulative shareholder returns by year end 2023."

"On the carbon management side, we continue to work with emitters, advance our permits, progress our Carbon TerraVault JV partnership and remain optimistic on our carbon management goals. CRC's carbon management strategy and energy transition efforts continue to be a unique differentiator and support our corporate objectives while delivering on our financial goals and sustainability targets."

Primary Highlights:

  • Declared a quarterly dividend of $0.2825 per share of common stock, totaling ~$20 million payable on December 16, 2022 to shareholders of record on December 1, 2022, with subsequent quarterly dividends subject to final determination and Board approval
  • Increased the Share Repurchase Program by $200 million to $850 million from $650 million and extended the term of the program through December 31, 2023
  • Repurchased 1,921,181 common shares for $80 million during the third quarter of 2022; repurchased an aggregate 10,617,862 shares for $424 million since the inception of the Share Repurchase Program through October 31, 2022
  • Returned $286 million to shareholders throughout the first three quarters of 2022, ~5% more than the free cash flow1 generated during the same period
  • Presented three new reservoirs to Carbon TerraVault JV
  • Favorable ruling in Kern County EIR Litigation
  • Shifted a rig to the Huntington Beach field for a 6 to 8 well program prioritizing available permits on hand

Third Quarter 2022 Highlights:


  • Reported net income of $426 million, or $5.58 per diluted share. When adjusted for items analysts typically exclude from estimates including mark-to-market adjustments and gains on asset divestitures, the Company's adjusted net income1 was $111 million, or $1.45 per diluted share
  • Generated net cash provided by operating activities of $235 million, adjusted EBITDAX1 of $234 million and free cash flow1 of $128 million
  • Ended the quarter with $358 million of cash on hand, an undrawn credit facility and $819 million of liquidity2
  • Increased available credit under our Reserve Based Lending Credit Facility by $50 million in the quarter and $110 million year to date, bringing our aggregate commitments to over $600 million
  • Produced an average of 92,000 net barrels of oil equivalent per day (Boe/d), including 55,000 barrels of oil per day (Bo/d), with E&P capital expenditures of $100 million during the quarter
  • Operated three drilling rigs in the San Joaquin Basin and two drilling rigs in the Los Angeles Basin; drilled 36 wells (42 online in 3Q22)
  • Operated 33 maintenance rigs

2022 Guidance and Capital Program Update

CRC's capital program is dynamic in response to oil market volatility while focusing on oil production and strong liquidity and maximizing free cash flow. During the third quarter of 2022, CRC successfully managed the current market inflationary pressures and is narrowing its 2022 total capital program to the range of $380 to $400 million. CRC entered the fourth quarter of 2022 with four drilling rigs and expects to average three drilling rigs for the remainder of the year in its Elk Hills, Buena Vista, Wilmington and Huntington Beach fields as CRC repositions for its 2023 program.

This level of expected spending is consistent with CRC's strategy of investing up to 50% of its operating cash flow back into CRC's oil and gas operations. Following entry into the Carbon TerraVault JV with Brookfield, CRC anticipates that a portion of the operating cash flow previously designated for advancing decarbonization and other emission reducing projects may become available for other corporate purposes, such as shareholder returns and other strategic opportunities (see the summary of our Business Strategy in Part I, Item 1 & 2 - Business and Properties in CRC's 2021 Annual Report and see Part I, Item 2 - Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, Carbon TerraVault Joint Venture in the Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2022 for additional details on Carbon TerraVault JV).

The delay in the Kern County EIR litigation (see Part I, Item 2 - Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, Regulatory Update in the Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2022 for additional details on Kern County EIR) led to a change in CRC's drilling program which favors a higher natural gas to oil ratio. Therefore, CRC's 2022 oil production guidance is expected to be negatively impacted by approximately 1 MBo/d from this change. CRC's 2022 total production guidance remains consistent with previous expectations in the range of 91 to 94 MBoe/d.

CRC is raising its operating cost guidance to $760 to $790 million from $725 to $755 million primarily due to higher natural gas and electricity prices as well as some inflation and the change in well mix.

Supply Chain and Cost Inflation

Operating and capital costs in the oil and natural gas industry are heavily influenced by commodity prices which are typically cyclical in nature. Typically, suppliers will negotiate increases for drilling and completion, oilfield services, equipment and materials as prices for energy-related commodities and raw materials (such as steel, metals and chemicals) increase. Recent worldwide and U.S. supply chain issues, together with rising commodity prices and tight labor markets in the U.S., have created cost inflation during 2022. Cost inflation may continue into 2023 if rising energy prices result in factory constraints, placing certain items such as directional drilling components and materials that have a high energy input intensity in short supply. CRC has taken measures to limit the effects of the inflationary market by entering into contracts for materials and services with terms of one to three years. CRC has also taken steps to build its on-hand supply stock for items frequently used in its operations to address possible supply chain disruptions. Despite these efforts, CRC has experienced significant increased costs thus far in 2022 and anticipates additional increases in the cost of goods and services and wages in the company's operations during the remainder of 2022. These increases will factor into CRC's operating and capital costs and could also negatively impact its results of operations and cash flows in 2023 and beyond.

Third Quarter 2022 E&P Operational Results

In November 2020, the SEC amended Regulation S-K to, among other things, provide companies with the option to discuss material changes to results of operations between the current and immediately preceding quarter. CRC has elected to discuss its results of operations on a sequential-quarter basis. CRC believes this approach provides more meaningful and useful information to measure its performance from the immediately preceding quarter. In accordance with this final rule, CRC is not required to include a comparison of the current quarter and the same prior-year quarter.

Total daily net production for the three months ended September 30, 2022, compared to the three months ended June 30, 2022 increased by approximately 1 MBoe/d, or 1%. This increase is predominately a result of CRC's production-sharing contracts (PSCs), which positively impacted its net oil production in the three months ended September 30, 2022 by approximately 2 MBoe/d, compared to the three months ended June 30, 2022. This increase was partially offset by natural decline.

During the third quarter of 2022, CRC operated an average of three drilling rigs in the San Joaquin Basin and two drilling rigs in the Los Angeles Basin. During the quarter, CRC drilled 36 net wells and brought online 42 wells. See Attachment 3 for further information on CRC's production results by basin and Attachment 5 for further information on CRC's drilling activity.

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