Husky Energy Inc, Canada’s No. 3 integrated oil company, said it will raise $1.2-billion though public and private share offerings in order to finance its production growth plans. Husky, said it will sell 36.9 million common shares priced at $27.05 each, to a group of underwriters led by RBC Capital Markets, Goldman Sachs Canada, HSBC Securities (Canada) and J.P. Morgan Securities. The bought deal is expected to raise about $1-billion.
Most of the gains will come from an increase in natural gas production of 14%, while expected 5% growth in heavy oil and bitumen volumes should offset a 3% decline in light and medium crude production. To supplement the funding of the capital plan, Husky also announced plans for a CAD 1 billion (US$ 1.02 billion) equity issuance. Current shareholders will have the option of receiving dividend payments in shares instead of cash.
The retention of the Southeast Asian assets is probably a positive step, given the outlook for increased gas demand in the region and the potential for exploration success. Also, moving forward with Sunrise should provide significant growth in oil volumes. However, while the company plans to achieve its previous production growth target of 3%-5% per year, short-term gains rely largely on natural gas acquisitions.
The move toward natural gas stands in contrast to Husky's peers, which are shifting investment toward oil projects and away from natural gas. Also, the company's natural gas production is coming from Western Canada, a region that falls higher on the cost curve and faces intense competition from U.S. shale plays. As a result, returns may be challenged despite the growth in production.
Husky said the cash will go to boost exploration and development of its properties in Western Canada’s oil sands, offshore Newfoundland and Southeast Asia. It also said that, with the additional capital, it expects production to grow at the high end of its 3-5% annual target though 2015.
Husky Energy’s Exploration Portfolio:
Corporate Overview June 2011