Baytex Energy sets lower capital budget for 2021, targets positive free cash flow

CALGARY — Baytex Energy Corp. says its is budgeting for capital spending of between $225 million and $275 million next year, a reduction at the midpoint from what it expects to spend this year.

The Calgary-based company says the budget will result in positive free cash flow and stable production in a US$40-to-$45-per-barrel West Texas Intermediate oil price environment.

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In recent third-quarter results, it estimated it would spend between $260 million and $290 million this year, about 50 per cent less than the original 2020 budget of $500 million to $575 million, reduced to cope with lower oil prices.

Average annual production of 73,000 to 77,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day will trail this year's expected average output of 80,000 boe/d.

CEO Ed LaFehr says the company has "re-set" its business in response to volatile crude oil markets during the COVID-19 pandemic, noting it expects 60 per cent of its production from Canada and 40 per cent from the United States in 2021.

"In 2021, we will benefit from our high-graded development opportunities as well as our continued drive to improve cost structure and capital efficiencies," he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:BTE)

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