Canadian Manufacturing

Penn West records $728M loss in Q4 as it moves from natural gas

Loss comes after Calgary-based firm looked to shift focus to light oil production in Western Canada



CALGARY—Penn West Petroleum Ltd. recorded a $728-million net loss in the fourth quarter, mostly due to non-cash asset impairment charges related to the company’s disposal of natural gas assets as it focuses on light oil production in Western Canada.

The loss amounted to $1.49 per share and compared with a net loss of 16 cents per share, when the overall loss was $78-million, a year earlier.

Funds flow from operations declined 27 per cent to $216-million or 44 cents per share, mainly due to lower crude oil prices and lower production volumes as a result of asset dispositions in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The fourth quarter included $742-million of asset impairment charges related to property, plant and equipment related to non-core natural gas assets and lower reserve recoveries in its Manitoba properties.

The company said it’s doing better than expected with asset dispositions under a strategy adopted four months ago and the organization is 35 per cent smaller than a year ago.

“To date in 2014, we have benefited from stronger than planned commodity prices and a favorable currency climate; however, we remain conservative in our commodity outlook for the remainder of the year,” Penn West said in a statement.

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