Lightstream to slash dividend, sell Bakken assets in face of low oil prices

CALGARY – Lightstream Resources Ltd. will cut its monthly dividend by more than 60 per cent and attempt to sell all or a portion of its Bakken business unit as it deals with a low energy price environment.

The Calgary-based company said in a release Monday after markets closed that because of current conditions in the oilpatch it had decided to adopt a conservative capital and dividend program for 2015 with the objective of “ensuring that our expenditures will be funded through cash flow, without an increase in debt levels.”

“In addition, we also have a strategy to monetize, at an appropriate valuation, all or part of our Bakken business unit in the next 24 months. If achieved, we would unlock unrecognized value and significantly restructure our balance sheet,” it said.

With that in mind, Lightstream said capital spending would be held to between $190 million and $210 million.

The 62.5 per cent dividend cut will see its monthly payout fall to 1.5 cents from four cents, beginning with the December dividend payable in January.

“At today’s oil price and current industry service costs, it is imprudent to continue to pay a dividend at our 2014 level, ” the company said. “. . . Depending on future material movements in the price of oil, and our success in executing our asset monetization, we will review our dividend policy further.”

Lightstream is an oil and gas exploration and production company focused on light oil in the Bakken and Cardium resource plays.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, its share closed up six cents or 4.48 per cent at $1.40 on Monday.