David Winters Comments on Birchcliff Energy Ltd.

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Sep 21, 2016
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Wintergreen Advisers believes the mark of good management in the commodity sector is a steady hand to steer the company through cycles. In Birchcliff Energy Ltd.’s (“Birchcliff”) (BIR) management, we think you have exactly that. Whereas other oil and gas drillers in North America have become unprofitable or even bankrupt due to excessive debt in the recent global downturn in the oil and gas market, Birchcliff has sustained operations in the black on a cash basis, with controlled levels of debt. Credit goes to the leaders of the company who have reduced operating costs per boe (barrel of oil equivalent) to record lows this year. This combination of profitability and balance sheet strength enabled Birchcliff to take advantage of a competitor’s need to sell assets in order to decrease its own dangerous debt burden. At the end of July, Birchcliff acquired a large tract of petroleum and natural gas properties in the Gordondale area of Alberta, Canada. The strategic rationale of the investment in these fields seems readily apparent, as the properties lie between two contiguous drilling areas already owned by Birchcliff. Additional production at a positive netback margin, a profitability measure in the industry, should pump up cash flows for Birchcliff shareholders through any part of the market cycle. The Fund has been a shareholder in Birchcliff since 2009 and with a secondary equity offering in conjunction with the Gordondale transaction, we increased our holdings of the company at what we believe was an attractive price.


David Winters (Trades, Portfolio)' Wintergreen Fund 2016 Semi-Annual Report.

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