EOG Assets, Inc. (NYSE:EOG) J.P. Morgan Vitality, Energy and Renewables Convention Name June 22, 2022 7:40 AM ET
Billy Helms – President and Chief Working Officer
Convention Name Contributors
Arun Jayaram – J.P. Morgan
Welcome again to our J.P. Morgan Vitality Convention. That is the seventh yr. We have had the convention in New York Metropolis, however as , for the final couple of years, we have been in a digital mode. So, couple of issues I am enthusiastic about as now we have a unbelievable roster of main E&P and oil companies corporations in my protection and we’re beginning the convention with a bang with EOG Assets who’s been, , one of many leaders in U.S. standard improvement since they went public in 1998.
Thrilled to have Billy Helms, who’s the President and COO to provide a couple of ready remarks after which we’ll flip it over to me and we’ll perform a little little bit of a hearth chat. As all the time, we welcome your feedback. So, please, when you do have a query, elevate your hand, completely happy to get to these. And with that, I am going to flip it over to Billy.
Thanks, Arun. And it is nice to be again in New York. It is nice to see all people once more. I used to be telling Arun; that is the primary time I have been right here since December of 2019. So, it is good to see all the pieces opening up once more and welcoming folks again. So, with that, I would go forward and leap into the slides. Worth Issues, that is form of the way in which we take into consideration the corporate.
We’re targeted on including worth to the corporate. And all the pieces we do facilities round that effort. And this subsequent slide simply jumps in and illustrates why we expect that. We’re definitely an organization that has an enormous stock of low price, lengthy period belongings. They’re based mostly on a return precept. So, we focus all the pieces on how we generate returns with a really excessive hurdle price.
As I discussed, multi-decade stock stage in a number of basins and that is a really distinctive factor amongst our business. We additionally added this final yr pure gasoline possibility with our South Texas Dorado Fuel Asset. We’re very enthusiastic about that. That is a continuation of our exploration efforts that is the newest instance that exhibits the affect that that is having. We’re acknowledged as being a number one operator within the house.
We have been doing this a very long time. We have in all probability drilled extra horizontal wells in nearly anyone within the business. We have taken that historical past. We be taught from each effectively we drill, to use these learnings to the following effectively, to proceed to enhance. After which on prime of that, the monetary self-discipline that we have been adhering to actually since 2016, we have been in a constructive money place.
Since 2016, we have made our first shift to this new premium technique to attempt to focus extra on returns. We have got a really sturdy stability sheet. Our first dedication is all the time to growing the common dividend and we really feel like that competes throughout the sector. After which we even have a really sturdy monitor report of approving our ESG metrics. That is additionally essential to us as being a long-term a part of the vitality answer.
So, simply to dive into our stock, only a minute. This actually focuses how we really feel about our stock. It is a chart of the variety of places towards the speed of return for these places. We’ve got each certainly one of these places with a sort curve, so we will perceive the reservoir efficiency and the price efficiency. And you’ll see the way it’s improved over time. The decrease a part of that curve, you see the premium space.
So, the kind curves, the effectively places that we had at the moment from 2016 to 2020, they averaged a few 40% return, and that is at a flat $40 oil value, simply to make that clear. We run our investments based mostly on a flat $40 oil value. So, we do not actually take this journey into consideration. In order that form of ensures that we will make a return by way of the cycles, which is the entire focus of the corporate. However since then, we have added a excessive quantity of top of the range stock that continues to enhance that.
You may see the Median Return now’s over 60% after which the issues we’re chasing right this moment and our exploration efforts are issues that will likely be aggressive with what we’re drilling right this moment, so equal to or higher than what we’re presently drilling. So, you see that the return for our exploration performs that we’re chasing is even higher than that. So, it is a good illustration of the standard of our stock.
Now, there’s been lots of dialogue about CapEx and inflation in our enterprise. So, I simply wish to go forward and throw this up right here. That is how we rolled out our $4.5 billion CapEx program this yr. And as we got here into the yr, we definitely understood that we have been going to see inflation within the enterprise. I feel all people understood that on the time, however we additionally had very clear line of sight on quite a lot of operational efficiencies and enhancements that we will make to offset inflation.
Now, we didn’t predict that Russia would invade Ukraine and the extra inflation we’re seeing because of that. So, we’re doubling down. We’re focusing very exhausting to nonetheless preserve our aim of conserving effectively prices flat. However, we’re very assured. We’re going to have the ability to ship our volumes and our said targets with the $4.5 billion CapEx program now we have said.
We’ve got quite a lot of operational efficiencies. We proceed work on and discover and we preserve that dedication going ahead. And that is how we try this. So, this subsequent slide actually talks in regards to the variety of targets that we’re doing to attempt to fight inflation. One, so this isn’t – so let me first say, this isn’t only a results of our contracting technique. We’ve got lots of our companies secured by way of multi-year contracts and so they’re staggered, so that they’re meant to roll off at totally different instances.
So, we’re not all the time topic to inflationary price. We do not essentially profit from the low factors of [their new cycle] [ph], however we additionally do not get hammered when the costs go up rather a lot. In order that helps us – that contracting technique helps us. How we offset inflation is by specializing in getting higher.
So, we decreased the variety of days to drill this for example out of [one play] [ph] within the Permian, the Wolfcamp Play the place we have – during the last a number of years, we have decreased our drilling time by 42%. On the identical time, we have elevated the quantity of lateral toes have been utterly [steady by] [ph] 85%. So, you possibly can think about that simply minimizes the time you spend on location and it lowers your price. And a part of that instance is, we took possession of our sand and water logistics and we’ve decreased that price by 46%.
So, you possibly can see these are the issues we work on to attempt to offset inflation. We nonetheless see alternatives to proceed to enhance that. We additionally deal with enhancing our margins by lowering our money working price. We have had a very good monitor report of that. You may see right here, lowered that by 24% within the final a number of years. I talked a minute in the past about our stock that helps drive excessive returns, but it surely additionally drives a decrease discovering and improvement price, which rose into your DD&A of the corporate.
Time beyond regulation, you’ve got seen that come down 42% and that improves your margins, helps generate extra web earnings and drives the worth of the corporate. And that interprets into our money return technique. We, initially are dedicated to a minimal of 60% of our free money circulate going again to the shareholders and I would emphasize that is a minimal. And the primary precedence has all the time been a sustainable and rising dividend.
We have had a very good historical past of rising that dividend additional time and we really feel like that dividend is definitely aggressive throughout the house right this moment. We additionally view our pristine stability sheet as a aggressive benefit in right this moment’s market. And that is actually a power of any firm that is in a unstable commodity enterprise. It is advisable have a really low – a really pristine stability sheet.
We take a look at different types of returning money to the shareholders, primarily by way of certainly one of two strategies, both a particular dividend in instances the place commodity costs are larger, after which opportunistic share repurchases throughout downturns. So, that is the way in which we’re excited about that. Remaining money, we search for further alternatives to proceed so as to add to our stock by way of low price property acquisitions.
So, simply speaking a minute in regards to the common dividend. Definitely, since we shifted to the premium technique again in 2016, you’ve got seen a 28% compounded annual progress price in our dividend price, a fairly wholesome return going again to the shareholders, and we really feel like that is designed to be sustainable by way of the cycles and we stress check that right down to low oil costs. So, we really feel like that it is a very aggressive dividend price in throughout the sectors.
One of many final issues we’ll discuss right here is our ESG ambitions and technique. We really feel like that is an important a part of the continuing enterprise, the way forward for the enterprise of the corporate. And it is designed to be a part of the long-term vitality answer. As we see right this moment, oil and gasoline continues to be extremely wanted within the surroundings right this moment.
So, we wish to be a part of that answer. So, we have set some close to time period targets as you possibly can see there which are very formidable and we’re very assured we will try this. Together with some long-term ambitions of being web zero, Scope 1 & 2 emissions by 2040. And we’re doing that in actually three classes: One, the technique is to scale back our emissions in every single place we will as a lot as doable. And we have finished issues like, proper now we’re capturing over 99.8% of the gasoline we produce. So, we flare very, little or no gasoline. And now we have an initiative to satisfy the World Financial institution initiative by 2025 of zero routine flaring.
In order that’s a very good ambition. We’re additionally piloting lots of different applied sciences to proceed to seek out methods to scale back additional. What we will not cut back, we will attempt to seize. We’ll begin our first CCS undertaking later this yr. And we’ll be taught from that and see how we will apply that throughout the remainder of the corporate. After which the issues that fall exterior of these classes, primarily in Scope 2, we’ll take a look at methods to offset in additional methods.
So, simply transferring to our final slide, all that is made doable actually by way of the tradition of the corporate. I do know lots of corporations talked in regards to the tradition, however we’re a really decentralized group and we push determination making an authority right down to the bottom stage. That conjures up innovation and entrepreneurship that results in options to all these totally different issues we’re attempting to deal with. That is a really distinctive surroundings and we really feel like that is a aggressive benefit for the corporate.
So, perhaps with that Arun, we’ll leap into the Q&A.
Q – Arun Jayaram
Nice. Once more, we welcome your questions. If in case you have one, please be happy to boost your hand. So, Billy, let me begin with inflation. One of many surprises from the purchase aspect is the truth that you possibly can reiterate your steering at a time when almost 50% of your friends have already raised form of CapEx this yr. So, I used to be questioning when you may delve round the way you’re capable of ship that CapEx price range relative to your friends? And does this present any headwinds as we take into consideration 2023 given your contracting technique?
Yeah. I talked a minute about that only a second in the past with the slides, but it surely does contain a few various things. One is our contracting technique. As I discussed, now we have multi-year contracts for lots of our companies, drilling rigs, frac fleets, and different issues. We additionally safe lots of our tubulars instantly from the metal mills and we maintain a big stock of merchandise throughout our asset foundation to have the ability to handle a number of the – offset a number of the inflation we see there. However it’s not only a matter of managing contracts, the effectivity good points we see in our enterprise, as I discussed earlier, we began the yr with a transparent line of sight of issues we may obtain to offset inflation we noticed at the moment. And we’re effectively on our manner to try this.
The issues that inflation is hitting us essentially the most is, after all, all people sees it’s nonetheless tubular items, gas. We definitely profit from the income aspect on the will increase in oil and gasoline costs, however we additionally pay for that on the price aspect after which labor. Labor is a problem lately throughout the sector and actually throughout your complete economic system and we’re definitely topic to that. The issues we attempt to management although is thru our effectivity good points and our operations by drilling wells quicker.
We took possession of lots of the downhole instruments which are essential to drill these wells. So, we internally handle that and to give you new designs to construct these moderately than rely solely on the distributors to provide that. On the frac aspect, now we have our approach, we name Tremendous Zipper, it’s similar to the [sample frac] [ph] approach. And we’re pioneering and transferring that full ahead.
Final yr, we accomplished a few third of our wells with that approach. And this yr, it may be about 60% of our effectively rely. In order that alone reduces our effectively price by about 5%. In order that’s a huge impact throughout the corporate once you roll up the variety of wells we’re utilizing. After which now we have one other – lots of different initiatives like we have been managing our personal sand for a long-time for the reason that Barnett days, 15 or 20 years in the past. And by taking possession of that and truly transferring that supply nearer and nearer to the Wellhead helps cut back each the price of the sand, but additionally transportation to the effectively.
So, simply quite a lot of initiatives like that that we take possession of, helps us offset that inflation and drive, maintain a effectively price flat. Now, going into 2023, reply the final a part of your query there, we’ll profit some by the contracting technique now we have in place. We’ve got these contracts are staggered, so they do not all expire on the identical time. So, we’ll roll a few of these into the long run.
A few of them we’ll must renegotiate and work with our distributors to safe these companies going ahead. We anticipate that, however we additionally see clear issues that we will do to proceed to enhance the enterprise. So, I would not topic us to the truth that we’re going to see extra inflation than anyone else within the business. As a matter of reality, I am virtually assured we will nonetheless preserve our lead on effectively price going ahead.
Okay, nice, nice. The subsequent ideas or query can be round 2023, I do know you have not offered any outlook feedback in 2023, but when you are going to pivot to excessive single digits oil progress, are you able to give us a way of how a lot capital do you suppose that that would take relative to the 4.5 that you simply’re spending this yr?
Sure. You are proper, Arun, and it is actually early to be speaking about 2023 once we are coping with such a unstable market as we’re seeing right this moment. I feel oil costs are down one other 5% right this moment. So, it is tough to consider what 2023 goes to seem like midway by way of 2022. I feel the – what I can say about 2023, we will stay disciplined in the way in which we run our enterprise.
So, self-discipline to us means extra than simply working inside money circulate. It means working at a tempo the place we proceed to enhance the corporate. So, we do not wish to run too quick and see our operational efficiencies worsen or price go up tremendously. In order that’s the main focus. That is the inner self-discipline that we apply to ourselves. And we really feel like we will proceed to try this by way of the innovation we have talked about, taking possession of a number of the tougher elements of our enterprise. And we’ll keep dedicated to that going ahead.
So, would we return to these excessive single digits that we have talked about up to now? It’s too early to say what that market’s going to seem like. I feel the opposite problem now we have going ahead simply as an business is, I feel there’s lots of bottlenecks and business with the ability to leverage and develop greater than they presently are.
We’re all seeing it right this moment and the shortage of companies, the shortage of tubulars to get the wells drilled, the shortage of frac sand to get issues finished, the service suppliers to have the ability to present the companies they want. So, there’s lots of bottlenecks within the business in attempting to develop any greater than they presently are.
Nice. I wish to shift gears slightly bit, discuss slightly bit about EOG’s unveiling of a proper capital returns form of framework. Clearly, you had a really form of business main dividend that is grown rather a lot over time, however may you give a number of the generals within the viewers a view of what which means for traders?
Positive. We introduced the money return technique, the 60% of free money circulate only a few months in the past. And actually that was out of simply listening to our massive shareholders. I feel our massive shareholders have been very happy with our technique and what we have been doing, however in addition they noticed the necessity to present extra readability round that, extra transparency about how we have been excited about the enterprise. And in order that’s why we got here out with that technique.
I might emphasize that is a minimal of 60% and we stress examined that by way of the commodity cycles. We really feel like with our dividend, common dividend [at the point it is] [ph] that that is sustainable by way of the low factors of a cycle, and nonetheless be capable of meet the 60% return threshold. So, we stress check all these issues and really feel assured we will ship that going ahead. It is also in line with what we have finished up to now.
Final yr in 2021, we returned about 49% by way of dividends and paid off a $750 million bond, which collectively is about 60%. So, it is simply in line with how we have been truly doing the enterprise and it supplies slightly extra transparency about how we give it some thought.
Definitely, at this cut-off date, with the upper commodity costs, we really feel just like the particular dividend is a greater reply right this moment. After which once we see the disconnect, within the commodity market and we see a possibility to purchase again the shares in a decrease commodity surroundings will keep poised to have the ability to try this. So which means we’d construct up slightly bit extra cash on the stability sheet going ahead, however that is the plan long-term.
And will you give the viewers slightly little bit of a way of how a lot per share or how a lot money you can return assuming 60%?
Effectively, I feel we have modeled – these numbers in all probability aren’t precisely proper, however I feel we have modeled about perhaps [$8.5 billion] [ph] this yr with – by way of specials and common dividends that we returned to the shareholders, given the commodity the strip this present day.
We’ve got a query within the again.
Simply following up on that. What’s the proper stage of money on the stability sheet? [You see you even grow cash?] [ph] What’s the proper stage above the enterprise? So, now we have some sense for [Technical Difficulty]
So, we sometimes wish to have about $2 billion of money on the stability sheet simply in viewing the commodity cycles, the change in working capital as you undergo every month, however then additionally, we do have a bond due within the first quarter of subsequent yr. We wish to repay, I take into consideration $1.2 billion we wish to repay, however then past that, as we return the 60%, we will – with the commodity costs, form of the place they’re, we’ll in all probability construct up some extra cash on the stability sheet.
As an organization, we wish to have that little additional money to have the ability to purchase shares again if we see a dip within the commodity costs. So, you’ll count on us to perhaps carry slightly bit extra cash than that on the stability sheet on a go ahead foundation. There is no pre-set targets, I would say.
There are some questions.
Simply to make clear, does this 60% embrace bond paybacks and debt payback or is it along with that?
It is as well as. Sure. Sure, sir.
Simply longer-term on the oil manufacturing volumes, like, when you look 5, six years out, what’s the proper manner to consider the place you may be just like right this moment or do you count on on a multi-year foundation to be larger?
Effectively, naturally, I feel relying on the macro surroundings, we have dedicated to not push barrels right into a market that does not sign that it wants it. I feel clearly right this moment the market’s signaling, they want the barrels. So, this yr, we’re form of returning again to the pre-pandemic stage that we had earlier than, the downturn. And so past that, we’ll simply take a look at that market, however we clearly have the flexibility to have the ability to develop into the market that wants the barrels. The tempo of that progress will fluctuate relying on what the macro surroundings appears like.
So, I can not actually offer you a set quantity. It can fluctuate year-to-year based mostly on what the macro surroundings is telling us, however I feel you too can see that when the indicators are there that the market wants the barrels. We’ve got the flexibility so as to add some actually low price barrels and generate important progress in our margins and money circulate per share. And that is actually the aim of the corporate.
I am going to ask one other. Simply, apologize for the [general’s question] [ph], however when it comes to the life cycle of the corporate, so, I get to type of the [indiscernible] years the place you bought into unconventional after which the [Bill Thomas years] [ph], so when you concentrate on the place you and Ezra wish to drive the corporate over the following few years, may you discuss slightly bit about that and, type of the life cycle of the corporate?
Positive. I am going to simply remind all people, , our first CEO, Forrest Hoglund, form of set out the guiding ideas for the corporate and that is to deal with returns. And that is all the time been the guideline of the corporate and it is in all probability extra accentuated right this moment with our premium and double premium technique. So, you possibly can see the clear high quality of the stock may be very clear, I assume, right this moment. And what we’re investing in is producing important excessive returns.
These wells pay out in only a matter of months. So, you are producing lots of money on prime of simply returning money from the payout. So, then with Mark, you noticed the shift from gasoline to grease and that focus once more was a returns based mostly determination as a result of we may see the commodity surroundings altering. And now we proceed to search for methods so as to add to the standard of the stock, whether or not it is oil or gasoline.
And also you see our newest instance of that by way of our Dorado South Texas gasoline property, which is able to remind all people that is 21 Tcf of web gasoline in South Texas, very near the demand that is available in the market. So, we will keep targeted on that. I feel the change – there will not be a change actually in that underlying precept of targeted on returns producing top quality stock.
With Invoice, we targeted rather a lot on exploration and rising the stock by way of our exploration effort, beefing that up. Ezra will proceed that in his tenure. So, that is form of how we view the corporate. It is slightly set aside from perhaps methods from different corporations. We really feel like there’s ample alternatives to proceed to develop the corporate by way of exploration efforts and we’re chasing in lots of quite a lot of top quality performs right this moment that we expect will likely be additive to the corporate sooner or later.
So, we take into consideration constructing the bottom of the corporate with the stock now we have right this moment, layering on these different issues on prime of that for the way forward for the corporate. So, it is constructing a long-term technique actually for the corporate. Sure, sir.
You all have signed some long-term sale agreements with Cheniere, a few of them have come on additional time. Are you able to discuss these, however – and in addition embrace, do you’ve any infrastructure wants and takeaway wants that you’ll have to construct out previous to when Corpus Christi Stage 3 is absolutely operational?
Positive. Sure, we’re very enthusiastic about partnering with Cheniere on the Company Christie Practice. We presently have 140 million a day that we’re offering to Cheniere and it is listed on a JKM Asian market and positively that is very advantageous right this moment. That continues to develop additional time and actually grows with the startup of Stage 3, Corpus Christi Stage 3 and that will likely be in 2025 or 2026 every time that comes on-line. And we’ll promote a complete of 720 million a day. 420 million a day will likely be listed to JKM costs, 300 million a day will likely be listed to Henry Hub.
So, that is form of how the settlement works. And I feel it is a 15-year time period. So, a part of that technique has all the time been, it is a related technique we do to all of our performs. We attempt to have a number of markets out there to each play to provide us capacity to achieve out and contact the perfect market at any given time. In order that optionality and diversified portfolio combine helps us handle by way of the commodity cycles by exposing us to all of the markets which are on the market.
We export gasoline now. We additionally export oil to – so we get model publicity and we get WTI publicity. So, that is form of the general advertising technique. Now, the infrastructure query, that is extra particular to any given play. Each play has to undergo a progress part. So, you begin out by testing after which delineating a play, after which as you begin to develop, you need to construct out some infrastructure.
We did that in Eagle Ford a few years in the past, after which we needed to do it within the Delaware Basin and positively it is going by way of extra of a progress part now than the Eagle Ford did a couple of years in the past. Delaware Basin is right this moment. Dorado is one other instance. We simply began that play. We’ll drill about 30 wells this yr. As that play develops, we’ll must construct out some infrastructure to get that to the market.
So, each certainly one of these performs is in an space that is shut proximity to takeaway, however they have been going to amass some quantity of infrastructure. And it will be staged in with the event of the play. So, you will not have any massive capital expenditures in a given yr, it’s going to be staged in additional time.
Simply your ideas on the place differentials, , for [indiscernible] pricing would possibly go subsequent yr and the way it would possibly have an effect on the way you both spend capital or produce?
Sure, I feel all people sees there’s going to must be extra takeaway finally within the Permian. So, [indiscernible] may come beneath some stress within the subsequent yr or so. There’s quite a lot of initiatives which have been initiated or mentioned and people will assist alleviate that drawback additional time, however it may take slightly little bit of time to get these up and going.
So, we have managed by way of that. We have already got fairly a little bit of takeaway out there to the corporate. A number of our gasoline from the Permian, [actually] [ph] can get to the Gulf Coast and we will benefit from the LNG markets there from our Permian gasoline. So, now we have, as I discussed earlier than, lots of optionality for that.
So we – finest a part of our longer-term technique each asset is ensuring we safe takeaway, however I feel [Waha] [ph] on the whole goes to come back beneath some strain as capability grows there sooner or later.
How are you managing your traders constant for a couple of years now demand to return capital by way of dividends or your buyback technique versus the Biden administrations, I assume propagate [all-in] [ph] put strain in, not simply you, however all on the gasoline to place each greenback again into the bottom?
Positive. First a part of that’s, we’re positively dedicated to our shareholders and also you see that dedication by way of our money return methods. So, that is initially in our thoughts. After which on the expansion, I feel us and possibly business is doing about all the pieces that may for the time being with what capability is out there within the business right this moment.
There’s not lots of additional capability on the market to do extra. And as I discussed earlier in my remarks, we’re getting again to the pre-pandemic ranges we have been at again in 2019. So, we’re truly in a progress mode. So, we’re rising oil manufacturing about 4% this yr. BOE is someplace between 8% and 10% this yr.
So, from that standpoint, I feel we’re doing our half and I feel business on the whole is doing their half. So, I feel it is an academic factor. We have to spend time working along with our coverage makers to ensure they perceive the challenges now we have and what we’re doing to right the issue and attempt to be a part of the answer.
Perhaps that is our final query, Arun.
Might you perhaps – you talked about natural progress and the depth of your stock, may you point out perhaps on your firm or for the business on the whole, the M&A panorama and particularly delineating between private and non-private producers?
Sure. And I am sorry, I missed a part of your query. Is it how we evaluate with different operators’ efforts? Is that what you are saying?
Is M&Part of [Multiple Speakers], and if not, or if it is sure, how does that additionally relate to the business as an entire?
Okay. Positive. Sure, the M&A query, for us, we all the time take a look at each deal that is on the market. We all the time have, however we additionally evaluate to all the pieces we’re doing internally to generate natural exploration efforts. For us, it is all the time a return based mostly determination. We aren’t towards doing M&A. We gravitate extra in the direction of the decrease price bolt-on acquisitions, property additions, and primarily our exploration effort that complement our acreage place in these performs.
We’ve got finished a big one earlier than we did the Yates acquisition again in 2016, which was largely slightly little bit of manufacturing about 30,000 BOEs per day, however 1.4 million acres of undeveloped [lease sold] [ph]. So, these are the form of issues that we would truly love to do once more if we may discover one other, however we have not discovered one other one but, however we’re always trying.
So, we’re not towards that. I feel we simply see our capacity to seek out low price barrels and produce to the market higher finished by way of our exploration effort than simply costly company M&As.
Nice. Billy, thanks once more for supporting the convention and main us off this morning. Thanks once more.
Thanks, and thanks on your assist.