Blackbird Energy Inc: The Executive Letter

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(businesspress24) - The Executive Letter
July 2016---
Garth Braun, Chairman, President & CEO

Thinking Fast and Slow in the Search for the Exceptional
Over the past couple of months we received literally hundreds of emails and calls from stakeholders who wanted to know when we would publish our next executive letter. It was always our plan to put the Executive Letter on a hiatus surrounding our successful financing as we felt we needed to accomplish certain tasks before we would be able to deliver you a meaningful update.

Well, we are back! After reading a few more books and moving the company forward in a meaningful way, we are excited to share where we are taking this company over the next several months. Lets get started!

According to the book Thinking Fast and Slow, written by Nobel Prize winning author Daniel Kahneman, there are two systems in your mind:

- System 1 - This system operates automatically and quickly with little or no effort and no sense of voluntary control; and
- System 2 - This system allocates attention to the effortful mental activities that demand it, including complex computations. The operations of System 2 are often associated with the subjective experience of agency, choice and concentration.

System 1 is your fast system; System 2 is your slow system. System 1 is what you use to drive a car on an empty road or solve a problem such as 2+2, while System 2 is what you would use to calculate a complex math problem or perhaps decide what oil and gas investment to make.

The issue with these two systems is that conflicts between them will inevitably arise, especially with respect to my above noted point on investing. To appreciate this conflict, consider that you are analyzing a group of stocks for your portfolio. The first thing that you may notice during your analysis is the stock price. Is it a large number or is it a small number? The next would be the market capitalization. Is it large or small? This is System 1 talking and it has its preconceived notions.

For many, System 1 will automatically discount or completely disregard a company with a low stock price or market capitalization because of an automatic response that says small = risky. Daniel Kahneman refers to this as a cognitive bias, which is typically rooted in experience or underlying feelings that may or may not be rational. In the case of investments, cognitive bias is often attributable to commentators that have focused your attention to larger cap stocks.

The result is that smaller companies that are well funded and well positioned are overlooked, and quality investment opportunities are missed. The key to discovering these quality investment opportunities is System 2 thinking consisting of evaluation, careful due-diligence, and most importantly, overriding your System 1 cognitive bias.

You must be wondering why I am talking about psychological theory when I am an oil and gas CEO. The answer is simple. Too many potential investors have said Blackbird is too small and risky. Trust me when I say this, Blackbird is anything but an ordinary junior oil and gas company, and I want you to do your due diligence on Blackbird.

Connecting the Dots
On my recent marketing trip to Toronto, I began each presentation by connecting the dots in the Montney.
- Birchcliff Acquires Encana Montney Gordondale Asset
Birchcliff Energy, to the northwest of Blackbird, recently acquired Encanas Gordondale Montney asset was for ~$625 million. This acquisition was funded partially through an over-sold ~$691 million bought deal offering.

- Seven Generations Energy Acquires Paramount Montney Kakwa Asset
Seven Generations Energy, to the south of Blackbird, recently announced the acquisition of Paramounts Kakwa asset for $1.9 billion (the core asset consisted of 155 net Montney sections). Though further along the development curve than Blackbirds Elmworth project, this deal illustrates what a developed Montney asset can be sold for - in this case ~$12 million per section. According to Darrell Bishop at Haywood Securities, this metric would imply a Blackbird share price of greater than $1.50! This acquisition was again partially funded by an oversubscribed $650 million bought deal financing. I do have to congratulate both Pat and Jim on a great two-sided transaction, bravo!

- Elmworth Montney Activity
Adjacent to Blackbirds acreage, private equity has recently acquired 30.5 sections of Montney rights. They will be required to drill the asset by 2017 to continue the land. Furthermore, NuVista recently sold its cretaceous rights at Elmworth, along with issuing debt and equity, to fund its Montney development where it plans to operate to two rigs continuously. These acquisitions and capital deployments stand above and beyond increased activity by Shell, CNRL and Apache, which we anticipate to be significant over the next several years.

Why would I start each meeting by connecting these dots? I have always said that great wealth can be attained through proper forecasting and investment. With this exercise of connecting the dots in the Montney I confirmed two things early on in each of my meetings:

1. Blackbird acquired its position in the right corridor at the right time; and
2. Significant capital inflows to the Montney would propel the value proposition for Blackbird - but only if we could stand-out amongst the many other Montney operators.

The key to standing out amongst my competition would be educating investors on what is exceptional about Blackbird. This would be the same education required to alter the cognitive bias of an investors System 1 thought process. So let me begin and explain why Blackbird is exceptional!

1) Super Condensate-Rich Zone as described by Encana

It should not be news to anyone that at the beginning of Blackbirds evolution a substantial amount of mapping was completed to identify what we believed to be the condensate-rich corridor. This mapping was our guide to acquiring the 83.75 section (53,600 acre) land block we hold today. Yes, you did read that correctly, we do have 83.75 sections of Montney rights after a recent acquisition of 7.75 additional sections of Montney acreage at Elmworth!

While we always believed the corridor we had mapped was prolific, new industry data has further validated the play. This data suggests that we really were only scratching the surface as to this corridors potential.

On May 17, 2016, Encana presented a presentation on the Montney entitled Delivering Quality Returns from a Premier Asset to an audience of investors in New York. The presentation focused on their core Montney plays. I have pasted the link for your convenience:


Within the presentation Encana classified the Montney as three areas:
1. Montney Gas (0-10 bbls/mmcf of condensate);
2. Montney Condensate (10-100 bbls/mmcf); and
3. Montney Super Condensate-Rich (100+ bbls/mmcf).

Blackbirds most recent 2-20 well sits directly in the middle of the Super Condensate-Rich fairway (100+ bbls/mmcf) seen in the fairway map below. Letter July 2016 FINAL_PRCOM.001.png

BBI 2-20 well and potential next Upper Montney Location

Why does this Super Condensate-Rich fairway matter? According to recent results within this corridor, the wells are outperforming even our most bullish internal type curves. The 2-15 and 12-25 wells, which are directly on trend and approximately 8.5 miles and 7.0 miles from Blackbirds lands respectively, appear to be some of the most economic wells in the Montney at current oil and gas prices. Their results and the resulting Encana Super Condensate-Rich type curve can be seen below. Letter July 2016 FINAL_PRCOM.002.png

One thing you will notice about the above type-curve is that it slopes upwards before it begins its decline. This is unique, and when I spoke to one institutional desk on my trip to Toronto, they claimed they had never seen a type like this. What I do know is that this type of production profile is a result of the incredible resource within the Super Condensate-Rich window and exceptional reservoir management.
Furthermore, these outperforming wells have led Encana to modify their type well metrics for the Super Condensate-Rich fairway (see below). Letter July 2016 FINAL_PRCOM.003.png

Source: Encana

While these rates and metrics should be enough to put a smile on any investors face, Encana has also shown that 12 wells per section per interval are required to effectively drain the Montney at Elmworth. This is significantly higher than the general thesis that four wells per section per interval would be required to drain the reservoir - more on this later.

This new data presents a significant step change with respect to Blackbirds total well inventory. Based on Encanas mapping, Blackbird holds approximately ~40 sections of land within this Super Condensate-Rich fairway.

This shows that through innovation with respect to drilling, completions and reservoir management, new wells within this established but evolving corridor are seeing a step change in productivity and economic viability.

Though your System 1 is still entrenched with its cognitive bias against smaller entities, your System 2 must be thinking, this all sounds quite exceptional given the data above! Let me continue.

2) Stacked Resources with Three Distinct Intervals

At Elmworth, Blackbird sees the Montney resource as having 200 meters of stacked and fully gas charged pay. Tucked within the resource are three intervals:

The Upper Montney Doig;
The Upper Montney; and
The Middle Montney.

Traditionally, Blackbirds technical team felt that four wells per section per interval would be required to effectively drain the Montney at Elmworth. This well spacing would infer Blackbirds potential unrisked drilling inventory to be approximately 900 locations across its entire acreage; however, according to Encana, this well spacing would leave substantial reserves behind.

Within their Montney presentation, Encana shows that 12 wells per section per interval in the Super Condensate-Rich fairway and 8 wells per section per interval in the Condensate-Rich fairway are required to drain the Montney reservoir! Encanas acreage, spacing and resulting inventory per Encanas Montney classification system is outlined in the table below: Letter July 2016 FINAL_PRCOM.004.png

Source: Encana

Using the above information, along with our understanding that we have ~40 sections in the Super Condensate-Rich corridor and ~36 sections in the Condensate corridor, we now see an un-risked potential for approximately 1,440 well locations in the Super Condensate-Rich fairway and approximately 864 well locations in the Condensate fairway. Note that this does not include our recently acquired 7.75 sections of Montney which was previously discussed. Letter July 2016 FINAL_PRCOM.005.png

This un-risked well inventory significantly differs from the majority of the analysts, who have only modeled Blackbird as having two intervals with four wells per section per interval. I expect that this information will alter the way Blackbird is viewed, and we hope that over time this new data will also begin to change how our independent reserve evaluators view our reserves and acreage.

3) Unbooked Resource with Potential for Significant Upside

On our January 31, 2016 reserve report, we booked:
Total proved reserves of 3.0 mmboe;
Total proved plus probable reserves of 6.4 mmboe; and
Proved plus probable NPV10% of $38.5 million.

Blackbird booked proved plus probable reserves on the 2-20, 6-26 and 5-26 wells along with four Middle Montney locations offsetting the 2-20 well (two proved plus probable, two probable). The 5-26 and 6-26 wells proved the liquids-rich nature of both the Upper and Middle Montney, and we hope to book offsets off of these locations with further flow-back and through capital cost reductions.

Through the 2-20s more fulsome well test (~42% of load fluid recovered), Blackbird booked these four offsetting Middle Montney well locations at an NPV10% of ~$5.8 million per location (based on a DCE&T cost of $8.4 million per location). There are two critical take-aways from this. First, given that we have ~40 sections in what Encana calls the Super Condensate-Rich fairway, we hope to eventually book an analogous number of wells per section as Encana has on these sections. I encourage you to do your own math on this and to verify the System 1 reflex that you just had. Second, every dollar we save on D&C costs on future wells would be a direct increase to our NPV10%. More to come on costs below, but we hope to achieve material cost savings as we move forward.

4) Significant Step Change in Costs

Over the last year, much has been discussed within the E&P sector on the downward trend of drilling and completion costs. The cost savings have been realized through cost compression brought on by the downturn as well as significant optimization and innovation with respect to both drilling and completions. In the Montney, and more specifically in our fairway of the Montney, operators have begun to showcase these new D&C costs:

NuVista Energy has seen their average DCET costs come down to ~$6.7 million;
RMP Energy recently drilled a well in the Gold Creek area for $4.3 million; and
Encana has reported that within the super condensate-rich fairway, average D&C costs are $4.9 million.

Where do we see our costs as we move forward?

At Blackbird, we have previously messaged $7.25 million for our DCE&T; however, through innovation, monobore drilling, sliding sleeve completions, and intense planning, we believe this cost can be reduced in a meaningful way.

Based upon Blackbirds internally budgeted costs, we see clear line of sight to drilling costs of between $2.8 million - $3.0 million and completion costs of between $2.7 million - $3.0 million. This means that on our next well we expect to bring our D&C costs down to $5.5-$6.0 million. What is more exciting is that we are looking to achieve this without a reduction of tonnage in our completions program. This savings will directly improve our economics in a material way.

Encanas most effective completions at Elmworth have seen an average of 1.5 tonnes per linear meter. On our next well, we are planning between 1.5 and 2.0 tonnes per linear meter, equating to total tonnage of between 3,000 and 4,000 tonnes of proppant. For comparison, our 2-20 well had approximately 2,278 tonnes of proppant. A 4,000 tonne completion on our Montney well #4 will be approximately 76% larger than our 2-20s completion.

That said, not all completions are created equally and our proposed D&C program will utilize innovative completions techniques meant to maximize EUR and economics. We are not focused on one-time cost reductions or IP rates but rather a sustainable, repeatable, cost effective solution to D&C.

Many talk of innovation but most do not actually follow through with it. What comes next should have your small company cognitive biases running for the fences. Let me explain.

5) Stage Completions Advantage

On our 2-20 well we implemented the largest sliding sleeve completion in the Elmworth corridor. The sliding sleeve system we used requires a coil tubing unit and a packer to open the individual sleeves. While we utilized a sliding sleeve system because we believed in the effectiveness of pinpoint completions, the coil tubing unit reduced our potential pumping rates due to increased friction, which directly correlated to increased completion costs for the 2-20 well. This was one of the reasons we were required to use an energized CO2 foam completion (a more expensive completion method compared to slickwater).

My experience with sliding sleeves and my desire to improve on the issues I saw with our last well pushed me to become a founding shareholder and Managing Director of Stage Completions. Stage Completions is a new completions company that developed a fully patented sliding sleeve completion system that utilizes a pump down collet to open the sleeves. This is a sliding sleeve system built for both exploration and development E&P projects. The Stage system does not require a coil tubing unit, which allows greater pumping rates, reduced friction and reduced time on surface. On Blackbirds last completion, it took approximately 1 hr and 40 mins between stages. With the Stage system, we will be able to move from stage to stage in as little as 20 minutes pumping similar volumes. The Stage system also employs a dissolvable alloy ball / plug that begins to dissolve after 8 hours so that no plugs require mill out post completion.

The Stage system is also unique because it has been designed with a constant internal diameter throughout the wellbore, which allows for better pumping efficiency - especially at the backside of the well near the toe.

This is a disruptive technology which will:

Significantly reduce costs;
Allow for more effective completions through greater fracturing of reservoir; and
Reduce a completions environmental footprint through a major reduction in water usage.

Blackbird does not own this technology but due to my personal investment in Stage Completions, Blackbird will receive the system for cost plus an administrative fee, and will also have preferential access to the sleeves as demand increases. In other words, we will never be denied access to the completion system.

The Stage system will only be implemented in Blackbirds next Montney well after successful deployments by large industry leading companies. We anticipate that these deployments will be completed by mid-August.

Stage Completions Sleeves Run in Blackbird Water Disposal Well

Program: 5 sliding sleeves.
Results: 100% successful.

I invite you to view the linked attachment to read more on our successful implementation.

For the water disposal well, we had originally budgeted $1.5 million but through our access to the Stage technology, along with our teams steadfast approach to cost reduction, we were able to bring in the well at a cost of approximately ~$850,000.

6) Fully Funded to Execute 2016 Business Plan

In May, we successfully completed an upsized, oversubscribed $28.8 million financing. This financing saw our working capital position increase to just over $33 million post financing (prior to our water disposal well and general and administrative costs post financing), which will allow Blackbird to transform in 2016 through:

Infrastructure development

We will be constructing our infrastructure solution in H2 2016. This solution will encompass our battery, a gathering system and a water disposal system. The water disposal well, as discussed above, was drilled and completed with the stage completion system under budget and on time.

With respect to the rest of our infrastructure solution, we expect to commence the construction of our pipelines and battery at the end of August / September with planned completion in Q4 2016. This infrastructure system is being designed to allow for Blackbird to ramp up beyond the initial 6 mmcf/d of processing we have secured to date.

Drilling of Elmworth Montney Well Number 4

We expect to spud Montney well #4 in late August / early September with a focus on proving that the Super Condensate-Rich zone that Encana is seeing runs right through our acreage. We expect this well to target the Upper Montney. This well will be drilled using a Monobore, once again proving the drilling prowess of our team. The testing of this well will coincide with the tie-in of our production in Q4 2016. I hope you can appreciate one thing that we are trying to transition our investors away from specific catalysts and more towards continued execution towards our ultimate goal of delineating, de-risking and building value at Elmworth.

Tie-in, Cash flow and Production

The culmination of our business plan for 2016 is to achieve tie-in, cash flow and production. We are junior company that up until now has not produced from our Montney acreage at Elmworth. Over the past several months we have signed a gas handling agreement for 6.3 mmcf/d + associated liquids, and we have established 5 mmcf/d of firm sales gas takeaway into the Chicago market via the alliance pipeline (with an ability to sell more via Priority interruptible).
We are targeting Q4 2016 as our tie-in, our value inflection point, the point where we begin to self-fund our development.

Has Your Cognitive Bias Been Modified?

Level 1 Thinking: Oil prices are down, time to preserve capital to survive;

Level 2 Thinking: Oil prices are down, time to raise and deploy capital to capture an opportunity; and

Level 3 Thinking: Oil price are down, time to innovate with disruptive technology.

Is this Level 2 and Level 3 thought pattern consistent with a typical junior E&P company or is this something of a company ready to transition to the next stage, a company ready to create value and standout amidst a plethora of investment choices?

At Blackbird, we have not built a typical junior E&P, we have built something much more, something that should only continue to value-up as we progress forward. When we began this project we decided to not take the path of least resistance but rather the path towards shareholder value.
It is this path that has seen us assemble our 83.75 section block in Elmworth within the Super Condensate-Rich and Condensate fairway. Its this path that has seen us continue to drill and delineate our acreage despite the headwinds present. It is this path that has pushed us to innovate.

The remaining half of 2016 will be an exciting and transformational one for all of stakeholders at Blackbird and I would like to thank you for your continued support. Its not easy running an oil and gas company but it is made enjoyable through the support from all of you reading this letter and continuing to support our company in all of our endeavors.

This month I decided to challenge your System 1 cognitive biases on smaller companies as I do not believe small always equals risky. I wanted to challenge the idea that only large companies can be exceptional - and that only large companies should pass through your System 1 fast thinking filter. I hope as you rely less on System 1 and more on System 2 that you begin to see just how big of an opportunity a small company like Blackbird has, and what kind of value we will unlock in the coming months ahead. Do your own due diligence.

Garth J. Braun
Chairman, CEO and President, Blackbird Energy Inc.

Analyst Corner

Darrell Bishop - Haywood Securities - On Read Through from POU / VII Transaction

Transaction highlights that there is significant value in Montney land & production. This is the second major Montney transaction within the last month, the first being Birchcliffs acquisition of Encanas Gordondale Montney asset for $625 MM. The 7Gs transaction references that only minor facilities were included in the deal, highlighting that the value is more closely linked to land and production rather than strategic infrastructure. Due to the scale and associated production/reserve base, we would see BIR as perhaps the best-read through in our coverage space. We recognize that LXE and BBI are earlier stage in terms of development and hence the implied valuation is not as direct a comparison. However, the VII/POU transaction implies that there can be huge value in delineated Montney acreage that is demonstrated to be capable of plug and play development for larger acquirers.

- Blackbird (BBI). BBI holds ~70 net sections of Montney land within the Elmworth area of Central AB. Interestingly, from a geographic perspective BBIs assets sit almost half way between BIRs Gordondale and 7Gs Nest area. BBI is earlier stage in nature with respect to delineating its acreage base than perhaps Leucrotta, however industry (including ECA) has made big strides of late in delineating the Montney super liquids rich corridor which mgmt. believes to encompass ~40 sections of BBIs lands. BBI is also looking to exploit up to 3 Montney layers across its land base

- which could ultimately equate to an inventory well in excess of >500 wells. While BBI is pre-type curve at this stage ECA has published IP30 rates in the 1,000 boe/d range with BBI estimateing well cost expectations of $5.5-$6.0 MM as technology continues to evolve. As shown in the table below, the stretch read-through for BBI could ultimately imply a share price of $1.50+/sh.

Garrett Ursu - Cormark Securities - Update

Following an investor presentation by one of the largest Montney producers in Canada as well as two recent asset transactions focused on light oil and condensate in the Montney, we are again highlighting Blackbirds acreage and upside potential at Elmworth. Situated in what is now being recognized as a Super Rich Condensate window by industry, we believe that Blackbird could ultimately prove up more than 2,300 condensate and super-rich condensate drilling locations, of which 216 are south of the Wapiti River and fall within a gathering system currently under construction. With three standing wells, takeaway capacity and 1-2 additional wells to drill this year, we expect Blackbird to provide material catalysts for investors near term while the market recognizes the value of the companys strategic land base. The next Upper Montney well in Blackbirds program will include high intensity (2.0 t/m) proppant loading and could cost as little as $5.5 MM given access to proprietary technology available to the company.

Upcoming Events
Garth Braun, CEO of Blackbird will be presenting at Enercoms Oil and Gas Conference 21 on Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at 9:20 am in Room C. This presentation will be broadcast live via webcast from Enercoms website.

Advisory: Forward Looking Statement Disclaimer
This Executive Letter contains forward-looking statements or information (collectively referred to herein as "forward-looking statements"). Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results, performance or developments to differ materially from those contained in the statements and are not guarantees of future performance of Blackbird. Forward-looking statements in this Executive Letter include, but are not limited to: that any recent transactions in the Montney are indicative of the value of Blackbird assets or land position; any similarities between Blackbird properties and other properties in the region, specifically Encana''s Montney property; well inventory figures for the Elmworth project; future drilling and completion costs and any possible reductions of such costs; the utilization of any particular completions techniques or methods; any benefits that may be achieved using Stage Completions sliding sleeve technology; the timing of the drilling of Blackbirds next Montney well; and any future infrastructure development, tie-in, cash flow or possible production.

No assurance can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will occur or, if they do occur, what benefits Blackbird will obtain from them. These forward-looking statements reflect management''s current views and are based on certain expectations, estimates and assumptions which may prove to be incorrect. A number of risks and uncertainties could cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including: (1) a downturn in general economic and business conditions in North America and internationally, (2) the inherent uncertainties and speculative nature associated with oil and gas exploration, development and production including drilling and completion risks, (3) the price of and demand for oil and gas and their effect on the economics of oil and gas exploration, (4) any number of events or causes which may delay or cease exploration and development of the Company''s property interests, such as environmental liabilities, weather, mechanical failures, safety concerns and labour problems, (5) the risk that the Company does not execute its business plan, (6) inability to retain key employees, (7) inability to finance operations and growth, and (8) other factors beyond the Company''s control. Additionally, the analyst information contained herein has been reproduced from independent and publicly available sources and is not information provided by the Company itself. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should any of the Company''s assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary in material respects from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list of risks, uncertainties and other factors is not exhaustive. Unpredictable or unknown factors not discussed could also have material adverse effects on forward-looking statements. The impact of any one factor on a particular forward-looking statement is not determinable with certainty as such factors are dependent on other factors, and the Company''s course of action would depend on its assessment of the future considering all information then available. All forward-looking statements in this press release are expressly qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements. Except as required by law, the Company assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements should circumstances or management''s estimates or opinions change.

Oil Equivalency Conversion (BOE)
Where amounts are expressed on a barrel of oil equivalent (BOE) basis, natural gas volumes have been converted to BOE at a ratio of 6,000 cubic feet of natural gas to one barrel of oil equivalent (6 Mcf = 1 BOE). The conversion ratio is based upon an energy equivalent conversion method, primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent value equivalence at the wellhead. BOE values may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation.

Blackbird Energy Inc. Contact Information

Garth Braun - Chairman, President & CEO
Tel: 403.699.9929 ext. 101
Cell: 403.500.5550
Email: gbraun(at)

Joshua Mann - VP Business Development
Tel: 403.699.9929 ext. 103
Cell: 403.390.2144
Email: josh(at)

More information: http://www.hfchocolates.c

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Blackbird Energy Inc. ist ein westkanadisches Unternehmen, das sich auf die Prospektion, Erschließung und Förderung von Öl- und Erdgasvorkommen in West-Kanada spezialisiert hat.

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Date: 07/22/2016 - 10:43
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