40-F 1 d100407d40f.htm 40-F 40-F
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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

FORM 40-F

 

[Check one]
    ¨            REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 

 

OR

    þ            ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13(a) or 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended: December 31, 2015      Commission File Number: 1-34513

CENOVUS ENERGY INC.

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

Not applicable

(Translation of Registrant’s name into English (if applicable))

Canada

(Province or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

1311

(Primary Standard Industrial

Classification Code Number (if applicable))

Not applicable

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification Number (if applicable))

2600, 500 Centre Street S.E.

Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2G 1A6

(403) 766-2000

(Address and telephone number of Registrant’s principal executive offices)

CT Corporation System

111 8th Avenue

New York, New York 10011

(212) 894-8641

(Name, address (including zip code) and telephone number (including area code)

of agent for service in the United States)

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act.

 

Title of each class    Name of each exchange on which registered

Common shares, no par value (together with associated

common share purchase rights)

   New York Stock Exchange

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act.

None

(Title of Class)


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Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act.

None

(Title of Class)

For annual reports indicate by check mark the information filed with this Form:

þ Annual information form      þ Audited annual financial statements

Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report:

833,289,845

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant (1) has filed all reports to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to file such reports) and (2) has been subject to filing requirements for the past 90 days.

Yes þ    No ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to submit and post such files).

Yes ¨    No ¨

The annual report on Form 40-F shall be incorporated by reference into or as an exhibit to, as applicable, each of the Registrant’s Registration Statements under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended: Form S-8 (File No. 333-163397), Form F-3D (File No. 333-202165) and Form F-10 (File No. 333-196696).

 

 

 


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Principal Documents

The following documents have been filed as part of this annual report on Form 40-F, beginning on the following page:

 

  (a)

Annual Information Form of Cenovus Energy Inc. for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015.

 

  (b)

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Cenovus Energy Inc. for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015.

 

  (c)

Consolidated Financial Statements of Cenovus Energy Inc. for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015.

 

  (d)

Supplementary Information – Oil and Gas Activities (unaudited) for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015.

 

 

 

 

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LOGO

Cenovus Energy Inc.

Annual Information Form

For the Year Ended December 31, 2015

February 10, 2016


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

        

FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

     1   

CORPORATE STRUCTURE

     3   

GENERAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE BUSINESS

     4   

DESCRIPTION OF THE BUSINESS

     7   

Oil Sands

     7   

Conventional

     10   

Refining and Marketing

     13   

RESERVES DATA AND OTHER OIL AND GAS INFORMATION

     14   

Disclosure of Reserves Data

     15   

Development of Proved and Probable Undeveloped Reserves

     20   

Significant Factors or Uncertainties Affecting Reserves Data

     21   

Other Oil and Gas Information

     21   

OTHER INFORMATION

     27   

Competitive Conditions

     27   

Environmental Considerations

     27   

Corporate Responsibility

     28   

Employees

     28   

Foreign Operations

     28   

DIRECTORS AND EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

     29   

AUDIT COMMITTEE

     33   

DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STRUCTURE

     35   

DIVIDENDS

     37   

MARKET FOR SECURITIES

     37   

RISK FACTORS

     37   

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS AND REGULATORY ACTIONS

     48   

INTEREST OF MANAGEMENT AND OTHERS IN MATERIAL TRANSACTIONS

     48   

MATERIAL CONTRACTS

     48   

INTERESTS OF EXPERTS

     48   

TRANSFER AGENTS AND REGISTRARS

     48   

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

     49   

ABBREVIATIONS AND CONVERSIONS

     50   

APPENDIX A -     Report on Reserves Data by Independent Qualified Reserves Evaluators

     A1   

APPENDIX B -     Report of Management and Directors on Reserves Data and Other Information

     B1   

APPENDIX C -     Audit Committee Mandate

     C1   

 

  

 

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FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

 

In this Annual Information Form (“AIF”), unless otherwise specified or the context otherwise requires, references to “we”, “us”, “our”, “its”, “the Corporation” or “Cenovus” mean Cenovus Energy Inc., the subsidiaries of, and partnership interests held by, Cenovus Energy Inc. and its subsidiaries.

This AIF contains forward-looking statements and other information (collectively “forward-looking information”) about Cenovus’s current expectations, estimates and projections, made in light of the Corporation’s experience and perception of historical trends. This forward-looking information is identified by words such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “expect”, “estimate”, “plan”, “forecast” or “F”, “future”, “target”, “position”, “project”, “capacity”, “could”, “should”, “focus”, “goal”, “outlook”, “proposed”, “potential”, “may”, “strategy”, “forward”, “opportunity”, “schedule”, “on track” or similar expressions and includes suggestions of future outcomes, including statements about Cenovus’s strategy and related milestones and schedules including with respect to the development and growth of our business; projected future value; projections for 2016 and future years; forecast operating and financial results; planned capital expenditures, including the timing and financing thereof; expected future production, including the timing, stability or growth thereof; expected reserves and related information, including future net revenue and future development costs; broadening market access; expected capacities, including for projects, transportation and refining; improving cost structures, forecast cost savings and the sustainability thereof; dividend plans and strategy; anticipated timelines for future regulatory, partner or internal approvals; future impact of regulatory measures; forecast commodity prices and expected impacts to Cenovus; future use and development of technology, including expected effects on environmental impact; and projected shareholder return. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information as the Corporation’s actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied.

Developing forward-looking information involves reliance on a number of assumptions and consideration of certain risks and uncertainties, some of which are specific to Cenovus and others that apply to the industry in general. The factors or assumptions on which the forward-looking information is based include: assumptions inherent in the Corporation’s current guidance, available at cenovus.com; projected capital investment levels, the flexibility of capital spending plans and the associated source of funding; estimates of quantities of oil, bitumen, natural gas and natural gas liquids (“NGLs”) from properties and other sources not currently classified as proved; Cenovus’s ability to obtain necessary regulatory and partner approvals; the successful and timely implementation of capital projects or stages thereof; Cenovus’s ability to generate sufficient cash flow from operations to meet its current and future obligations; and other risks and uncertainties described from time to time in the filings the Corporation makes with securities regulatory authorities.

The risk factors and uncertainties that could cause Cenovus’s actual results to differ materially, include:

volatility of and assumptions regarding oil and gas prices; the effectiveness of the Corporation’s risk management program, including the impact of derivative financial instruments, the success of Cenovus’s hedging strategies and the sufficiency of the Corporation’s liquidity position; the accuracy of cost estimates; commodity prices, currency and interest rates; product supply and demand; market competition, including from alternative energy sources; risks inherent in Cenovus’s marketing operations, including credit risks; exposure to counterparties and partners, including ability and willingness of such parties to satisfy contractual obligations in a timely manner; risks inherent in operation of our crude-by-rail terminal, including health, safety and environmental risks; maintaining desirable ratios of debt (and net debt) to adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization as well as debt (and net debt) to capitalization; the Corporation’s ability to access various sources of debt and equity capital, generally, and on terms acceptable to the Corporation; Cenovus’s ability to finance growth and sustaining capital expenditures; changes in credit ratings applicable to Cenovus or any of Cenovus’s securities; changes to Cenovus’s dividend plans or strategy, including the dividend reinvestment plan; accuracy of Cenovus’s reserves, resources and future production expense and future net revenue estimates; the Corporation’s ability to replace and expand oil and gas reserves; Cenovus’s ability to maintain its relationship with its partners and to successfully manage and operate its integrated business; reliability of the Corporation’s assets including in order to meet production targets; potential disruption or unexpected technical difficulties in developing new products and manufacturing processes; the occurrence of unexpected events such as fires, severe weather conditions, explosions, blow-outs, equipment failures, transportation incidents and other accidents or similar events; refining and marketing margins; inflationary pressures on operating costs, including labour, natural gas and other energy sources used in oil sands processes; potential failure of new products to achieve acceptance in the market; unexpected cost increases or technical difficulties in constructing or modifying manufacturing or refining facilities; unexpected difficulties in producing, transporting or refining of crude oil into petroleum and chemical products; risks associated with technology and its application to Cenovus’s business; the timing and the costs of well and pipeline construction; the Corporation’s ability to secure adequate and cost-effective product transportation including sufficient pipeline, crude-by-rail, marine or alternate transportation, including to address any gaps caused by constraints in the pipeline system; availability of, and Cenovus’s ability

 

 

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to attract and retain, critical talent; changes in the regulatory framework in any of the locations in which Cenovus operates, including changes to the regulatory approval process and land-use designations, royalty, tax, environmental, greenhouse gas (“GHG”), carbon, climate change and other laws or regulations, or changes to the interpretation of such laws and regulations, as adopted or proposed, the impact thereof and the costs associated with compliance; the expected impact and timing of various accounting pronouncements, rule changes and standards on Cenovus’s business, its financial results and its consolidated financial statements; changes in the general economic, market and business conditions; the political and economic conditions in the countries in which the Corporation operates; the occurrence of unexpected events such as war, terrorist threats and the instability resulting therefrom; and

risks associated with existing and potential future lawsuits and regulatory actions against Cenovus.

Readers are cautioned that the foregoing lists are not exhaustive and are made as at the date hereof. For a full discussion of Cenovus’s material risk factors, see “Risk Factors” in this AIF. Readers should also refer to “Risk Management” in the Corporation’s current Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”) and to the risk factors described in other documents Cenovus files from time to time with securities regulatory authorities, available at sedar.com, sec.gov and on the Corporation’s website at cenovus.com.

Information on or connected to our website cenovus.com does not form part of this AIF.

 

 

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CORPORATE STRUCTURE

 

 

Cenovus Energy Inc. was formed under the Canada Business Corporations Act (“CBCA”) by amalgamation of 7050372 Canada Inc. (“7050372”) and Cenovus Energy Inc. (formerly Encana Finance Ltd. and referred to as “Subco”) on November 30, 2009 pursuant to an arrangement under the CBCA (the “Arrangement”) involving, among others, 7050372, Subco and Encana Corporation (“Encana”). On January 1, 2011, Cenovus amalgamated with its wholly owned subsidiary, Cenovus Marketing Holdings Ltd., through a plan of arrangement approved by the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench. On July 31, 2015 Cenovus amalgamated with its wholly owned subsidiary,

9281584 Canada Limited (formerly 1528419 Alberta Ltd.), by way of a vertical short-form amalgamation.

Pursuant to a special resolution of the shareholders of the Corporation passed at the annual and special meeting of the Corporation’s shareholders on April 29, 2015, the Corporation’s articles were amended to provide that the aggregate number of preferred shares issued by the Corporation may not exceed 20 percent of the aggregate number of common shares then outstanding.

The Corporation’s head and registered office is located at 2600, 500 Centre Street S.E., Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2G 1A6.

 

 

INTERCORPORATE RELATIONSHIPS

Cenovus’s material subsidiaries and partnerships as at December 31, 2015 are as follows:

 

Subsidiaries & Partnerships   

Percentage

Owned (1)

  

Jurisdiction of Incorporation,

Continuance, Formation or

Organization

Cenovus FCCL Ltd.            100          Alberta
Cenovus Energy Marketing Services Ltd.        100          Alberta
Cenovus US Holdings Inc.        100          Delaware
FCCL Partnership (“FCCL”) (2)        50          Alberta
WRB Refining LP (“WRB”) (3)        50          Delaware

 

(1)

Reflects all voting securities of all subsidiaries and partnerships beneficially owned, or controlled, or directed; directly or indirectly by Cenovus.

(2)

Cenovus interest held through Cenovus FCCL Ltd., the operator and managing partner of FCCL.

(3)

Cenovus interest held through Cenovus American Holdings Ltd. and Cenovus US Holdings Inc.

The Corporation’s remaining subsidiaries and partnerships each account for (i) less than 10 percent of the Corporation’s consolidated assets as at December 31, 2015 and (ii) less than 10 percent of the Corporation’s consolidated revenues for the year ended December 31, 2015. In aggregate, Cenovus’s unidentified subsidiaries and partnerships did not exceed 20 percent of the Corporation’s total consolidated assets or total consolidated revenues as at and for the year ended December 31, 2015.

 

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GENERAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE BUSINESS

 

OVERVIEW

 

Cenovus is a Canadian integrated oil company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. The Corporation began independent operations on December 1, 2009 following the split of Encana into two independent publicly traded energy companies. Cenovus is in the business of developing, producing and marketing crude oil, natural gas liquids (“NGLs”) and natural gas in Canada with marketing activities and refining operations in the United States (“U.S.”).

All of Cenovus’s oil and natural gas reserves and production are located in Canada, within the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. As at December 31, 2015, Cenovus had a land base of approximately 5.6 million net acres. The estimated proved reserves life index based on working interest production as at December 31, 2015 was approximately 25 years.

 

 

BUSINESS SEGMENTS

The Corporation’s reportable segments are as follows:

 

     

Oil Sands

  

Includes the development and production of bitumen and natural gas in northeast Alberta. Cenovus’s bitumen assets include Foster Creek, Christina Lake and Narrows Lake as well as projects in the early stages of development, such as Grand Rapids and Telephone Lake. Certain of Cenovus’s operated oil sands properties, notably Foster Creek, Christina Lake and Narrows Lake, are jointly owned with ConocoPhillips, an unrelated U.S. public company.

 
     

Conventional

  

Includes the development and production of conventional crude oil (1), NGLs and natural gas (2) in Alberta and Saskatchewan, including the heavy oil (3) assets at Pelican Lake, the carbon dioxide (“CO2”) enhanced oil recovery (“EOR”) project at Weyburn and emerging tight oil opportunities.

 
     

Refining and Marketing

  

Includes transporting, selling and refining crude oil into petroleum and chemical products. Cenovus jointly owns two refineries in the U.S. with the operator Phillips 66, an unrelated U.S. public company. In addition, Cenovus owns and operates a crude-by-rail terminal in Alberta. This segment coordinates Cenovus’s marketing and transportation initiatives to optimize product mix, delivery points, transportation commitments and customer diversification.

 
     

Corporate and Eliminations

  

Primarily includes unrealized gains and losses recorded on derivative financial instruments, gains and losses on divestiture of assets, as well as other Cenovus-wide costs for general and administrative, financing activities and research costs. As financial instruments are settled, the realized gains and losses are recorded in the operating segment to which the derivative instrument relates. Eliminations relate to sales and operating revenues and purchased product between segments, recorded at transfer prices based on current market prices, and to unrealized intersegment profits in inventory.

   

 

(1)

For the purpose of this AIF, references to “crude oil” means “heavy crude oil” and “light crude oil and medium crude oil combined” as those terms are defined in National Instrument 51-101 Standards of Disclosure for Oil and Gas Activities.

(2)

For the purpose of this AIF, references to “natural gas” means “conventional natural gas” as defined in National Instrument 51-101 Standards of Disclosure for Oil and Gas Activities.

(3)

For the purpose of this AIF, references to “heavy oil” means “heavy crude oil” as defined in National Instrument 51-101 Standards of Disclosure for Oil and Gas Activities.

 

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THREE YEAR HISTORY

 

The following describes significant events that have influenced the development of the business during the last three financial years and year to date in 2016:

2013

 

 

Oil Sands regulatory applications. In the first quarter, Cenovus submitted regulatory applications and environmental impact assessments (“EIAs”) for Christina Lake phase H and Foster Creek phase J, with approved gross production capacity of 50,000 barrels per day from each phase.

 

 

First production at Christina Lake phase E. In the third quarter, phase E of Christina Lake achieved first production, with gross production capacity of 40,000 barrels per day.

 

 

Regulatory approval for Christina Lake optimization. In the third quarter, Cenovus received regulatory approval for the optimization program at Christina Lake phases C, D and E, with approved incremental gross production capacity of 22,000 barrels per day.

 

 

Construction at Narrows Lake phase A initiated. In the third quarter, construction of the Narrows Lake phase A plant was initiated with expected gross production capacity of 45,000 barrels per day.

 

 

Public debt offering completed. In the third quarter, Cenovus completed a public offering in the U.S. of senior unsecured notes of US$450 million with a coupon rate of 3.8 percent due September 15, 2023 and US$350 million senior unsecured notes with a coupon rate of 5.2 percent due September 15, 2043, for an aggregate amount of US$800 million. The net proceeds of the offering were used to partially fund the early redemption of the Corporation’s US$800 million senior unsecured notes due September 2014.

 

 

Divestiture of non-core asset. In the third quarter, Cenovus sold its Lower Shaunavon asset to an unrelated third party for net proceeds of approximately $241 million.

 

 

Increased rail takeaway capacity. In the fourth quarter, Cenovus increased its rail takeaway capacity to 10,000 barrels per day.

 

Telephone Lake dewatering pilot completed. In the fourth quarter, the Telephone Lake dewatering pilot was successfully completed. Cenovus effectively displaced water with compressed air, removing approximately 70 percent of below-ground non-potable top water.

 

 

Receipt of Partnership contribution receivable. In the fourth quarter, Cenovus received US$1.4 billion from ConocoPhillips, the Corporation’s partner in FCCL, representing the remaining principal and interest due under the Partnership Contribution Receivable through the Corporation’s interest in FCCL.

 

 

Foster Creek optimization update. Timing of optimization work for Foster Creek phases F, G and H was reassessed as part of Cenovus’s long-term reservoir management plan. Expected total gross production capacity from these three phases, including optimization, remained up to 125,000 barrels per day.

2014

 

 

Regulatory approval received for Grand Rapids. In the first quarter, Cenovus received regulatory approval for its Grand Rapids project with an approved gross production capacity of up to 180,000 barrels per day.

 

 

Prepayment of Partnership contribution payable. In the first quarter, Cenovus prepaid its US$2.7 billion partnership contribution payable to WRB Refining LP, of which Cenovus is a 50 percent owner. This resulted in a net cash payment of approximately US$1.35 billion from Cenovus.

 

 

Divestiture of non-core assets. In the second quarter, Cenovus completed the sale of certain of its Bakken assets to an unrelated third party for net proceeds of $35 million. In the third quarter, Cenovus completed the sale of certain Wainwright properties to an unrelated third party for net proceeds of $234 million.

 

 

First production from Foster Creek phase F. In the third quarter, Foster Creek phase F achieved first oil production. Phase F is expected to add 30,000 barrels per day of gross production capacity.

 

 

Increased rail takeaway capacity. In the fourth quarter, Cenovus increased its rail takeaway capacity to 30,000 barrels per day.

 

 

Regulatory approval received for Foster Creek phase J. In the fourth quarter, Cenovus received regulatory approval for Foster Creek phase J with approved gross production capacity of 50,000 barrels per day. 

 

 

Regulatory approval received for Telephone Lake. In the fourth quarter, Cenovus received regulatory approval for its 100 percent owned Telephone Lake thermal oil sands project with initial production capacity of 90,000 barrels per day. The project is expected to have gross production capacity in excess of 300,000 barrels per day.

 

 

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2015

 

 

Reduced capital spending. Due to the low commodity price environment, Cenovus reduced its 2015 capital spending, including suspension of the bulk of its conventional drilling program in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan and deferral of further construction work on Foster Creek phase H, Christina Lake phase G and Narrows Lake phase A.

 

 

Common share issuance. In the first quarter, Cenovus issued 67.5 million common shares at a price of $22.25 per share for net proceeds of approximately $1.4 billion, a portion of which contributed to funding the Corporation’s capital investment in 2015.

 

 

Permit approval received at Wood River Refinery. In the first quarter, Cenovus received permit approval for the Wood River Refinery debottlenecking project. Start-up of the project is anticipated in the third quarter of 2016.

 

 

Sale of royalty interest and mineral fee title lands business. In the third quarter, Cenovus sold its wholly owned subsidiary, Heritage Royalty Limited Partnership (“HRP”), which held approximately 4.8 million gross acres of royalty interest and mineral fee title lands in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba along with a Gross Overriding Royalty (“GORR”) on Cenovus’s Pelican Lake heavy oil property in northern Alberta and its EOR project located near Weyburn, Saskatchewan, to an unrelated third party for gross cash proceeds of $3.3 billion, a portion of which was used to help fund the Corporation’s capital investment in 2015. Associated third-party royalty interest volumes prior to the divestiture were approximately 6,580 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

 

Rail terminal purchase. In the third quarter, Cenovus purchased a crude-by-rail terminal located in Bruderheim, Alberta, for $75 million, plus closing adjustments.

 

 

Cost reductions. Cenovus achieved total 2015 cost savings of approximately $540 million, including operating, capital and general and administrative costs. The cost reductions apply across the Corporation and include savings related to improved drilling efficiency, optimized scheduling and prioritization of repair and maintenance activities, lower chemical costs and improved oil sands waste disposal and handling processes. Additional savings resulted from the deferral of certain capital expenditure projects.

 

 

Workforce reductions. Cenovus reduced its workforce by approximately 1,500 positions, including full- and part-time employees as well as contract workers. As at December 31, 2015 the Company had approximately 24 percent fewer employee and contractor workforce positions than it had at December 31, 2014.

 

 

Completed Christina Lake optimization. In the fourth quarter, the Christina Lake optimization program began steam circulation, and is expected to add up to 22,000 barrels per day gross incremental production capacity and ramp up over the next 12 months, taking total gross production capacity to 160,000 barrels per day.

 

 

Regulatory approval received for Christina Lake phase H. In the fourth quarter, Cenovus received regulatory approval for Christina Lake phase H with approved gross production capacity of 50,000 barrels per day.

2016

 

 

Capital spending. Cenovus expects that the commodity price environment will continue to influence the general development of its business in 2016. The Corporation will continue to assess its plans in light of the commodity price environment and other relevant factors and will make adjustments to its capital spending and other business activities as appropriate.

 

 

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DESCRIPTION OF THE BUSINESS

 

OIL SANDS

 

Oil Sands includes Cenovus’s bitumen assets at Foster Creek, Christina Lake and Narrows Lake as well as emerging projects such as Grand Rapids and Telephone Lake. The Corporation’s Athabasca natural gas assets also form part of this segment.

Joint Operations

Foster Creek, Christina Lake and Narrows Lake are jointly owned through FCCL with ConocoPhillips, an unrelated U.S. public company. Cenovus FCCL Ltd., Cenovus’s wholly owned subsidiary, is the operator, managing partner and owner of 50 percent of FCCL. FCCL has a management committee, which is composed of three Cenovus representatives and three ConocoPhillips representatives, with each company holding equal voting rights.

Development Approach

Cenovus applies a manufacturing-like, phased approach to developing our oil sands assets. This approach incorporates learnings from previous phases into future growth plans, helping the Corporation to minimize costs.

New Technology

Focused technology development, research activities and understanding environmental impact play increasingly larger roles in all aspects of Cenovus’s business. Cenovus continues to seek new technologies and is actively developing its own technologies with the goal of increasing recoveries from its reservoirs, while reducing the amount of water, natural gas and electricity consumed in its operations, potentially reducing costs and minimizing the Corporation’s environmental footprint.

 

 

Landholdings

As at December 31, 2015, Cenovus held bitumen rights of approximately 1.8 million gross acres (1.5 million net acres) within the Athabasca and Cold Lake areas, as well as the exclusive rights to lease an additional 478,000 net acres on Cenovus’s behalf and/or its assignee’s behalf on the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range.

The following table summarizes Cenovus’s Oil Sands landholdings as at December 31, 2015, all of which are located within the Province of Alberta:

 

    

Developed

Acreage

    

Undeveloped

Acreage

    

Total

Acreage

     Average
Working
    Interest(1)
 
  

 

 

    
(thousands of acres)          Gross          Net          Gross          Net          Gross          Net     

 

 

Foster Creek

     16         8         114         57         130         65         50%   

Christina Lake

     9         4         49         24         58         28         50%   

Narrows Lake

     -         -         27         13         27         13         50%   

Grand Rapids (2)

     -         -         61         61         61         61         100%   

Telephone Lake

     16         16         142         142         158         158         100%   

Athabasca

     383         345         448         380         831         725         87%   

Other

     29         11         1,459         1,173         1,488         1,184         79%   

 

 

Total

     453         384         2,300         1,850         2,753         2,234         81%   

 

 

 

(1)

Percentages as represented in the above table cannot be calculated based on acreage shown due to rounding.

(2)

Overlapping landholdings between Grand Rapids and Pelican Lake (included in the Conventional segment) have been allocated to Grand Rapids based on the project’s approved development area.

Production

The following table summarizes Cenovus’s share of daily average production for the periods indicated:

 

    

Bitumen

(bbls/d)

    

Natural Gas

(MMcf/d)

    

      Total Production      

(BOE/d)

 
  

 

 

 
(annual average)                        2015            2014            2015            2014            2015            2014  

 

 

Foster Creek

     65,345         59,172         -         -         65,345         59,172   

Christina Lake

     74,975         69,023         -         -         74,975         69,023   

Athabasca (1)

     -         -         19         22         3,167         3,667   

 

 

Total

     140,320         128,195         19         22         143,487         131,862   

 

 

 

(1)

Net of internal usage of natural gas used at Foster Creek to produce steam.

 

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Producing Wells

The following table summarizes Cenovus’s interests in producing wells as at December 31, 2015. These figures exclude wells which were capable of producing, but that were not producing as at December 31, 2015:

 

    

Producing

Bitumen Wells

    

Producing

Gas Wells

    

Total

      Producing Wells      

 
  

 

 

 
(number of wells)                      Gross            Net            Gross            Net            Gross            Net  

 

 

Foster Creek

     255         128         -         -         255         128   

Christina Lake

     151         76         -         -         151         76   

Grand Rapids

     2         2         -         -         2         2   

Athabasca

     -         -         316         303         316         303   

Other

     3         3         -         -         3         3   

 

 

Total

     411         209         316         303         727         512   

 

 

 

Foster Creek

Cenovus has a 50 percent working interest in Foster Creek, Cenovus’s first commercial steam-assisted gravity drainage (“SAGD”) operation. It is located on the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range, an active military base, and has a reservoir depth up to 500 meters below the surface. Foster Creek produces from the McMurray formation using SAGD technology.

The Corporation holds surface access rights from the governments of Canada and Alberta and bitumen rights from the Government of Alberta for exploration, development and transportation from areas within the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range. In addition, Cenovus holds exclusive rights to lease several hundred thousand acres of bitumen rights in other areas on the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range on the Corporation’s and/or its assignee’s behalf.

Production from phases A through F at Foster Creek averaged 65,345 barrels per day in 2015. Plant construction at phase G is nearing completion with first production anticipated in the third quarter of 2016. Phase G is expected to add additional production capacity of 30,000 gross barrels per day. Expansion work on phase H has been deferred in response to the current low commodity price environment.

Cenovus operates an 80 megawatt natural gas-fired cogeneration facility in conjunction with the SAGD operation at Foster Creek. The steam and power generated by the facility is presently being used within the SAGD operation and any excess power generated is being sold into the Alberta Power Pool.

Christina Lake

Cenovus has a 50 percent working interest in Christina Lake. Christina Lake is located approximately 120 kilometers south of Fort McMurray and has a reservoir depth up to 350 meters below the surface. Christina Lake produces from the McMurray formation using SAGD technology.

Production from phases A through E at Christina Lake averaged 74,975 barrels per day in 2015. Optimization was completed in the fourth quarter of 2015, and is expected to add approximately 22,000 barrels per day gross production once fully ramped up in 12 months. Expansion work at phase F

(including cogeneration) is nearing completion, with first oil expected in the third quarter of 2016. Phase F is anticipated to add production capacity of 50,000 gross barrels per day. Expansion work on phase G has been deferred in response to the current low commodity price environment.

Cenovus received regulatory approval for phase H in the fourth quarter of 2015, a 50,000 gross barrel per day phase.

Several innovations to SAGD technology have been undertaken at Christina Lake over the past several years. One major innovation is solvent aided process technology (“SAP”). SAP is a new enhancement to SAGD expected to reduce environmental impact. SAP involves injecting a solvent together with the steam. SAP is expected to require less steam, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and water usage per barrel of oil and increase oil production and oil recovery rates. Various embodiments of SAP related technology are currently being piloted at Christina Lake. Based on results from the various SAP related pilots, Cenovus plans to commercialize the SAP technology with phase A of its Narrows Lake project.

Narrows Lake

Cenovus has a 50 percent working interest in Narrows Lake. Narrows Lake is located adjacent to Christina Lake and has a reservoir depth up to 375 meters below the surface. Narrows Lake will be Cenovus’s first commercial application of SAP in conjunction with SAGD. The solvent to be used at Narrows Lake is expected to be butane, which is already present in the reservoir in small amounts.

In 2012, Cenovus received regulatory approval for phases A, B and C for 130,000 gross barrels per day of production capacity and partner approval for phase A, a 45,000 gross barrels per day phase. Initial work on phase A commenced in the third quarter of 2013. Due to the current low commodity price environment, Cenovus has suspended new construction spending on phase A. The future development of Narrows Lake should benefit from the existing infrastructure and resources at Christina Lake, which is expected to lower overall costs.

 

 

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Telephone Lake

Cenovus’s 100 percent-owned Telephone Lake property is located in the Borealis Region in northeastern Alberta, approximately 90 kilometers northeast of Fort McMurray.

In 2015, Cenovus continued to advance development plans for Telephone Lake after receiving approval from the Alberta Energy Regulator (“AER”) in late 2014 for an initial SAGD project with initial production capacity of 90,000 barrels per day.

Telephone Lake is a unique oil sands project because directly above the oil there is a layer of groundwater that is not suitable for human consumption without treatment (referred to as top water). The top water layer is between 150 and 175 meters below the surface. In 2013, Cenovus completed a dewatering pilot project at Telephone Lake displacing approximately 70 percent of the top water. Although dewatering is not essential to the development of Telephone Lake, Cenovus believes this method will make oil recovery more efficient and help reduce its impact on the environment by reducing the steam to oil ratio.

Grand Rapids

Cenovus’s 100 percent owned Grand Rapids property is located in the Greater Pelican Region, about 300 kilometers north of Edmonton, Alberta. The project is adjacent to the Corporation’s Pelican Lake heavy oil operations and existing facilities.

In December 2010, the Corporation drilled its first pilot SAGD well pair at Grand Rapids. A second well pair was drilled in early 2012 and a third well pair commenced steam circulation in 2015.

In March 2014, Cenovus received regulatory approval from the AER for its Grand Rapids SAGD project with total production capacity of 180,000 barrels per day. As of February 2016, further activity in respect of the SAGD pilot at Grand Rapids has been deferred in response to the current low commodity price environment.

Other Emerging Assets

Cenovus has a number of emerging assets, including the Steepbank and East McMurray properties located in the Borealis Region in Alberta, which it continues to evaluate, manage and work to decrease risk associated with potential future development of these assets. Cenovus continues to believe in the long-term potential of its emerging projects as a future resource base.

Cenovus completed a pilot program using a helicopter and an experimental lightweight drilling rig, referred to as SkyStratTM, to drill stratigraphic test wells. The SkyStratTM drilling rig is a rig that was developed to improve stratigraphic drilling programs in the oil sands. Transporting the rig by helicopter allows Cenovus to access remote exploratory drilling locations year-round and eliminates the need for temporary roads, significantly reducing the surface footprint and potentially reducing water use for the drilling operations by over 50 percent. The Corporation

completed construction on a second SkyStratTM drilling rig in the fourth quarter of 2014. A total of seven stratigraphic wells were drilled using SkyStratTM drilling technology in 2015.

Athabasca Gas

Cenovus produces natural gas from the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range and several surrounding landholdings located in northeastern Alberta. Cenovus holds surface access and natural gas rights for exploration, development and transportation from areas within the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range that were granted by the governments of Canada and Alberta. The majority of the Corporation’s natural gas production in the area is processed through compression facilities, wholly-owned and operated by Cenovus.

Natural gas production continues to be impacted by the AER’s decisions made between 2003 and 2015 to shut-in natural gas production from the McMurray, Wabiskaw and Clearwater formations that may put the recovery of bitumen resources in the area at risk. This resulted in a decrease in the Corporation’s annualized natural gas production of approximately 14 million cubic feet per day in 2015 (2014 - 15 million cubic feet per day). The Alberta Department of Energy has provided a ten year royalty credit which can equal up to 50 percent of lost cash flow to help offset the impact of the shut-in wells. This royalty credit fluctuates with the price of natural gas.

Capital Investment

In 2015, the Corporation’s Oil Sands capital investment was $1.2 billion, primarily related to the expansions at Foster Creek and Christina Lake. The production capacity for these projects is expected to increase to approximately 390,000 gross barrels per day with completion of Foster Creek phase G and Christina Lake phase F. Ramp up to total production for these phases is expected to extend into 2017.

 

 

Capital at Foster Creek was focused on sustaining capital related to existing production, expansion phase G and the drilling of stratigraphic test wells to determine pad placement for sustaining well pads and near-term phase expansions.

 

 

Capital at Christina Lake was focused on sustaining capital related to existing production, expansion phases F and G, and the optimization project. The optimization project has been completed and is expected to add approximately 22,000 barrels per day of gross production capacity, with incremental oil production expected to ramp up over a period of twelve months.

 

 

Capital at Narrows Lake was focused on detailed engineering and construction wind-down.

 

 

Capital at Telephone Lake was focused on front end engineering work on the central processing facility and preliminary infrastructure development.

 

 

  

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Capital at Grand Rapids was focused on continued operation of the SAGD pilot project and a third well pair commenced steam circulation.

Due to the lower crude oil price environment, 2016 capital spending is planned to be focused on

completion of the Foster Creek phase G and Christina Lake phase F (including cogeneration) expansions. Funding is also planned to maintain current production levels from existing oil sands phases as well as meeting all maintenance, safety, regulatory and contractual obligations.

 

 

CONVENTIONAL

 

Conventional operations include the development and production of conventional crude oil, NGLs and natural gas from assets in Alberta and Saskatchewan, including the heavy oil assets at Pelican Lake, the CO2 EOR project near Weyburn, Saskatchewan and emerging tight oil assets in Alberta. The established assets in this segment are strategically important due to their long life reserves, stable operations and diversity of crude oil produced.

In July 2015, Cenovus sold HRP, the holder of Cenovus’s royalty interest and mineral fee title lands business in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba to an unrelated third party for gross cash proceeds of approximately $3.3 billion. Production from fee lands had comprised approximately 50 percent of the Corporation’s total conventional production in 2014. Associated third-party royalty interest

volumes prior to the divestiture were approximately 6,580 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Where Cenovus had current working interest production on these fee lands, the Corporation entered into lease agreements with HRP. A GORR on Cenovus’s production from its Pelican Lake and Weyburn assets was included as part of the sale. Cenovus also retained an option to acquire from HRP leases at pre-determined rates and lease terms for up to five years on more than 800,000 acres in zones of the fee lands currently being developed by Cenovus, with an option for a further five years to select leases on half of the remaining undeveloped acreage.

Conventional operations also include leases of Crown lands primarily in the Suffield area and in Saskatchewan.

 

 

Landholdings

 

     Developed Acreage      Undeveloped
Acreage
    

Total

Acreage

    

Average
Working

Interest (1)

 
  

 

 

    
(thousands of acres)    Gross      Net      Gross      Net      Gross      Net     

 

 

Alberta

                    

Grassland (2)

     959         920         32         27         991         947         96%   

Suffield

     935         923         89         89         1,024         1,012         99%   

Langevin (3)

     669         651         63         55         732         706         96%   

Pelican Lake (4)

     95         94         254         241         349         335         96%   

Wainwright

     49         29         13         9         62         38         63%   

Other

     24         15         149         135         173         150         87%   

Saskatchewan

                    

Weyburn

     48         36         51         41         99         77         78%   

Bakken

     4         4         48         48         52         52         98%   

 

 

Total

     2,783         2,672         699         645         3,482         3,317         95%   

 

 

 

(1)

Percentages as represented in the above table cannot be calculated based on acreage shown due to rounding.

(2)

Grassland is located in the Drumheller and Brooks areas.

(3)

Langevin is located northwest of Medicine Hat.

(4)

Overlapping landholdings between Grand Rapids (included in the Oil Sands segment) and Pelican Lake have been allocated to Grand Rapids based on the project’s approved development area.

 

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Production

The following table summarizes Cenovus’s share of daily average production (1) for the periods indicated:

 

    

        Crude Oil and NGLs        

(bbls/d)

    

        Natural Gas        

(MMcf/d)

    

    Total Production    

(BOE/d)

 
  

 

 

 
(annual average)    2015      2014      2015      2014      2015      2014  

 

 

Alberta

                 

Grassland (2)

     7,248         8,923         212         232         42,581         47,590   

Suffield

     8,854         10,010         125         135         29,687         32,510   

Langevin (3)

     8,025         9,368         84         96         22,025         25,368   

Pelican Lake

     24,421         24,924         -         -         24,421         24,924   

Wainwright (4)

     1,638         4,687         1         2         1,805         5,020   

Other

     10         8         -         -         10         8   

Saskatchewan

                 

Weyburn

     15,732         16,196         -         -         15,732         16,196   

Bakken (4)

     699         1,182         -         1         699         1,349   

Other

     -         -         -         -         -         -   

 

 

Total

     66,627         75,298         422         466         136,960         152,965   

 

 

 

(1)

Includes production from mineral fee title lands in which Cenovus has a working interest and mineral fee title lands in which Cenovus has retained a royalty interest. In the third quarter of 2015, Cenovus sold those royalty interests.

(2)

Grassland is located in the Drumheller and Brooks areas.

(3)

Langevin is located northwest of Medicine Hat.

(4)

Cenovus sold certain interests in its Bakken and Wainwright crude oil assets in the second and third quarter of 2014, respectively. Cenovus retained royalty interests on mineral fee title lands in these areas. In the third quarter of 2015, Cenovus sold those royalty interests.

Producing Wells

The following table summarizes Cenovus’s interests in producing wells (1) as at December 31, 2015. These figures exclude wells which were capable of producing, but that were not producing, as at December 31, 2015:

 

    

            Producing             

Oil Wells

    

            Producing             

Gas Wells

    

Total

  Producing Wells

 
  

 

 

 
(number of wells)    Gross      Net      Gross      Net      Gross      Net    

 

 

Alberta

                 

Grassland (2)

     398         391         8,804         8,660         9,202         9,051     

Suffield

     739         739         10,676         10,658         11,415         11,397     

Langevin (3)

     300         298         4,752         4,740         5,052         5,038     

Pelican Lake

     587         587         1         1         588         588     

Wainwright

     57         52         10         2         67         54     

Other

     10         5         2         1         12         6     

Saskatchewan

                 

Weyburn

     644         405         -         -         644         405     

Bakken

     9         2         -         -         9         2     

Other

     1         1               1         1     

 

 

Total

     2,745         2,480         24,245         24,062         26,990         26,542     

 

 

 

(1)

Includes wells on mineral fee title lands where Cenovus has a working interest. Excludes wells on mineral fee title lands where Cenovus only has a royalty interest. In the third quarter of 2015, Cenovus sold those royalty interests.

(2)

Grassland is located in the Drumheller and Brooks areas.

(3)

Langevin is located northwest of Medicine Hat.

 

Conventional Crude Oil Assets

Cenovus’s extensive conventional crude oil assets are located in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Cenovus holds interests in multiple zones in the Suffield, Grassland and Langevin areas in Alberta with a mix of medium and heavy crude oil production. Cenovus uses a number of EOR techniques to increase production of the Corporation’s oil assets including waterflooding, CO2 miscible flooding and alkaline surfactant polymer flooding.

Cenovus operates one of the world’s largest CO2 miscible flood projects. The Weyburn unit produces medium sour crude oil and covers approximately 50,000 acres of land in southeastern Saskatchewan. As at December 31, 2015, approximately 64 percent of the approved CO2 flood pattern development at the Weyburn unit was complete. Since the inception of the project, approximately 27 million tonnes of CO2 have been injected. The CO2 is delivered by pipeline directly to the Weyburn facility from a coal

gasification project in North Dakota, U.S. and from the Boundary Dam Power Station in southeast Saskatchewan. In the unitized portion of the Weyburn field in southwestern Saskatchewan, Cenovus has a 62.1 percent working interest. However, after taking into consideration a net royalty interest obligation to a third party, Cenovus’s economic interest is 50.4 percent. Cenovus is the unit operator and owns 62.1 percent of the CO2 pipeline from the Boundary Dam to Weyburn.

Using a patterned, horizontal well polymer flood and waterflood, Cenovus produces heavy crude oil from the Wabiskaw formation at its Pelican Lake property. The property is located within the Greater Pelican Region in northeastern Alberta. Cenovus holds a 38 percent non-operated interest in a 110 kilometer, 20 inch diameter crude oil pipeline which connects the Pelican Lake area to major pipelines that transport crude oil from northern Alberta to crude oil markets.

 

 

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Net Wells Drilled and Production

The following table summarizes net oil wells drilled and daily average oil production figures (1) for the periods indicated:

 

           

Average Production (2)

(bbls/d)

 
        

 

 

 
     Net Wells Drilled                   Light & Medium Oil                              Heavy Oil                   
  

 

 

 
                     2015      2014      2015      2014      2015      2014  

 

 

Alberta

                 

Grassland (3)

     15         42         6,632         8,224         -         -   

Suffield

     1         18         -         -         8,837         9,991   

Langevin (4)

     12         29         7,858         9,221         -         -   

Wainwright (5)

     -         4         1         42         1,630         4,631   

Pelican Lake

     -         25         -         -         24,421         24,924   

Other

     -         1         10         8         -         -   

Saskatchewan

                 

Weyburn

     6         7         15,343         15,921         -         -   

Bakken (5)

     -         -         642         1,115         -         -   

Other

     -         -         -         -         -         -   

 

 

Total

     34         126         30,486         34,531         34,888         39,546   

 

 

 

(1)

Excludes wells drilled by third parties on mineral fee title lands. In the third quarter of 2015, Cenovus sold those fee lands.

(2)

Includes production from mineral fee title lands in which Cenovus has a working interest and mineral fee title lands in which Cenovus had retained a royalty interest. In the third quarter of 2015, Cenovus sold those fee lands.

(3)

Grassland landholdings are located in the Drumheller and Brooks areas.

(4)

Langevin landholdings are located northwest of Medicine Hat.

(5)

Cenovus sold certain interests in its Bakken and Wainwright crude oil assets in the second and third quarter of 2014, respectively. Cenovus retained royalty interests on mineral fee title lands in these areas. In the third quarter of 2015, Cenovus sold those royalty interests.

 

Conventional Gas Assets

Cenovus holds natural gas interests in multiple zones in the Suffield, Grassland and Langevin areas in Alberta. Development in these areas focuses on recompletions and optimization of existing wells.

Suffield is one of the core areas of the Corporation’s crude oil and natural gas production in Alberta. The Suffield area is largely made up of the Suffield Block, where operations are carried out pursuant to an agreement among Cenovus, the government of Canada and the Province of Alberta governing surface access to Canadian Forces Base (“CFB”) Suffield. In 1999, the parties agreed to permit access to the Suffield military training area to additional operators. Cenovus’s predecessor companies, Alberta Energy Company Ltd. and Encana, have operated at CFB Suffield for over 30 years.

The Corporation’s natural gas production acts as an economic hedge for the natural gas required as a fuel source at both its oil sands and refining operations.

In 2015, Conventional natural gas production averaged 422 MMcf per day (2014 – 466 MMcf per day). Cenovus did not drill any gas wells in 2015 or 2014.

Capital Investment

In 2015, the Corporation’s Conventional capital investment was $244 million, primarily related to modest drilling activity at our tight oil projects in southeast Alberta and at our CO2 EOR project at Weyburn. Spending on natural gas activities was allocated to a small number of higher return opportunities.

 

 

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REFINING AND MARKETING

 

The Refining and Marketing segment is responsible for refining crude oil into petroleum and chemical products and coordinates Cenovus’s marketing and transportation initiatives to optimize the value received for its products.

Refining

Cenovus’s refining operations allow it to capture the value from crude oil production through to refined products, such as diesel, gasoline and jet fuel, to partially mitigate volatility associated with regional North American crude oil differential fluctuations.

Through WRB, Cenovus has a 50 percent ownership interest in both the Wood River and Borger

refineries located in Roxana, Illinois and Borger, Texas respectively. Phillips 66 is the operator and managing partner of WRB. WRB has a management committee, which is composed of three Cenovus representatives and three Phillips 66 representatives, with each company holding equal voting rights. The Corporation’s refineries have a combined stated processing capacity of approximately 460,000 gross barrels per day of crude oil, including heavy crude oil processing capability of up to 255,000 gross barrels per day. In addition, the Borger Refinery has an NGL fractionation facility with a capacity of 45,000 gross barrels per day.

 

 

The following table summarizes the key operational results for the refineries in the periods indicated:

 

Refinery Operations (1)    2015                  2014  

 

 

Crude Oil Capacity (Mbbls/d)

     460         460   

Crude Oil Runs (Mbbls/d)

     419         423   

Heavy Oil

     200         199   

Light & Medium Oil

     219         224   

 

 

Crude Utilization (%)

     91         92   

 

 

Refined Products (Mbbls/d)

     

Gasoline

     228         231   

Distillates

     137         137   

Other

     79         77   

 

 

Total

     444         445   

 

 

 

(1)

Represents 100 percent of the Wood River and Borger Refinery operations.

 

Wood River Refinery

The Wood River Refinery ranks in the top 10 percent of the approximately 150 refineries in the U.S., based on total crude oil capacity. It is located in Roxana, Illinois, approximately 25 kilometers northeast of St. Louis, Missouri. The Wood River Refinery processes light low-sulphur and heavy high-sulphur crude oil that it receives from North American crude oil pipelines to produce gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, petrochemical feedstock as well as coke and asphalt. The gasoline and diesel are transported via pipelines to markets in the upper U.S. Midwest. Other products are transported via pipeline, truck, barge and railcar to markets in the U.S. Midwest. The Wood River Refinery is a major supplier of jet fuel to Lambert International Airport in St. Louis and O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.

The Wood River Refinery’s stated crude oil processing capacity for 2014 was 314,000 gross barrels per day, and is unchanged for 2015. Since the completed coker construction and start-up of the coker and refinery expansion project, the Wood River Refinery increased its total Canadian heavy crude oil processing capacity up to 220,000 gross barrels per day. Heavy crude oil processing capacity is planned to increase approximately another 18,000 gross barrels per day in 2016 with the completion of the debottlenecking project; anticipated to start up in the third quarter of 2016. In 2015, almost two thirds of the crude oil processed at the Wood River Refinery consisted of Canadian heavy crude oil,

including a significant proportion of high total acid number crudes.

Borger Refinery

The Borger Refinery is located in Borger, Texas, approximately 80 kilometers north of Amarillo, Texas. The Borger Refinery processes mainly medium and heavy high-sulphur crude oil, and NGLs that it receives from North American pipeline systems to produce gasoline, diesel and jet fuel along with NGLs and solvents. The refined products are transported via pipelines to markets in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and the U.S. Mid-Continent.

The Borger Refinery’s stated oil processing capacity for 2014 was 146,000 gross barrels per day, including 35,000 gross barrels per day of heavy crude oil. The Borger Refinery also has an NGL fractionation facility with stated capacity of 45,000 gross barrels per day. The stated processing capacity is unchanged for 2015.

Marketing

Cenovus’s marketing activities are focused on enhancing the netback price of the Corporation’s production, including third-party purchases and sales of crude oil and natural gas to provide operational flexibility for transportation commitments, product quality, delivery points and customer diversification. Cenovus’s crude oil marketing activities are focused on sale of production and management of condensate supply,

 

 

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inventory and storage to meet diluent requirements. Cenovus also manages the marketing of its natural gas, which is primarily sold to industrials, other producers and energy marketing companies. Prices Cenovus receives are based primarily on prevailing index prices for natural gas. Prices are impacted by competing fuels and by North American regional supply and demand for natural gas.

Cenovus’s marketing activities also include entering into various risk management contracts aimed at mitigating the impact of commodity price swings. Details of these transactions are provided in the notes to the Corporation’s audited Consolidated Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2015.

Transportation

We continue to focus on near and mid-term strategies to broaden market access for our crude oil production. As at December 31, 2015, Cenovus

has entered into various firm transportation and storage commitments totaling $27 billion, most of which relate to pipelines that are subject to regulatory approval. We continue to support proposed new pipeline projects that would connect us to new markets in the U.S. and globally. The Corporation’s portfolio of transportation commitments includes feeder pipelines from its production areas to the Edmonton and Hardisty, Alberta trade centres and major pipeline alternatives to markets downstream of these hubs. Other transportation commitments are primarily related to the reliable supply of diluent, railcar transportation as well as tankage and terminalling of both crude oil blend and condensate volumes. In the third quarter of 2015, we acquired a crude-by-rail terminal for $75 million, plus adjustments, located at Bruderheim, Alberta as part of our transportation strategy. The terminal has takeaway capacity of 77,000 barrels per day and is operated for Cenovus by a third party contractor.

 

 

RESERVES DATA AND OTHER OIL AND GAS INFORMATION

 

 

As a Canadian issuer, Cenovus is subject to the reporting requirements of Canadian securities regulatory authorities, including the reporting of the Corporation’s reserves in accordance with National Instrument 51-101, Standards of Disclosure for Oil and Gas Activities (“NI 51-101”).

The Corporation’s reserves are located in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada. Cenovus retained two independent qualified reserves evaluators (“IQREs”), McDaniel & Associates Consultants Ltd. (“McDaniel”) and GLJ Petroleum Consultants Ltd. (“GLJ”), to evaluate and prepare reports on 100 percent of its bitumen, heavy oil, light and medium oil (1), NGLs, natural gas, and coal bed methane (“CBM”) reserves. McDaniel evaluated approximately 97 percent of Cenovus’s proved reserves, located in Alberta, and GLJ evaluated approximately three percent of the Corporation’s proved reserves, located in Saskatchewan.

The reserves committee (the “Reserves Committee”) of Cenovus’s board of directors (the “Board”), composed of independent directors, reviews the qualifications and appointment of the IQREs, the procedures relating to the disclosure of information with respect to oil and gas activities and the procedures for providing information to the IQREs. The Reserves Committee meets independently with management of Cenovus (“Management”) and each IQRE to determine whether any restrictions affect the ability of the IQREs to report on the reserves data without reservation. In addition, the Reserves Committee reviews the reserves data and the report of the IQREs and provides a recommendation regarding approval of the reserves disclosure to the Board.

Cenovus’s bitumen reserves will be recovered and produced using SAGD technology. SAGD involves injecting steam into horizontal wells drilled into the bitumen formation and recovering heated bitumen and water from producing wells located below the injection wells. This technique has a surface footprint comparable to conventional oil production. Cenovus has no bitumen reserves that require mining techniques to recover the bitumen.

Classifications of reserves as proved or probable are only attempts to define the degree of certainty associated with the estimates. There are numerous uncertainties inherent in estimating quantities of petroleum reserves. It should not be assumed that the estimates of future net revenues presented in the tables below represent the fair market value of the reserves. There is no assurance that the forecast prices and costs assumptions will be attained and variances could be material. Readers should review the definitions and information contained in “Additional Notes to Reserves Data Tables”, “Definitions” and “Pricing Assumptions” in conjunction with the disclosure. The reserves estimates provided herein are estimates only and there is no guarantee that the estimated reserves will be recovered. Actual reserves may be greater than or less than the estimates disclosed. See “Risk Factors – Operational Risks – Uncertainty of Reserves and Future Net Revenue Estimates” in this AIF for additional information.

The reserves data and other oil and gas information contained in this AIF is dated February 10, 2016, with an effective date of December 31, 2015. McDaniel’s preparation date of the information is January 11, 2016, and GLJ’s preparation date is January 4, 2016.

 

 

(1)

For the purpose of this AIF, references to “light and medium oil” means “light crude oil and medium crude oil combined” as defined in National Instrument 51-101 Standards of Disclosure for Oil and Gas Activities.

 

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2015 Annual Information Form


Table of Contents

DISCLOSURE OF RESERVES DATA

 

The reserves data presented summarizes the Corporation’s bitumen, heavy oil, light and medium oil and NGLs, and natural gas and CBM reserves and the net present values (“NPV”) and future net revenue (“FNR”) for these reserves. The reserves data uses forecast prices and costs prior to provision for interest,

general and administrative expenses or the impact of any hedging activities. Future net revenues have been presented on a before and after income tax basis.

 

 

Summary of Company Interest Oil and Gas Reserves as at December 31, 2015

(Forecast prices and inflation)

 

Before Royalties   

Bitumen

(MMbbls)

    

        Heavy Oil

(MMbbls)

    

    Light & Medium

Oil & NGLs

(MMbbls)

    

        Natural Gas

& CBM

(Bcf)

 

 

 

Proved Reserves

           

Developed Producing

     268         103         89         703   

Developed Non-Producing

     54         1         2         14   

Undeveloped

     1,861         29         19         4   

 

 

Proved Reserves

     2,183         133         110         721   

 

 

Probable Reserves

     1,115         87         44         232   

 

 

Proved plus Probable Reserves

     3,298         220         154         953   

 

 
After Royalties (1)   

Bitumen

(MMbbls)

    

Heavy Oil

(MMbbls)

    

Light & Medium

Oil & NGLs

(MMbbls)

    

Natural Gas

& CBM

(Bcf)

 

 

 

Proved Reserves

           

Developed Producing

     223         84         69         658   

Developed Non-Producing

     43         1         1         13   

Undeveloped

     1,428         25         16         3   

 

 

Proved Reserves

     1,694         110         86         674   

 

 

Probable Reserves

     862         67         33         206   

 

 

Proved plus Probable Reserves

     2,556         177         119         880   

 

 

 

(1)

As a result of Cenovus’s sale in 2015 of HRP, Cenovus’s royalty interest and mineral fee title lands business, Cenovus no longer discloses royalty interest reserves separately.

Summary of Net Present Value of Future Net Revenue as at December 31, 2015 (1)

(Forecast prices and inflation)

     Discounted at %/year ($ millions)        

Unit Value  

    Discounted at  

10% (2)  

 
  

 

 

     

 

 

 
Before Income Taxes    0%      5%      10%      15%      20%           $/BOE    

 

     

 

 

 

Proved Reserves

                  

Developed Producing

     4,868         6,453         5,992         5,361         4,798            12.34     

Developed Non-Producing

     1,308         993         776         622         509            16.40     

Undeveloped

     50,517         20,376         9,538         4,917         2,657            6.49     

 

     

 

 

 

Proved Reserves

                     56,693                 27,822                 16,306                 10,900                 7,964            8.15     

Probable Reserves

     35,624         12,105         5,260         2,763         1,642            5.28     

 

     

 

 

 

Proved plus Probable Reserves

     92,317         39,927         21,566         13,663         9,606            7.19     

 

     

 

 

 

 

     Discounted at %/year ($ millions)  
  

 

 

 
After Income Taxes (3)    0%      5%      10%      15%      20%  

 

 

Proved Reserves

              

Developed Producing

     3,455         5,358         5,110         4,637         4,192   

Developed Non-Producing

     939         734         588         481         401   

Undeveloped

                     36,922                         15,077         7,110         3,685         2,002   

 

 

Proved Reserves

     41,316         21,169                         12,808                           8,803                           6,595   

 

 

Probable Reserves

     26,583         9,021         3,900         2,038         1,208   

 

 

Proved plus Probable Reserves

     67,899         30,190         16,708         10,841         7,803   

 

 

 

(1)

Due to amendments to NI 51-101 effective July 1, 2015 (the “2015 Amendments”), abandonment and reclamation costs included in the calculation of the NPV and FNR for 2015 are different than abandonment and reclamation costs included in Cenovus’s 2014 disclosure of NPV and FNR. The 2015 Amendments require that all abandonment and reclamation costs be included in the calculation of NPV and FNR including all existing estimated abandonment and reclamation costs, plus all forecast estimates of abandonment and reclamation costs attributable to future development activity associated with the reserves.

(2)

Unit values have been calculated using Company Interest After Royalties reserves.

(3)

Values are calculated by considering existing tax pools and tax circumstances for Cenovus and its subsidiaries in the consolidated evaluation of Cenovus’s oil and gas properties, and take into account current federal tax regulations. Values do not represent an estimate of the value at the business entity level, which may be significantly different. For information at the business entity level, please see the Corporation’s Consolidated Financial Statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2015.

 

  

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2015 Annual Information Form


Table of Contents

Total Future Net Revenue (undiscounted) as at December 31, 2015

(Forecast prices and inflation - $ millions)

Reserves Category

     Revenue        Royalties       

Operating

Costs

      

Development

Costs

      

Total

Abandonment

and

Reclamation

Costs (1)

      

Future

Net

Revenue

Before

Future

Income

Taxes

      

Future

Income

Taxes

      

Future

Net

Revenue

After

Future

Income

Taxes

 

Proved Reserves

       176,710           40,459           51,293           19,671           8,594           56,693           15,377           41,316   

Proved plus Probable Reserves

       282,430           65,067           80,663           34,178           10,205           92,317           24,418           67,899   

 

(1)

Total abandonment and reclamation costs included for all wells, facilities and other liabilities, known and existing, and to be incurred as a result of future development activity.

Future Net Revenue by Product Type as at December 31, 2015

(Forecast prices and inflation)

 

Reserves Category    Product Types   

Future Net Revenue

Before Income Taxes

(discounted at 10%/year)

($ millions)

      

Unit Value

Discounted at

10%/year (1)

($/BOE)

 

Proved Reserves

  

Bitumen

     14,288           8.44   
  

Heavy Oil

     1,057           9.64   
  

Light & Medium Oil and NGLs

     1,146           13.37   
    

Natural Gas

     (185        (1.65
    

Total

     16,306           8.15   
Proved plus Probable Reserves   

Bitumen

     18,146           7.10   
  

Heavy Oil

     1,684           9.54   
  

Light & Medium Oil and NGLs

     1,699           14.27   
    

Natural Gas

     37           0.25   
    

Total

     21,566           7.19   

 

(1)

Unit values have been calculated using Company Interest After Royalties reserves.

 

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2015 Annual Information Form


Table of Contents

Additional Notes to Reserves Data Tables

 

 

The estimates of FNR presented do not represent fair market value.

 

 

FNR from reserves excludes cash flows related to Cenovus’s risk management activities.

 

 

For disclosure purposes, Cenovus has included NGLs with light and medium oil, and CBM gas with natural gas, as the reserves of each are not material relative to the other reported product types.

 

 

Numbers presented may be rounded and tables may not add correctly due to rounding.

 

 

Due to amendments to NI 51-101 effective July 1, 2015 (the “2015 Amendments”), abandonment and reclamation costs included in the calculation of the NPV and FNR for 2015 are different than abandonment and reclamation costs included in Cenovus’s 2014 disclosure of NPV and FNR. In accordance with the 2015 Amendments, NPV and FNR amounts presented include all of Cenovus’s existing estimated abandonment and reclamation costs, plus all forecast estimates of abandonment and reclamation costs attributable to future development activity associated with the reserves.

Definitions

 

1.

After Royalties means volumes after deduction of royalties and includes Royalty Interest reserves.

 

2.

Before Royalties means volumes before deduction of royalties and excludes Royalty Interest reserves.

 

3.

Company Interest means, in relation to production, reserves, resources and property, the interest (operating or non-operating) held by Cenovus.

 

4.

Gross means: (a) in relation to wells, the total number of wells in which Cenovus has an interest; and (b) in relation to properties, the total acreage of properties in which the Corporation has an interest.

 

5.

Net means: (a) in relation to wells, the number of wells obtained by aggregating Cenovus’s working interest in each of its gross wells; and (b) in relation to the Corporation’s interest in a property, the total acreage in which it has an interest multiplied by its working interest.

6.

Reserves are estimated remaining quantities of oil and natural gas and related substances anticipated to be recoverable from known accumulations, as of a given date, based on analysis of drilling, geological, geophysical and engineering data, the use of established technology and specified economic conditions, which are generally accepted as being reasonable, and shall be disclosed.

Reserves are classified according to the degree of certainty associated with the estimates:

 

   

Proved reserves are those reserves that can be estimated with a high degree of certainty to be recoverable. It is likely that the actual remaining quantities recovered will exceed the estimated proved reserves.

 

   

Probable reserves are those additional reserves that are less certain to be recovered than proved reserves. It is equally likely that the actual remaining quantities recovered will be greater or less than the sum of the estimated proved plus probable reserves.

Each of the reserves categories may be divided into developed and undeveloped categories:

 

   

Developed reserves are those reserves that are expected to be recovered from existing wells and installed facilities or, if facilities have not been installed, that would involve a low expenditure (e.g., when compared to the cost of drilling a well) to put the reserves on production. The developed category may be subdivided as follows:

 

  ¡   

Developed producing reserves are those reserves that are expected to be recovered from completion intervals open at the time of the estimate. These reserves may be currently producing or, if shut-in, they must have previously been on production, and the date of resumption of production must be known with reasonable certainty.

 

  ¡   

Developed non-producing reserves are those reserves that either have not been on production, or have previously been on production, but are shut-in, and the date of resumption of production is unknown.

 

   

Undeveloped reserves are those reserves expected to be recovered from known accumulations where a significant expenditure (e.g., when compared to the cost of drilling a well) is required to render them capable of production. They must fully meet the requirements of the reserves classification (proved, probable) to which they are assigned.

 

 

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2015 Annual Information Form


Table of Contents

Pricing Assumptions

The forecast of prices and inflation (the “McDaniel Forecast”) provided in the table below was obtained from McDaniel and used to estimate FNR associated with the reserves disclosed herein. The McDaniel Forecast is dated January 1, 2016. The inflation forecast was applied uniformly to prices beyond the forecast interval, and to all future costs. For historical prices realized during 2015, see “Production History” in this AIF.

 

       Oil            

Natural Gas

& CBM

                        
Year     

WTI

Cushing

Oklahoma

(US$/bbl)

      

Edmonton

Par

Price

40 API

(C$/bbl)

      

Cromer

Medium

29.3 API

(C$/bbl)

      

Alberta

Heavy

12 API

(C$/bbl)

      

Western

Canadian

Select

(C$/bbl)

           

AECO

Gas

Price

(C$/MMBtu)

           

Inflation

Rate

(%/year)

      

Exchange

Rate

(US$/C$)

 

2016

       45.00           56.60           52.60           40.50           46.40              2.70              0.0           0.730   

2017

       53.60           66.40           61.80           47.50           54.40              3.20              2.0           0.750   

2018

       62.40           72.80           67.70           52.10           59.70              3.55              2.0           0.800   

2019

       69.00           80.90           75.20           57.80           66.30              3.85              2.0           0.800   

2020

       73.10           83.20           77.40           59.50           68.20              3.95              2.0           0.825   

2021

       77.30           88.20           82.00           63.10           72.30              4.20              2.0           0.825   

2022

       81.60           93.30           86.80           66.70           76.50              4.45              2.0           0.825   

2023

       86.20           98.70           91.80           70.60           80.90              4.70              2.0           0.825   

2024

       87.90           100.70           93.70           72.00           82.60              4.80              2.0           0.825   

2025

       89.60           102.60           95.40           73.40           84.10              4.90              2.0           0.825   

2026

       91.40           104.70           97.40           74.90           85.90              5.00              2.0           0.825   

There-after

       +2%/yr           +2%/yr           +2%/yr           +2%/yr           +2%/yr                +2%/yr                2.0           0.825   

Future Development Costs

The following table outlines undiscounted future development costs deducted in the estimation of FNR calculated utilizing forecast prices and inflation for the years indicated:

Reserves Category

($ millions)      2016        2017        2018        2019        2020        Remainder        Total  

Proved Reserves

       534           980              860           1,073             934             15,290           19,671     

Proved plus Probable Reserves

       593           1,308              1,378           1,445             1,103             28,351           34,178     

 

Cenovus believes that existing cash balances, internally generated cash flows, existing credit facilities, management of its asset portfolio and access to capital markets will be sufficient to fund the Corporation’s future development costs. However, there can be no guarantee that the necessary funds will be available or that Cenovus will allocate funding to develop all of its reserves. Failure to develop those reserves would have a negative impact on the Corporation’s FNR.

The interest or other costs of external funding are not included in the reserves and FNR estimates and would reduce FNR depending upon the funding sources utilized. Cenovus does not believe that interest or other funding costs would make development of any property uneconomic.

 

 

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2015 Annual Information Form


Table of Contents

Reserves Reconciliation

The following tables provide a reconciliation of Cenovus’s Company Interest Before Royalties reserves for bitumen, heavy oil, light and medium oil and NGLs, and natural gas and CBM for the year ended December 31, 2015, presented using forecast prices and inflation. All reserves are located in Canada.

 

Proved     

Bitumen

(MMbbls)

      

Heavy Oil

(MMbbls)

      

Light &

Medium

Oil & NGLs

(MMbbls)

      

Natural

Gas & CBM

(Bcf)

 

As at December 31, 2014

       1,970           156           120           796   

Extensions and Improved Recovery

       188           -           1           8   

Discoveries

       -           -           -           -   

Technical Revisions

       76           (10        1           79   

Economic Factors

       -           -           (1        (1

Acquisitions

       -           -           -           -   

Dispositions

       -           -           -           -   

Production (1)

       (51        (13        (11        (161

As at December 31, 2015

       2,183           133           110           721   
Probable     

Bitumen

(MMbbls)

      

Heavy Oil

(MMbbls)

      

Light &

Medium

Oil & NGLs

(MMbbls)

      

Natural

Gas & CBM

(Bcf)

 

As at December 31, 2014

       1,330           123           46           260   

Extensions and Improved Recovery

       -           -           1           7   

Discoveries

       -           -           -           -   

Technical Revisions

       (215        (36        (4        (36

Economic Factors

       -           -           1           1   

Acquisitions

       -           -           -           -   

Dispositions

       -           -           -           -   

Production (1)

       -           -           -           -   

As at December 31, 2015

       1,115           87           44           232   
Proved plus Probable     

Bitumen

(MMbbls)

      

Heavy Oil

(MMbbls)

      

Light &

Medium

Oil & NGLs

(MMbbls)

      

Natural

Gas & CBM

(Bcf)

 

As at December 31, 2014

       3,300           279           166           1,056   

Extensions and Improved Recovery

       188           -           2           15   

Discoveries

       -           -           -           -   

Technical Revisions

       (139        (46        (3        43   

Economic Factors

       -           -           -           -   

Acquisitions

       -           -           -           -   

Dispositions

       -           -           -           -   

Production (1)

       (51        (13        (11        (161

As at December 31, 2015

       3,298           220           154           953   

 

(1)

Production used for the reserves reconciliation differs from publicly reported production. In accordance with NI 51-101, Company Interest Before Royalties production used for the reserves reconciliation above includes Cenovus’s share of gas volumes provided to FCCL for steam generation, but does not include Royalty Interest production.

 

Proved bitumen reserves increased by approximately 11 percent. Increases at Christina Lake were primarily a result of an area expansion and improved reservoir performance. Increases at Foster Creek were primarily a result of improved reservoir performance. Proved plus probable bitumen reserves were virtually unchanged.

Heavy oil proved reserves decreased by approximately 15 percent primarily as a result of production and drilling deferrals, and the loss of undeveloped reserves at Elk Point as a result of failing to meet economic criteria. Heavy oil probable reserves decreased by approximately 29 percent due to drilling deferrals at Pelican Lake. Overall, heavy oil proved plus probable reserves decreased by approximately 21 percent.

Light and medium oil and NGLs proved reserves decreased by eight percent. The decreases were primarily due to production, partially offset by development at Grassland. Light and medium oil and NGLs probable reserves decreased by approximately four percent partly as a result of the conversion of probable reserves to proved reserves. Overall, light and medium oil and NGLs proved plus probable reserves decreased seven percent, primarily as a result of production.

Natural gas and CBM proved reserves declined by approximately nine percent as extensions and technical revisions did not offset production. Probable natural gas and CBM reserves and proved plus probable natural gas and CBM reserves declined by approximately 11 percent and ten percent, respectively.

 

 

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Table of Contents

Undeveloped Reserves

Undeveloped reserves are those reserves expected to be recovered from known accumulations where a significant expenditure is required to render them capable of production.

Proved and probable undeveloped reserves have been estimated by the IQREs in accordance with procedures and standards contained in the Canadian Oil and Gas Evaluation Handbook. In general, undeveloped reserves are scheduled to be developed within the next one to 45 years.

 

 

Company Interest Proved Undeveloped – Before Royalties

    

Bitumen

(MMbbls)

      

Heavy Oil

(MMbbls)

      

Light & Medium

Oil & NGLs

(MMbbls)

      

Natural Gas & CBM

(Bcf)

 
     

First

Attributed

      

Total at

Year-End

      

First

Attributed

      

Total at

Year-End

      

First

Attributed

      

Total at

Year-End

      

First

Attributed

      

Total at

Year-End

 

Prior

     1,717           1,532           93           61           56           22           300           6   

2013

     158           1,629           1           47           3           15           -           4   

2014

     161           1,732           7           40           11           21           4           4   

2015

     238           1,861           -           29           1           19           1           4   

Company Interest Probable Undeveloped – Before Royalties

    

Bitumen

(MMbbls)

      

Heavy Oil

(MMbbls)

      

Light & Medium

Oil & NGLs

(MMbbls)

      

Natural Gas & CBM

(Bcf)

 
     

First

Attributed

      

Total at

Year-End

      

First

Attributed

      

Total at

Year-End

      

First

Attributed

      

Total at

Year-End

      

First

Attributed

      

Total at

Year-End

 

Prior

     1,099           646           66           42           34           24           54           16   

2013

     145           649           56           86           1           17           -           16   

2014

     649           1,293           5           76           8           15           7           11   

2015

     1           1,074           -           52           1           14           2           8   

DEVELOPMENT OF PROVED AND PROBABLE UNDEVELOPED RESERVES

 

Bitumen

At the end of 2015, Cenovus had proved undeveloped bitumen reserves of 1,861 million barrels Before Royalties, or approximately 85 percent of the Corporation’s proved bitumen reserves. Of Cenovus’s 1,115 million barrels of probable bitumen reserves, 1,074 million barrels, or approximately 96 percent are undeveloped. The evaluation of these reserves anticipates they will be recovered using SAGD.

Typical SAGD project development involves the initial installation of a steam generation facility, at a cost much greater than drilling a production/injection well pair, and then progressively drilling sufficient SAGD well pairs to fully utilize the available steam.

Bitumen reserves can be classified as proved when there is sufficient stratigraphic drilling to have demonstrated to a high degree of certainty the presence of the bitumen in commercially recoverable volumes. McDaniel’s standard for sufficient drilling in the McMurray formation is a minimum of eight wells per section with 3D seismic, or 16 wells per section with no seismic. In other formations, such as the Grand Rapids, there may be some variation in the standard. Additionally, all requisite legal and regulatory approvals must have been obtained, operator and partner funding approvals must be in place, and a reasonable

development timetable must be established. Proved developed bitumen reserves are differentiated from proved undeveloped bitumen reserves by the presence of drilled production/injection well pairs at the reserves estimation effective date. Because a steam plant has a long life relative to well pairs, in the early stages of a SAGD project, only a small portion of proved reserves will be developed as the number of well pairs drilled will be limited by the available steam capacity.

Recognition of probable reserves requires sufficient drilling of stratigraphic wells to establish reservoir suitability for SAGD. Reserves will be classified as probable if the number of wells drilled falls between the stratigraphic well requirements for proved reserves and for probable reserves, or if the reserves are not located within an approved development plan area. McDaniel’s standard for probable reserves is a minimum of four stratigraphic wells per section. If reserves lie outside the approved development area, approval to include those reserves in the development area must be obtained before development drilling of SAGD well pairs can commence.

Development of the proved undeveloped reserves will take place in an orderly manner as additional well pairs are drilled to utilize the available steam when existing well pairs reach the end of their steam injection phase. The forecast production of Cenovus’s proved bitumen reserves extends approximately 45 years, based on existing facilities. Production of the current proved developed portion is estimated to take approximately 13 years.

 

 

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Table of Contents

Crude Oil

Cenovus has a significant medium oil CO2 EOR project at Weyburn and a significant heavy oil waterflood/polymer flood EOR project at Pelican Lake. These projects occur in large, well-developed reservoirs, where undeveloped reserves are not necessarily defined by the absence of drilling, but by anticipated improved recovery associated with development of the EOR schemes. Extending both

EOR schemes within the projects requires intensive capital investment in infrastructure development and will occur over many years.

At Weyburn, investment in proved undeveloped reserves is projected to continue for over 40 years, with drilling of supplementary wells taking place over the next five years, and CO2 flood advancement continuing many years beyond that. At Pelican Lake, investment in proved undeveloped reserves is projected to continue for four years, with a combination of infrastructure development, infill drilling and polymer flood advancement.

 

 

SIGNIFICANT FACTORS OR UNCERTAINTIES AFFECTING RESERVES DATA

 

The evaluation of reserves is a continuous process, one that can be significantly impacted by a variety of internal and external influences. Revisions are often required resulting from changes in pricing, economic conditions, regulatory changes, and historical performance. While these factors can be considered and potentially anticipated, certain

judgments and assumptions are always required. As new information becomes available, these areas are reviewed and revised accordingly. For a discussion of the risk factors and uncertainties affecting reserves data, see “Risk Factors – Operational Risks – Uncertainty of Reserves and Future Net Revenue Estimates”.

 

 

OTHER OIL AND GAS INFORMATION

Oil and Gas Properties and Wells

The following tables summarize Cenovus’s interests in producing and non-producing wells, as at December 31, 2015:

 

     Oil      Gas      Total  
Producing Wells (1)            Gross              Net              Gross              Net          Gross              Net  

Alberta

                 

Oil Sands

     411         209         316         303         727         512   

Conventional

     2,091         2,072         24,245         24,062         26,336         26,134   

Total Alberta

     2,502         2,281         24,561         24,365         27,063         26,646   

Saskatchewan

     654         408         -         -         654         408   

Total

     3,156         2,689         24,561         24,365         27,717         27,054   

 

(1) Includes wells containing multiple completions as follows: 22,174 gross gas wells (22,013 net wells) and 1,318 gross oil wells (1,073 net wells).

 

     Oil      Gas      Total  
Non-Producing Wells (1)            Gross              Net               Gross              Net          Gross              Net  

Alberta

                 

Oil Sands

     61           33          343         246         404         279   

Conventional

     785           769         971         940         1,756         1,709   

Total Alberta

     846           802         1,314         1,186         2,160         1,988   

Saskatchewan

     205           92         5         5         210         97   

Total

     1,051           894         1,319         1,191         2,370         2,085   

 

(1) Non-producing wells include wells which are capable of producing, but which are currently not producing. Non-producing wells do not include other types of wells such as stratigraphic test wells, service wells, or wells that have been abandoned.

Cenovus has no properties with attributed reserves which are capable of producing, but which are not on production.

 

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Exploration and Development Activity

The following tables summarize Cenovus’s gross participation and net interest in wells drilled in 2015 (1):

 

    

         Oil Sands

    

     Conventional

     Total     
  

 

 

 

Development

Wells Drilled

                       Gross                  Net                  Gross                  Net                  Gross                  Net  

 

 

Oil

     96         49         35         32         131         81   

Gas

     -         -         -         -         -         -   

Dry & Abandoned

     -         -         1         1         1         1   

 

 

Total Working Interest

     96         49         36         33         132         82   

Royalty

     -         -         1         -         1         -   

 

 

Total Canada

     96         49         37         33         133         82   

 

 

 

 (1) Cenovus did not have any participation or interest in any exploration wells in 2015.

During the year ended December 31, 2015, Oil Sands drilled 164 gross stratigraphic test wells (73 net wells) and Conventional drilled 13 gross stratigraphic test wells (13 net wells).

During the year ended December 31, 2015, Oil Sands drilled eight gross service wells (four net wells) and Conventional drilled three gross service wells (1.8 net wells). SAGD well pairs are counted as a single producing well in the table above.

For all types of wells except stratigraphic test wells, the calculation of the number of wells is based on the number of surface locations. For stratigraphic test wells, the calculation is based on the number of bottomhole locations.

Development activities were focused on sustaining bitumen production at Foster Creek and Christina Lake, and on supporting our EOR projects at Pelican Lake and Weyburn.

Interest in Material Properties

The following table summarizes Cenovus’s landholdings as at December 31, 2015:

 

Landholdings                     
(thousands of acres)    Developed Acreage          Undeveloped Acreage (1)          Total Acreage  
         Gross                  Net                  Gross                  Net                  Gross                  Net  

Alberta:

                 

Oil Sands

                 

– Crown (2)

     453         384         2,236         1,786         2,689         2,170   

Conventional

                 

– Crown (2)

     1,065         1,019         530         490         1,595         1,509   

– Freehold (3)

     1,666         1,613         70         66         1,736         1,679   

Total Alberta

     3,184         3,016         2,836         2,342         6,020         5,358   

Saskatchewan:

                 

Oil Sands

                 

– Crown (2)

     -         -         64         64         64         64   

Conventional

                 

– Crown (2)

     35         28         95         87         130         115   

– Freehold (3)

     17         12         4         2         21         14   

Total Saskatchewan

     52         40         163         153         215         193   

Total

     3,236         3,056         2,999         2,495         6,235         5,551   

 

(1) Undeveloped includes land that has not yet been drilled, as well as land with wells that have never produced hydrocarbons or that do not currently allow for the production of hydrocarbons.
(2) Crown/Federal lands are those lands owned by the federal or provincial government or the First Nations, in which Cenovus holds a working interest.
(3) Freehold lands are those lands owned by individuals and other entities (other than a government) in which Cenovus holds a working interest.

 

Properties With No Attributed Reserves

Cenovus has approximately 4.1 million gross acres (3.6 million net acres) of properties in Canada to which no reserves have been specifically attributed. These properties are planned for current and future development in both the Corporation’s oil sands and conventional oil and gas operations. There are currently no work commitments on these properties.

Cenovus has rights to explore, develop, and exploit approximately 102,000 net acres that could potentially expire by December 31, 2016, which relate entirely to Crown and freehold land.

For areas where Cenovus holds interests in different formations under the same surface area through separate leases, the Corporation has calculated its gross and net acreage on the basis of each individual lease.

Properties with no attributed reserves include Crown lands where bitumen contingent and prospective resources have been identified and Crown lands where exploration activities to date have not identified potential reserves in commercial quantities. See “Risk Factors – Financial Risks – Commodity Prices” and “Risk Factors – Financial Risks – Development and Operating Costs” and

 

 

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“Risk Factors – Operational Risks – Uncertainty of Reserves and Future Net Revenue Estimates” in this AIF for further discussion of economic and risk factors relevant to Cenovus’s properties with no attributed reserves.

Additional Information Concerning Abandonment and Reclamation Costs

The estimated total future abandonment and reclamation costs for existing wells, facilities, and infrastructure is based on Management’s estimate of costs to remediate, reclaim and abandon wells and facilities having regard to Cenovus’s working interest and the estimated timing of the costs to be incurred in future periods. Cenovus has developed a process to calculate these estimates, which considers applicable regulations, actual and anticipated costs, type and size of the well or facility and the geographic location.

Cenovus has estimated undiscounted future abandonment and reclamation costs for its existing upstream assets at approximately $6.5 billion (approximately $1.3 billion, discounted at 10 percent) at December 31,

2015, of which the Corporation expects to pay between $210 million and $260 million in the next three financial years on a portion of the 34,557 net wells.

Of the undiscounted future abandonment and reclamation costs to be incurred over the life of Cenovus’s proved reserves, approximately $8.6 billion has been deducted in estimating the FNR, which represents the Corporation’s total existing estimated abandonment and reclamation costs, plus all forecast estimates of abandonment and reclamation costs attributable to future development activity associated with the reserves.

Tax Horizon

In 2016, Cenovus expects to incur losses for income tax purposes and recover income taxes paid in prior years.

 

 

Costs Incurred

 

($ millions)    2015  

 

 

Acquisitions

  

Unproved

     4   

Proved

     -   

 

 

Total Acquisitions

     4   

Exploration Costs

     66   

Development Costs

     1,360   

 

 

Total Costs Incurred

     1,430   

 

 

Forward Contracts

Cenovus may use financial derivatives to manage its exposure to fluctuations in commodity prices, foreign exchange and interest rates. A description of such instruments is provided in the notes to the Corporation’s annual audited Consolidated Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2015.

 

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Production Estimates

The following table summarizes the estimated 2016 average daily volume of Company Working Interest Before Royalties reflected in the reserves reports for all properties held on December 31, 2015 using forecast prices and costs, all of which will be produced in Canada. These estimates assume certain activities take place, such as the development of undeveloped reserves, and that there are no divestitures.

 

 2016 Estimated Production

 

 Forecast Prices and Costs

   Proved          Proved plus
    Probable
 

 Bitumen (bbls/d) (1)

     152,517         159,881   

 Light and Medium Oil (bbls/d)

     28,265         32,060   

 Heavy Oil (bbls/d)

     31,727         32,946   

 Natural Gas (MMcf/d)

     357         390   

 Natural Gas Liquids (bbls/d)

     658         732   

 Company Working Interest Before Royalties (BOE/d)

     272,715         290,620   

 

  (1) Includes Foster Creek production of 74,929 barrels per day for proved and 77,581 barrels per day for proved plus probable, and Christina Lake production of 77,588 barrels per day for proved and 82,300 barrels per day for proved plus probable.

Production History

 

Average Working Interest Daily Production Volumes - 2015  
     Year                  Q4                  Q3                  Q2                  Q1  

 

 

Crude Oil and Natural Gas Liquids (bbls/d)

              

Oil Sands

              

Foster Creek (Bitumen)

     65,345         63,680         71,414         58,363         67,901   

Christina Lake (Bitumen)

     74,975         75,733         75,329         72,371         76,471   

 

 
     140,320         139,413         146,743         130,734         144,372   

Conventional Liquids

              

Heavy Oil

     34,260         32,363         33,693         34,790         36,244   

Light and Medium Oil

     28,607         26,576         27,551         28,886         31,481   

Natural Gas Liquids (1)

     1,148         1,154         1,130         1,139         1,171   

 

 

Total Crude Oil and Natural Gas Liquids

     204,335         199,506         209,117         195,549         213,268   

 

 

Natural Gas (MMcf/d)

              

Oil Sands

     19         19         19         21         20   

Conventional

     412         405         405         415         423   

 

 

Total Natural Gas

     431         424         424         436         443   

 

 

Total (BOE/d)

     276,168         270,173         279,784         268,216         287,101   

 

 

 

(1)        Natural gas liquids include condensate volumes.

              

 

Average Royalty Interest Daily Production Volumes - 2015

 
     Year              Q4              Q3              Q2              Q1  

 

 

Crude Oil and Natural Gas Liquids (bbls/d)

              

Conventional Liquids (1)

              

Heavy Oil

     628         -         304         1,309         911   

Light and Medium Oil

     1,879         49         940         2,923         3,654   

Natural Gas Liquids (2)

     105         1         61         173         187   

 

 

Total Crude Oil and Natural Gas Liquids

     2,612         50         1,305         4,405         4,752   

 

 

Natural Gas (MMcf/d)

              

Conventional

     10         -         6         14         19   

 

 

Total (BOE/d)

     4,279         50         2,305         6,738         7,919   

 

 

 

(1)   Cenovus sold the majority of its royalty interest and mineral fee title lands in the third quarter of 2015.
(2)   Natural gas liquids include condensate volumes.

 

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Per-Unit Results

The following tables summarize Cenovus’s per-unit results, as well as the impact of realized financial hedging, on a quarterly basis, before deduction of royalties, for the periods indicated:

 

Per-Unit Results – 2015

(excluding impact of realized gain (loss) on risk management)

   Year                  Q4                 Q3                  Q2                  Q1  

Bitumen - Foster Creek ($/bbl) (1) (2) (3)

             

Price

     33.65         25.09        33.35         48.25         29.42   

Royalties

     0.47         0.12        0.20         1.97         (0.25

Transportation and blending

     8.84         8.53        8.50         9.04         9.39   

Operating expenses

     12.60         11.66        11.27         13.29         14.50   

Netback

     11.74         4.78        13.38         23.95         5.78   

Bitumen - Christina Lake ($/bbl) (1) (2) (3)

             

Price

     28.45         21.34        27.46         43.36         23.30   

Royalties

     0.67         0.30        0.83         0.99         0.61   

Transportation and blending

     4.72         5.40        5.00         4.29         4.17   

Operating expenses

     8.01         7.80        7.80         8.20         8.24   

Netback

     15.05         7.84        13.83         29.88         10.28   

Total Bitumen - Oil Sands ($/bbl) (1) (2) (3)

             

Price

     30.88         23.08        30.35         45.61         26.04   

Royalties

     0.58         0.22        0.52         1.44         0.22   

Transportation and blending

     6.64         6.85        6.72         6.48         6.50   

Operating expenses

     10.13         9.59        9.46         10.57         10.99   

Netback

     13.53         6.42        13.65         27.12         8.33   

Heavy Crude Oil - Conventional ($/bbl) (1) (2) (3)

             

Price

     39.95         32.84        37.09         52.63         35.85   

Royalties

     2.97         2.24        1.73         5.34         2.34   

Transportation and blending

     3.36         3.63        3.36         3.09         3.42   

Operating expenses

     15.92         15.20        15.59         15.45         17.30   

Production and mineral taxes

     0.04         (0.03     0.07         0.08         0.02   

Netback

     17.66         11.80        16.34         28.67         12.77   

Total Bitumen and Heavy Crude Oil ($/bbl) (1) (2) (3)

             

Price

     32.73         24.87        31.63         47.24         28.15   

Royalties

     1.07         0.59        0.75         2.35         0.68   

Transportation and blending

     5.97         6.26        6.08         5.69         5.83   

Operating expenses

     11.31         10.62        10.62         11.70         12.35   

Production and mineral taxes

     0.01         (0.01     0.01         0.02         -   

Netback

     14.37         7.41        14.17         27.48         9.29   

 

  (1)   Netbacks do not reflect non-cash write-downs of product inventory.

  (2)   Cost of condensate per barrel of unblended crude oil ($/bbl).

  (3)   Employee long-term incentive costs were reclassified from operating expenses to general and administrative costs.

 

   Bitumen and heavy crude oil price and transportation and blending costs exclude the costs of purchased condensate, which is blended with the bitumen and heavy crude oil. On a per-barrel of unblended bitumen and heavy crude oil basis, the cost of condensate is as follows:

 

 

Bitumen – Foster Creek ($/bbl)

               27.44                     25.96                     24.20                     29.82                     30.57   

Bitumen – Christina Lake ($/bbl)

     29.50         27.39         26.42         32.90         31.60   

Bitumen – Oil Sands ($/bbl)

     28.54         26.72         25.33         31.48         31.14   

Heavy Crude Oil – Conventional ($/bbl)

     10.94         9.99         9.56         12.42         11.50   

Total Bitumen and Heavy Crude Oil ($/bbl)

     24.94         23.64         22.34         27.06         26.91   

 

 

 

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Table of Contents
Per-Unit Results – 2015                                           
(excluding impact of realized gain (Loss) on risk management)    Year        Q4        Q3        Q2        Q1  

Light and Medium Crude Oil ($/bbl) (1)

                      

Price

     50.64           45.35           49.57           61.66           45.81   

Royalties

     5.66           6.97           7.02           5.67           3.56   

Transportation and blending

     2.91           2.80           2.88           3.06           2.88   

Operating expenses

     16.27           17.37           15.92           15.90           16.04   

Production and mineral taxes

     1.41           0.76           1.60           1.95           1.28   

Netback

     24.39           17.45           22.16           35.08           22.05   

Total Bitumen and Crude Oil

(Heavy, Light and Medium) ($/bbl) (1) (2)

                      

Price

     35.41           27.62           34.08           49.55           31.09   

Royalties

     1.75           1.44           1.60           2.88           1.16   

Transportation and blending

     5.51           5.79           5.64           5.27           5.34   

Operating expenses

     12.05           11.52           11.35           12.37           12.97   

Production and mineral taxes

     0.22           0.10           0.23           0.33           0.22   

Netback

     15.88           8.77           15.26           28.70           11.40   

Natural Gas Liquids ($/bbl)

                      

Price

     30.98           30.70           24.57           39.64           28.51   

Royalties

     1.74           3.94           1.75           0.87           0.66   

Netback

     29.24           26.76           22.82           38.77           27.85   

Total Bitumen, Crude Oil (Heavy, Light and Medium)

and Natural Gas Liquids ($/bbl) (1) (2)

                      

Price

     35.38           27.63           34.03           49.48           31.08   

Royalties

     1.75           1.46           1.60           2.86           1.16   

Transportation and blending

     5.48           5.76           5.61           5.24           5.31   

Operating expenses

     11.98           11.46           11.28           12.29           12.89   

Production and mineral taxes

     0.22           0.10           0.23           0.33           0.22   

Netback

     15.95           8.85           15.31           28.76           11.50   

Total Natural Gas ($/Mcf) (1)

                      

Price

     2.92           2.78           3.00           2.82           3.05   

Royalties

     0.07           0.10           0.11           0.03           0.05   

Transportation and blending

     0.11           0.11           0.10           0.10           0.12   

Operating expenses

     1.20           1.25           1.16           1.14           1.26   

Production and mineral taxes

     0.01           0.02           0.01           0.02           0.01   

Netback

     1.53           1.30           1.62           1.53           1.61   

Total ($/BOE) (1) (2)

                      

Price

     30.67           24.78           29.95           40.50           27.73   

Royalties

     1.40           1.23           1.36           2.13           0.93   

Transportation and blending

     4.21           4.43           4.35           3.95           4.11   

Operating expenses

     10.72           10.43           10.18           10.78           11.49   

Production and mineral taxes

     0.18           0.10           0.19           0.27           0.17   

Netback

     14.16           8.59           13.87           23.37           11.03   

 

(1)    Employee long-term incentive costs were reclassified from operating expenses to general and administrative costs.

(2)    Netbacks do not reflect non-cash write-downs of product inventory.

 

       

       

                   
Impact of Realized Gain (Loss) on Risk Management – 2015    Year        Q4        Q3        Q2        Q1  

Liquids ($/bbl)

     7.51           11.39           10.07           1.75           6.58   

Natural Gas ($/Mcf)

     0.37           0.42           0.37           0.39           0.29   

Total ($/BOE)

     6.11           9.08           8.07           1.92           5.31   

 

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Table of Contents

Capital Expenditures, Acquisitions and Divestitures

Cenovus has a large inventory of internal growth opportunities and continues to examine select acquisition opportunities to develop and expand its oil and gas properties. Acquisition opportunities may include corporate or asset acquisitions. Cenovus may finance any such acquisitions with debt, equity, cash generated from operations, proceeds from asset divestitures or a combination of these sources.

2015: Cenovus has an active program to divest its non-core assets in order to increase its focus on key assets within the long range business plan, as well as generate proceeds to partially fund its capital investment. In the third quarter, Cenovus sold HRP, the holder of its royalty interest and mineral fee title lands business in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba to an unrelated third party for gross cash proceeds of $3.3 billion. Also in the third quarter, Cenovus acquired the Bruderheim rail terminal, a crude-by-rail terminal at Bruderheim, Alberta for $75 million plus adjustments.

2014: Early in the second quarter, Cenovus completed the sale of certain of its Bakken assets for net proceeds of $35 million. Immediately prior to the disposition, the properties were producing an average of 396 barrels per day during the first quarter of 2014. Late in the third quarter, Cenovus also completed the sale of certain Wainwright properties for net proceeds of $234 million. The properties were producing an average of 2,775 barrels per day during the first nine months of 2014.

The following table summarizes Cenovus’s net capital investment for 2015 and 2014:

 

Net Capital Investment                
($ millions)    2015        2014  

 

 

Capital Investment

       

Oil Sands

       

Foster Creek

     403           796    

Christina Lake

     647           794    

 

 

Total

     1,050           1,590    

Other Oil Sands

     135           396    

 

 
     1,185           1,986    

Conventional

     244           840    

 

 

Refining and Marketing

     248           163    

Corporate

     37           62    

 

 

Capital Investment

     1,714           3,051    

 

 

Acquisitions

     87           18    

Divestitures

     (3,344        (277)   

 

 

Net Acquisition and Divestiture Activity

     (3,257        (259)   

 

 

Net Capital Investment (1)

     (1,543        2,792    

 

 

 

(1)

Includes expenditures on PP&E and E&E.

OTHER INFORMATION

 

 

COMPETITIVE CONDITIONS

All aspects of the oil and gas industry are highly competitive. Refer to “Risk Factors – Operational Risks – Competition” for further information on the competitive conditions affecting Cenovus.

ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS

Cenovus’s operations are subject to laws and regulations concerning protection of the environment, pollution and the handling and transport of hazardous materials. These laws and regulations generally require the Corporation to remove or remedy the effect of its activities on the environment at present and former operating sites, including dismantling production facilities and remediating damage caused by the use or release of specified substances. The Safety, Environment and Responsibility Committee of the Corporation’s Board reviews and recommends policies pertaining to corporate responsibility, including the environment, and oversees compliance with government laws and regulations. Monitoring and reporting programs for environmental, health and safety performance in

day-to-day operations, as well as inspections and assessments, have been designed to provide assurance that environmental and regulatory standards are met. Contingency plans have been put in place for a timely response to an environmental event and remediation/reclamation programs have been put in place and utilized to restore the environment.

Cenovus recognizes that there is a cost associated with carbon emissions and it believes that greenhouse gas (“GHG”) regulations and the cost of carbon at various price levels can be adequately accounted for as part of business planning. As part of the Corporation’s future planning, Management and the Board review the impact of a variety of carbon constrained scenarios on Cenovus’s strategy. Although uncertainty remains regarding potential future emissions regulation, the Corporation will continue to assess and evaluate the cost of carbon relative to its investments across a range of scenarios. For a discussion of the risks associated with this uncertainty, see “Risk Factors – Environment & Regulatory Risks – Climate Change”.

 

 

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Cenovus also examines the impact of carbon regulation on its major projects, including its oil sands operations and its refining assets. Cenovus continues to closely monitor potential GHG legislation and litigation developments both in Canada and in the U.S.

Cenovus expects to incur abandonment and site reclamation costs as existing oil and gas properties are abandoned and reclaimed. In 2015, expenditures beyond normal compliance with environmental regulations were considered to be in the ordinary course of business. Cenovus does not anticipate material expenditures beyond amounts paid in respect of normal compliance with environmental regulations in 2016. Refer to “Risk Factors – Environment & Regulatory Risks – Environmental Regulations” for further information on environmental protection matters affecting Cenovus.

CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY

We are committed to operating in a responsible manner and integrating our corporate responsibility principles in the way we conduct our business. Our Corporate Responsibility (“CR”) policy guides our activities in the areas of: Leadership; Corporate Governance and Business Practices; People; Environmental Performance; Stakeholder and Aboriginal Engagement; and Community Involvement and Investment.

We published our 2014 CR report in June 2015, detailing our efforts to accelerate our environmental performance, protect the health and safety of our staff, invest in and engage with the communities where we operate and maintain the highest standards of corporate governance. Our CR report also lists external recognition we received for our commitment to corporate responsibility and our efforts to balance economic, governance, social and environmental performance. Our CR policy and CR report are available on our website at cenovus.com.

 

 

EMPLOYEES

The following table summarizes Cenovus’s full-time equivalent (“FTE”) employees as at December 31, 2015:

 

     FTE Employees  

 

 

Upstream

     2,001   

Downstream

     127   

Corporate

     877   

 

 

Total

     3,005   

 

 

Cenovus also engages a number of contractors and service providers. Refer to “Risk Factors - Operational Risks - Leadership and Talent” for further information on employee matters affecting Cenovus.

FOREIGN OPERATIONS

Cenovus, and its reportable segments, are not dependent upon foreign operations outside North America. As a result, the Corporation’s exposure to risks and uncertainties in countries considered politically and economically unstable is limited. Any future operations outside North America may be adversely affected by changes in government policy, social instability or other political or economic developments which are not within Cenovus’s control, including the expropriation of property, the cancellation or modification of contract rights and restrictions on repatriation of cash. Refer to “Risk Factors – Financial Risks – Foreign Exchange Rates” for information on foreign exchange rate matters affecting Cenovus.

 

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DIRECTORS AND EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

 

DIRECTORS

The following individuals are directors of Cenovus.

 

  Name and

  Residence

  

Director

Since (1)

  Principal Occupation During the Past Five Years

Ralph S.

Cunningham (3,4,6)

Houston, Texas,

United States

  

2009

Independent

 

Mr. Cunningham is a director of TETRA Technologies, Inc., a publicly traded energy services and chemicals company, and served as Chairman from December 2006 to May 2015. Mr. Cunningham also served as Chairman of Enterprise Products Holdings, LLC, the successor general partner of Enterprise Products Partners L.P., a publicly traded midstream energy limited partnership, from November 2010 to February 2013, and as a director from February 2013 to April 2014; and as a director of Agrium Inc., a publicly traded agricultural chemicals company from December 1996 to April 2013.

Patrick D.

Daniel (2,3,4)

Calgary, Alberta,

Canada

  

2009

Independent

 

Mr. Daniel is a director of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce; and Capital Power Corporation, a publicly traded North American power producer; and Chair of the North American Review Board of American Air Liquide Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of a publicly traded industrial gases service company. Mr. Daniel served as a director of Enbridge Inc., a publicly traded energy delivery company from April 2000 to October 2012. During his tenure with Enbridge, he also served as President & Chief Executive Officer from January 2001 to February 2012 and as Chief Executive Officer from February 2012 to October 2012. He is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta.

Ian W.

Delaney (3,4,6)

Toronto, Ontario,

Canada

  

2009

Independent

 

Mr. Delaney is Chairman of The Westaim Corporation, a publicly traded investment company; and Ontario Air Ambulance Services Co. (Ornge) a not-for-profit medical air and ground transportation organization. Mr. Delaney served as a director of Sherritt International Corporation (“Sherritt”), a publicly traded diversified natural resource company that produces nickel, cobalt, thermal coal, oil and gas and electricity from October 1995 to May 2013. He also served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sherritt from January 2009 to December 2011 and Chairman of Sherritt from January 2012 to May 2013. Mr. Delaney also served as Chairman of UrtheCast Corp. (formerly Longford Energy Inc.), a publicly traded video technology development company, from August 2012 to October 2013 and as a director of Dacha Strategic Metals Inc., a publicly traded investment company focused on the acquisition, storage and trading of strategic metals from November 2012 to September 2014.

Brian C.

Ferguson (7)

Calgary, Alberta,

Canada

   2009  

Mr. Ferguson has been President & Chief Executive Officer of Cenovus since its formation on November 30, 2009. Mr. Ferguson is a Fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta and a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada. Mr. Ferguson has served as a director of The Toronto-Dominion Bank since April 2015.

Michael A.

Grandin (4,8)

Calgary, Alberta,

Canada

  

2009 (Chair)

Independent

 

Mr. Grandin is the Chair of Cenovus’s Board. He is also a director of BNS Split Corp. II, a publicly traded investment company; and HSBC Bank Canada.

 

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  Name and

  Residence

  

Director

Since (1)

  Principal Occupation During the Past Five Years

Steven F. Leer (2,4,5)

Boca Grande, Florida,

United States

  

2015

Independent

 

Mr. Leer is a lead director of Norfolk Southern Corporation, a publicly traded North American rail transportation provider; a lead director of USG Corporation (“USG”), a publicly traded manufacturer and distributor of high performance building systems; and a director of Parsons Corporation, a private engineering, construction, technical, and management services firm. Mr. Leer served as Chairman of Arch Coal, Inc. (“Arch Coal”), a publicly traded coal producing company, from April 2006 to April 2014, and served as a director of Arch Coal and its predecessor company from 1992. During his tenure with Arch Coal and its predecessor company, he also served as Chief Executive Officer from July 1992 to April 2012.

Valerie A.A.

Nielsen (2,4,5)

Calgary, Alberta,

Canada

  

2009

Independent

 

Ms. Nielsen was a director of Wajax Corporation, a publicly traded industrial parts and service company, from June 1995 to May 2012.

Charles M.

Rampacek (4,5,6)

Dallas, Texas,

United States

  

2009

Independent

 

Mr. Rampacek is a director of Flowserve Corporation, a publicly traded manufacturer of industrial equipment; and Energy Services Holdings, LLC, a private industrial services company that was formed in 2012 from the combination of Ardent Holdings, LLC and another company. Mr. Rampacek previously served as Chair of Ardent Holdings, LLC, from December 2008 to July 2012. Mr. Rampacek also served as a director of Enterprise Products Holdings, LLC, the sole general partner of Enterprise Products Partners, L.P., a publicly traded midstream energy limited partnership from November 2006 to September 2011; and Pilko & Associates L.P., a private chemical and energy advisory company from September 2011 to February 2014.

Colin Taylor (2,3,4)

Toronto, Ontario,

Canada

  

2009

Independent

 

Mr. Taylor served two consecutive four-year terms as Chief Executive & Managing Partner of Deloitte LLP and then acted as Senior Counsel until his retirement in May 2008. Mr. Taylor is a Fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario and a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.

Wayne G. Thomson

(4,5,6)

Calgary, Alberta,

Canada

  

2009

Independent

 

Mr. Thomson is a director of TVI Pacific Inc., a publicly traded international mining company; Chairman of Maha Energy Inc., a private North American oil and gas company; Chairman of Inventys Thermal Technologies Inc., a private carbon capture technology company; a director of Iskander Energy Corp., a private international oil and gas company; and Chairman and President of Enviro Valve Inc., a private company manufacturing proprietary pressure relief valves. Mr. Thomson served as Chief Executive Officer of Iskander Energy Corp. from November 2011 to August 2014. Mr. Thomson is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta.

 

 

  (1)

Each of the directors first became members of Cenovus’s Board pursuant to the Arrangement, with the exception of Mr. Leer who was elected as a director of Cenovus’s Board at the April 29, 2015 Annual and Special Meeting of Shareholders. The term of each of the directors is from the date of the meeting at which he or she is elected or appointed until the next annual meeting of shareholders or until a successor is elected or appointed.

  (2)

Member of the Audit Committee.

  (3)

Member of the Human Resources and Compensation Committee.

  (4)

Member of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.

  (5)

Member of the Reserves Committee.

  (6)

Member of the Safety, Environment and Responsibility Committee.

  (7)

As an officer and a non-independent director, Mr. Ferguson is not a member of any of the committees of Cenovus’s Board.

  (8)

Ex-officio, by standing invitation, non-voting member of all other committees of Cenovus’s Board. As an ex-officio non-voting member, Mr. Grandin attends as his schedule permits and may vote when necessary to achieve a quorum.

 

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EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

The following individuals served as executive officers of Cenovus as at December 31, 2015.

 

  Name and Residence   Office Held and Principal Occupation During the Past Five Years

Brian C. Ferguson

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

President & Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Ferguson’s biographical information is included under “Directors”.

Ivor M. Ruste

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Executive Vice-President & Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Ruste has been Executive Vice-President & Chief Financial Officer of Cenovus since its formation on November 30, 2009.

Harbir S. Chhina

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Executive Vice-President, Oil Sands Development

Mr. Chhina became Executive Vice-President, Oil Sands Development on September 1, 2015. From December 2010 to August 2015, Mr. Chhina was Cenovus’s Executive Vice-President, Oil Sands. From November 2009 to November 2010, Mr. Chhina was Cenovus’s Executive Vice-President, Enhanced Oil Development & New Resource Plays.

Judy A. Fairburn

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Executive Vice-President, Business Innovation

Ms. Fairburn became Executive Vice-President, Business Innovation on December 1, 2015. From February 2013 to November 2015, Ms. Fairburn was Cenovus’s Executive Advisor. From November 2009 to January 2013, Ms. Fairburn was Cenovus’s Executive Vice-President, Environment & Strategic Planning.

Jacqueline (Jacqui) A.T. McGillivray

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Executive Vice-President, Safety & Organization Effectiveness

Ms. McGillivray became Executive Vice-President, Safety & Organization Effectiveness on July 1, 2015. From October 2012 to June 2015, Ms. McGillivray was Cenovus’s Senior Vice-President & Chief People Officer. From November 2010 to October 2012, Ms. McGillivray was Head of Global Human Resources at Talisman Energy Inc.

Robert W. Pease

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Executive Vice-President, Corporate Strategy & President, Downstream

Mr. Pease became Executive Vice-President, Corporate Strategy & President, Downstream on July 1, 2015. From June 2014 to June 2015, Mr. Pease was Cenovus’s Executive Vice-President, Markets, Products & Transportation. From February 2014 to May 2014, Mr. Pease was Vice President, Global Business Excellence, Supply & Trading of Shell Trading (US) Company, a corporation that acts as the market interface for Royal Dutch Shell companies and affiliates in the U.S.; and from November 2008 until January 2014, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Motiva Enterprises LLC, a refiner, distributer and marketer of fuels in the eastern and Gulf Coast regions of the U.S.

Alan C. Reid

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Executive Vice-President, Environment, Corporate Affairs, Legal & General Counsel

Mr. Reid became Executive Vice-President, Environment, Corporate Affairs, Legal & General Counsel on December 1, 2015. From September 2015 to November 2015, Mr. Reid was Cenovus’s Executive Vice-President, Environment, Corporate Affairs & Legal. From January 2014 to August 2015, Mr. Reid was Cenovus’s Senior Vice-President, Christina Lake & Narrows Lake. From January 2012 to January 2014, Mr. Reid was Cenovus’s Senior Vice-President, Christina Lake. From November 2009 to January 2012, Mr. Reid was Cenovus’s Vice-President, Regulatory, Health & Safety.

J. Drew Zieglgansberger

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Executive Vice-President, Oil Sands Manufacturing

Mr. Zieglgansberger became Executive Vice-President, Oil Sands Manufacturing on September 1, 2015. From June 2015 to August 2015, Mr. Zieglgansberger was Cenovus’s Executive Vice-President, Operations Shared Services. From June 2012 to May 2015, Mr. Zieglgansberger was Cenovus’s Senior Vice-President, Operations Shared Services. From January 2012 to May 2012, Mr. Zieglgansberger was Cenovus’s Senior Vice-President, Regulatory, Local Community & Military. From December 2010 to January 2012, Mr. Zieglgansberger was Cenovus’s Senior Vice-President, Christina Lake.

 

 

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As of December 31, 2015, all of Cenovus’s directors and executive officers, as a group, beneficially owned or exercised control or direction over, directly or indirectly, 1,055,623 common shares of Cenovus (“Common Shares”) or approximately 0.127 percent of the number of Common Shares that were outstanding as of such date.

Investors should be aware that some of Cenovus’s directors and officers are directors and officers of other private and public companies. Some of these private and public companies may, from time to time, be involved in business transactions or banking relationships which may create situations in which conflicts might arise. Any such conflicts shall be resolved in accordance with the procedures and requirements of the relevant provisions of the CBCA, including the duty of such directors and officers to act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of Cenovus.

CEASE TRADE ORDERS, BANKRUPTCIES, PENALTIES OR SANCTIONS

 

To the Corporation’s knowledge, none of its current directors or executive officers are, as at the date of this AIF, or have been, within 10 years prior to the date of this AIF, a director, chief executive officer or chief financial officer of any company that:

 

(a)

was subject to a cease trade order, an order similar to a cease trade order or an order that denied the relevant company access to any exemption under securities legislation, that was in effect for a period of more than 30 consecutive days (collectively, an “Order”) and that was issued while that person was acting in the capacity as director, chief executive officer or chief financial officer; or

 

(b)

was subject to an Order that was issued after the director or executive officer ceased to be a director, chief executive officer or chief financial officer of the Corporation being the subject of such an Order and which resulted from an event that occurred while that person was acting in the capacity as director, chief executive officer or chief financial officer.

To the Corporation’s knowledge, other than as described below, none of its directors or executive officers:

 

(a)

is, as at the date of this AIF, or has been within 10 years prior to the date of this AIF, a director or executive officer of any company that, while that person was acting in that capacity, or within a year of that person ceasing to act in that capacity, became bankrupt, made a proposal under any legislation relating to bankruptcy or insolvency or was subject to or instituted any proceedings, arrangement or compromise with creditors or had a receiver, receiver manager or trustee appointed to hold its assets; or

 

(b)

has, within 10 years prior to the date of this AIF, become bankrupt, made a proposal under any legislation relating to bankruptcy or insolvency, or become subject to or instituted any proceedings, arrangement or compromise with creditors, or had a receiver, receiver manager or trustee appointed to hold the assets of the director or executive officer.

To the Corporation’s knowledge, none of its directors or executive officers has been subject to:

 

(a)

any penalties or sanctions imposed by a court relating to securities legislation or by a securities regulatory authority or has entered into a settlement agreement with a securities regulatory authority; or

 

(b)

any other penalty or sanctions imposed by a court or regulatory body that would likely be considered important to a reasonable investor in making an investment decision.

Mr. Delaney was a director of OPTI Canada Inc. (“OPTI”) when it commenced proceedings for creditor protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (Canada) (“CCAA”) on July 13, 2011. Ernst & Young Inc. was appointed as monitor of OPTI. On November 28, 2011, OPTI announced that it had closed a transaction whereby a subsidiary of CNOOC Limited acquired all of the outstanding securities of OPTI pursuant to a plan of arrangement under the CCAA and the Canada Business Corporations Act.

On June 25, 2001, USG and 10 of its subsidiaries filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code (U.S.). On June 20, 2005, Mr. Leer joined the board of directors of USG. On February 17, 2006, USG announced a joint plan of reorganization pursuant to which all creditors would be paid in full. On June 20, 2006, the plan received court approval and USG and those subsidiaries emerged from bankruptcy.

Mr. Rampacek was the Chairman and President & Chief Executive Officer of Probex Corporation (“Probex”) in 2003 when it filed a petition seeking relief under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code (U.S.). In 2005, as a result of the bankruptcy, two complaints seeking recovery of certain alleged losses were filed against former Probex officers and directors, including Mr. Rampacek. These complaints were defended by American International Group, Inc. (“AIG”) in accordance with the Probex director and officer insurance policy and settlement was reached and paid by AIG, with bankruptcy court approval, in 2006. An additional complaint was filed in 2005 against noteholders of certain Probex debt, of which Mr. Rampacek was a party. A settlement of $2,000 was reached, with bankruptcy court approval, in 2006.

 

 

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AUDIT COMMITTEE

 

The Audit Committee mandate is included as Appendix C to this AIF.

COMPOSITION OF THE AUDIT COMMITTEE

 

The Audit Committee consists of four members, each of whom is independent and financially literate in accordance with National Instrument 52-110 Audit Committees (“NI 52-110”). The education and experience of each of the members of the Audit Committee relevant to the performance of the responsibilities as an Audit Committee member is outlined below.

Patrick D. Daniel

Mr. Daniel holds a Bachelor of Science (University of Alberta) and a Master of Science (University of British Columbia), both in chemical engineering. He also completed Harvard University’s Advanced Management Program. He is a past Chief Executive Officer and director of Enbridge Inc., a publicly traded energy delivery company. He is also a past director and member of the audit committee of Enerflex Systems Income Fund, a compression systems manufacturer and a past director and Chair of the finance committee of Synenco Energy Inc., an oil sands mining company which was acquired by Total E&P Canada Ltd. in August 2008.

Steven F. Leer

Mr. Leer holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (University of the Pacific) and a Master of Business Administration (Olin School of Business, Washington University). He was awarded an honorary doctorate by University of the Pacific in May 1993. Mr. Leer is a lead director of Norfolk Southern Corporation, a publicly traded North American rail transportation provider; a lead director of USG Corporation (“USG”), a publicly traded manufacturer and distributor of high performance building systems; and a director of Parsons Corporation, a private engineering, construction, technical, and management services firm. Mr. Leer served as Chairman of Arch Coal, Inc. (“Arch Coal”), a publicly traded coal producing company, from April 2006 to April 2014, and served as a director of Arch Coal and its predecessor company from 1992. During his tenure with Arch Coal and its predecessor company he also served as Chief Executive Officer from July 1992 to April 2012 and President from July 1992 to April 2006. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Washington University in St. Louis and he is a former director of the Business Roundtable and the National Association of Manufacturers.

Valerie A.A. Nielsen

Ms. Nielsen holds a Bachelor of Science (Hon.) (Dalhousie University). She is a professional geophysicist who has held management positions and provided consulting services to the oil and gas industry for over 30 years. She has also completed

several finance and accounting courses at the university level. Ms. Nielsen was a member and past chair of an advisory group on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and international trade matters pertaining to energy, chemicals and plastics from 1986 to 2002. She is a past director and served on the audit committee of Wajax Corporation, a publicly traded company engaged in the sale and after-sales parts and service support of mobile equipment, diesel engines and industrial components. She is a past director of the Bank of Canada and of the Canada Olympic Committee.

Colin Taylor

(Financial Expert and Audit Committee Chair)

Mr. Taylor is a chartered professional accountant, a Fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario and a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada. He also completed Harvard University’s Advanced Management Program. Mr. Taylor served two consecutive four-year terms (June 1996 to May 2004) as Chief Executive and Managing Partner of Deloitte LLP and continued as Senior Counsel until his retirement in May 2008. He has held a number of international management and governance responsibilities throughout his professional career. Mr. Taylor also served as Advisory Partner to a number of public and private company clients of Deloitte LLP.

The above list does not include Michael A. Grandin who is, by standing invitation, an ex-officio member of Cenovus’s Audit Committee.

Pre-Approval Policies and Procedures

Cenovus has adopted policies and procedures with respect to the pre-approval of audit and permitted non-audit services to be provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. The Audit Committee has established a budget for the provision of a specified list of audit and permitted non-audit services that the Audit Committee believes to be typical, recurring or otherwise likely to be provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Subject to the Audit Committee’s discretion, the budget generally covers the period between the adoption of the budget and the next meeting of the Audit Committee. The list of permitted services is sufficiently detailed to ensure that: (i) the Audit Committee knows precisely what services it is being asked to pre-approve; and (ii) it is not necessary for any member of Management to make a judgment as to whether a proposed service fits within the pre-approved services.

Subject to the following paragraph, the Audit Committee has delegated authority to the Chair of

 

 

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the Audit Committee (or if the Chair is unavailable, any other member of the Audit Committee) to pre-approve the provision of permitted services by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP which are not otherwise pre-approved by the Audit Committee, including the fees and terms of the proposed services (“Delegated Authority”). Any required determination about the Chair’s unavailability will be required to be made by the good faith judgment of the applicable other member(s) of the Audit Committee after considering all facts and circumstances deemed by such member(s) to be relevant. All pre-approvals granted pursuant to Delegated Authority must be presented by the member(s) who granted the pre-approvals to the full Audit Committee at its next meeting.

The fees payable in connection with any particular service to be provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP that has been pre-approved pursuant to Delegated Authority: (i) may not exceed $200,000, in the case of pre-approvals granted by the Chair of the Audit Committee; and (ii) may not exceed $50,000, in the case of pre-approvals granted by any other member of the Audit Committee.

All proposed services or the fees payable in connection with such services that have not already been pre-approved must be pre-approved by either the Audit Committee or pursuant to Delegated Authority. Prohibited services may not be pre-approved by the Audit Committee or pursuant to Delegated Authority.

 

 

External Auditor Service Fees

The following table provides information about the fees billed to Cenovus for professional services rendered by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014:

 

  ($ thousands)    2015        2014  

  Audit Fees (1)

     2,692           2,597   

  Audit-Related Fees (2)

     482           202   

  Tax Fees (3)

     99           110   

  All Other Fees (4)

     -           6   

  Total

     3,273           2,915   

 

  (1)

Audit Fees consist of the aggregate fees billed for the audit of the Corporation’s annual financial statements or services that are normally provided in connection with statutory and regulatory filings or engagements.

  (2)

Audit-Related Fees consist of the aggregate fees billed for assurance and related services that are reasonably related to the performance of the audit or review of the Corporation’s financial statements and are not reported as Audit Fees. The services provided in this category included audit-related services in relation to Cenovus’s debt shelf prospectuses, systems development, controls testing and participation fees levied by the Canadian Public Accountability Board.

  (3)

Tax Fees consist of the aggregate fees billed for audit related fees, tax compliance, tax advice and tax planning.

  (4)

All Other Fees consist of subscriptions to auditor-provided and supported tools.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STRUCTURE

 

The following is a summary of the rights, privileges, restrictions and conditions which are attached to Common Shares and Cenovus’s first and second preferred shares (collectively the “Preferred Shares”). Cenovus is authorized to issue an unlimited number of Common Shares and First Preferred Shares and Second Preferred Shares not exceeding, in aggregate, 20 percent of the number of issued and outstanding Common Shares. As at December 31, 2015, there were approximately 833.3 million Common Shares and no Preferred Shares outstanding.

 

COMMON SHARES

The holders of Common Shares are entitled: (i) to receive dividends if, as and when declared by Cenovus’s Board; (ii) to receive notice of, to attend, and to vote on the basis of one vote per Common Share held, at all meetings of shareholders; and (iii) to participate in any distribution of the Corporation’s assets in the event of liquidation, dissolution or winding up or other distribution of its assets among its shareholders for the purpose of winding up its affairs.

PREFERRED SHARES

Preferred Shares may be issued in one or more series. Cenovus’s Board may determine the designation, rights, privileges, restrictions and conditions attached to each series of Preferred Shares before the issue of such series. Holders of Preferred Shares are not entitled to vote at any meeting of shareholders, but may be entitled to vote if the Corporation fails to pay dividends on that series of Preferred Shares. The First Preferred Shares are entitled to priority over the Second Preferred Shares and the Common Shares with respect to the payment of dividends and the distribution of assets in the event of any liquidation, dissolution or winding up of Cenovus’s affairs. The Corporation’s Board is restricted from issuing First Preferred Shares or Second Preferred Shares if by doing so the aggregate number of First Preferred and Second Preferred Shares that would then be issued and outstanding would exceed 20 percent of the aggregate number of Common Shares then issued and outstanding.

SHAREHOLDER RIGHTS PLAN

Cenovus has a Shareholder Rights Plan that was adopted in 2009 to ensure, to the extent possible, that all its shareholders are treated fairly in connection with any take-over bid for Cenovus. The Shareholder Rights Plan creates a right that attaches to each issued Common Share. Until the separation time, which typically occurs at the time of an unsolicited take-over bid, whereby a person acquires or attempts to acquire 20 percent or more of Cenovus’s Common Shares, the rights are not separable from the Common Shares, are not exercisable and no separate rights certificates are issued. Each right entitles the holder, other than the 20 percent acquirer, from and after the separation time (unless delayed by the Corporation’s Board)

and before certain expiration times, to acquire Common Shares at 50 percent of the market price at the time of exercise. The Shareholder Rights Plan was reconfirmed at the 2015 annual and special meeting of shareholders and must be reconfirmed by the Corporation’s shareholders at every third annual shareholder meeting.

DIVIDEND REINVESTMENT PLAN

Cenovus has a dividend reinvestment plan (the “DRIP”), which permits holders of Common Shares to automatically reinvest all or any portion of the cash dividends paid on their Common Shares in additional Common Shares. At the discretion of the Corporation, the additional Common Shares may be issued from treasury at the average market price or purchased on the market.

On July 30, 2015 the temporary discount on Common Shares issued to participants under the DRIP introduced on February 12, 2015, was discontinued. The discount allowed shareholders to reinvest their dividends in Common Shares at a three percent discount to the average market price (as defined in the DRIP).

EMPLOYEE STOCK OPTION PLAN

Cenovus has an Employee Stock Option Plan that provides employees with the opportunity to exercise options to purchase Common Shares. Option exercise prices approximate the market price for the Common Shares on the date the options were issued. Options granted are exercisable at 30 percent of the number granted after one year, an additional 30 percent of the number granted after two years, and are fully exercisable after three years. Options granted prior to February 17, 2010 expired after five years, while options granted on or after February 17, 2010 expire after seven years. Each option granted prior to February 24, 2011 has an associated tandem stock appreciation right which gives the option holder the right to elect to receive a cash payment equal to the excess of the market price of the Common Shares at the time of exercise over the exercise price of the option in exchange for surrendering the option. Each option granted on or after February 24, 2011 has an associated net settlement right. In lieu of exercising the option, the net settlement right grants the option holder the right to receive the number of common shares that could be acquired with the excess value of the market price of the Common Shares at the time of exercise over the exercise price of the option.

 

 

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RATINGS

The following information relating to Cenovus’s credit ratings is provided as it relates to the Corporation’s financing costs and liquidity. Specifically, credit ratings affect Cenovus’s ability to obtain short-term and long-term financing and the cost of such financing. A reduction in the current rating on Cenovus’s debt by the Corporation’s rating agencies or a negative change in its ratings outlook could adversely affect Cenovus’s cost of financing and its access to sources of liquidity and capital. See “Risk Factors” in this AIF for further information.

The following table outlines the current ratings and outlooks of Cenovus’s debt:

 

    

Standard & Poor’s

Ratings Services

(“S&P”)

 

Moody’s Investors

Service

(“Moody’s”)

 

DBRS Limited   

(“DBRS”)   

  Senior Unsecured

          Long-Term Rating

  BBB   Baa2   BBB (high)   

  Commercial Paper

          Short-Term Rating

  A-2   P-2   R-2 (high)   

          Outlook/Trend

  Stable  

Rating Under Review for

downgrade

  Negative   

 

Credit ratings are intended to provide an independent measure of the credit quality of an issue of securities. The credit ratings assigned by the rating agencies are not recommendations to purchase, hold or sell the securities nor do the ratings comment on market price or suitability for a particular investor. A rating may not remain in effect for any given period of time and, at any time, may be revised or withdrawn entirely by a rating agency in the future if, in its judgment, circumstances so warrant.

S&P’s long-term credit ratings are on a rating scale that ranges from AAA to D, which represents the range from highest to lowest quality of such securities rated. A rating of BBB by S&P is within the fourth highest of 10 categories and indicates that the obligation exhibits adequate protection parameters. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity of the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation. The addition of a plus (+) or minus (-) designation after a rating indicates the relative standing within the major rating categories. S&P’s short-term issue credit ratings scale ranges from A-1 to D, which represents the range from highest to lowest quality. A rating of A-2 is the second highest of six categories and indicates that the obligor is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligations in higher rating categories. However, the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is satisfactory. A S&P rating outlook assesses the potential direction of a long-term credit rating over the intermediate term (typically six months to two years). In determining a rating outlook, consideration is given to any changes in the economic and/or fundamental business conditions. A “Stable” outlook indicates that a rating is not likely to change.

Moody’s long-term credit ratings are on a rating scale that ranges from Aaa to C, which represents the range from highest to lowest quality of such securities rated. A rating of Baa2 by Moody’s is

within the fourth highest of nine categories and is assigned to debt securities which are considered medium-grade and subject to moderate credit risk and as such may possess certain speculative characteristics. The addition of a 1, 2 or 3 modifier after a rating indicates the relative standing within a particular rating category. The modifier 1 indicates that the issue ranks in the higher end of its generic rating category, the modifier 2 indicates a mid-range ranking and the modifier 3 indicates a ranking in the lower end of that generic rating category. Moody’s short-term credit ratings are on a scale that ranges from P-1 (highest quality) to NP (lowest quality). A rating of P-2 is the second highest of four categories and indicates that the issuer has a strong ability to repay short-term debt obligations. A designation of Rating Under Review indicates that the rating is under review for a change in the near term, which overrides the outlook designation. A review may end with a rating being upgraded, downgraded, or confirmed without a change to the rating. Ratings are placed on review when a rating action may be warranted in the near-term but further information or analysis is needed to reach a decision on the need for a rating change or the magnitude of the potential change.

DBRS’s long-term credit ratings are on a rating scale that ranges from AAA to D, which represents the range from highest to lowest quality of such securities rated. A rating of BBB (high) by DBRS is within the fourth highest of 10 categories and is assigned to debt securities considered to be of adequate credit quality. The capacity for payment of financial obligations is considered acceptable. Entities in the BBB category may be vulnerable to future events. The assignment of a “(high)” or “(low)” modifier within each rating category indicates relative standing within such category. DBRS’s short-term credit ratings are on a scale ranging from R-1 (high) to D, which represents the range from highest to lowest quality. A rating of R-2 (high) is the fourth highest of 10 categories and indicates that the short-term debt is in the upper end of adequate credit quality. The capacity for the

 

 

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payment of short-term financial obligations as they fall due is acceptable. Cenovus may be vulnerable to future events. Rating trends provide guidance in respect of DBRS’ opinion regarding the outlook for the rating in question, with rating trends falling into one of three categories - “Positive”, “Stable” or “Negative”. The rating trend indicates the direction in which DBRS considers the rating is headed should

present tendencies continue, or in some cases, unless challenges are addressed.

Throughout the last two years, Cenovus has made payments to S&P, Moody’s, and DBRS related to the rating of the Corporation’s debt. Additionally, Cenovus has purchased products and services from S&P and Moody’s.

 

 

DIVIDENDS

 

The declaration of dividends is at the sole discretion of Cenovus’s Board and is considered each quarter. Effective the third quarter of 2015, Cenovus reduced the quarterly dividend by 40 percent from $0.2662 to $0.16 per common share. The Board has approved a first quarter dividend of $0.05 per share payable on March 31, 2016 to holders of Common Shares of record as of March 15, 2016. Readers should also refer to risk factors “Risk Factors – Financial Risks – Ability to Pay Dividends” for additional information.

Cenovus paid the following dividends over the last three years:

 

Dividends Paid                                 
($ per share)    Year      Q4      Q3      Q2      Q1

   2015

     0.8524         0.16         0.16         0.2662       0.2662

   2014

     1.0648         0.2662         0.2662         0.2662       0.2662

   2013

     0.968         0.242         0.242         0.242       0.242

 

MARKET FOR SECURITIES

 

All of the outstanding Common Shares are listed and posted for trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange (“TSX”) and the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the symbol CVE. The following table outlines the share price trading range and volume of shares traded by month in 2015:

 

      TSX        NYSE
     Share Price Trading Range                  Share Price Trading Range        
     High        Low        Close       

Share  

Volume  

       High        Low         Close     

Share  

Volume  

             ($ per share)        (thousands)            (US$ per share)      (thousands)

   January

     24.95           21.87           24.09           86,649             20.89           17.37           18.89       49,901  

   February

     26.42           21.56           21.57           99,513             21.12           17.24           17.29       56,777  

   March

     22.48           20.45           21.34           101,794             17.93           16.29           16.88       47,505  

   April

     24.28           21.32           22.69           95,632             19.72           16.89           18.82       42,962  

   May

     23.25           20.23           20.52           77,995             19.28           16.20           16.49       38,034  

   June

     21.69           19.53           19.98           84,576             17.76           15.69           16.01       49,516  

   July

     20.07           16.98           19.06           86,880             15.97           13.04           14.58       50,471  

   August

     19.28           15.75           19.07           84,803             14.67           11.85           14.47       51,293  

   September

     20.91           17.00           20.24           135,093             15.80           12.76           15.16       74,684  

   October

     22.35           18.75           19.48           90,746             17.23           14.17           14.91       65,312  

   November

     21.81           19.10           19.81           65,882             16.68           14.32           14.80       39,867  

   December

     20.56           16.85           17.50           76,299             15.38           12.10           12.62       38,971  

RISK FACTORS

 

 

Cenovus’s operations are exposed to a number of risks, some that impact the oil and gas industry as a whole and others that are unique to the Corporation’s operations. The impact of any risk or a combination of risks may adversely affect, among other things, the Corporation’s business, reputation, financial condition, results of operations and cash flow, which may reduce or restrict Cenovus’s ability to pay a dividend to its shareholders and may materially affect the market price of its securities.

The Corporation’s approach to risk management includes compliance with the Board approved

Enterprise Risk Management Policy and the related enterprise risk management framework and program as well as integration with Cenovus’s Operations Management System (“COMS”). It includes an annual review of Cenovus’s principal and emerging risks, an analysis of the severity and likelihood of each principal risk, consideration of the Corporation’s current mitigation and an evaluation if additional mitigation or treatment of the risk is required. In addition, Cenovus continuously monitors its risk profile as well as industry best practices.

 

 

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FINANCIAL RISKS

 

Financial risks include, but are not limited to: fluctuations in commodity prices; royalty regimes and tax laws; volatile capital markets; development and operating costs; availability of capital and access to sufficient liquidity; fluctuations in foreign exchange and interest rates; risks related to Cenovus’s hedging activities; and risks related to the Corporation’s ability to pay a dividend to shareholders. Changes in global economic conditions could impact a number of factors including, but not limited to, Cenovus’s cash flows, financial condition, results of operations and growth, the maintenance of Cenovus’s existing operations, financial strength of the Corporation’s counterparties, access to capital and cost of borrowing.

Commodity Prices

The Corporation’s financial performance is substantially dependent on the prevailing prices of crude oil, natural gas and refined products. Crude oil prices are impacted by a number of factors including, but not limited to: the supply of and demand for crude oil; economic conditions; the actions of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries; government regulation; political stability; the ability to transport crude to markets; the availability of alternate fuel sources; and weather conditions. Cenovus’s natural gas price realizations are impacted by a number of factors including, but not limited to: North American supply and demand; developments related to the market for liquefied natural gas; weather conditions; and prices of alternate sources of energy. The Corporation’s refined product prices are impacted by a number of factors including, but not limited to: global supply and demand for refined products; market competitiveness; weather; and industry planned and unplanned refinery maintenance. All of these factors are beyond Cenovus’s control and can result in a high degree of price volatility. Fluctuations in currency exchange rates further compound this volatility when the commodity prices, which are generally set in U.S. dollars, are stated in Canadian dollars.

Cenovus’s financial performance also depends on revenues from the sale of commodities which differ in quality and location from underlying commodity prices quoted on financial exchanges. Of particular importance are the price differentials between the Corporation’s light/medium oil, heavy oil (in particular the light/heavy differential) and bitumen and quoted market prices. Not only are these discounts influenced by regional supply and demand factors, they are also influenced by other factors such as transportation costs, capacity and interruptions; refining demand; the availability and cost of diluent used to blend and transport product; and the quality of the oil produced, all of which are beyond Cenovus’s control.

The financial performance of Cenovus’s refining operations is impacted by the relationship, or margin, between refined product prices and the prices of refinery feedstock. Margin volatility is

impacted by numerous conditions including, but not limited to: fluctuations in the supply and demand for refined products; market competitiveness; crude oil costs; and weather. Refining margins are subject to seasonal factors as production changes to match seasonal demand. Sales volumes, prices, inventory levels and inventory values will fluctuate accordingly. Future refining margins are uncertain and decreases in refining margins may have a negative impact on the Corporation’s business.

Fluctuations in the price of commodities, associated price differentials and refining margins may impact the value of Cenovus’s assets, the Corporation’s ability to maintain its business and to fund growth projects including, but not limited to, the continued development of its oil sands properties. Prolonged periods of commodity price volatility may also negatively impact Cenovus’s ability to meet guidance targets and meet all of its financial obligations as they come due. Any substantial or extended decline in these commodity prices may result in a delay or cancellation of existing or future drilling, development or construction programs, curtailment in production, unutilized long-term transportation commitments and/or low utilization levels at the Corporation’s refineries.

Cenovus conducts an annual assessment of the carrying value of its assets in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards. If crude oil and natural gas prices decline significantly and remain at low levels for an extended period of time, the carrying value of the Corporation’s assets may be subject to impairment.

Development and Operating Costs

Cenovus’s financial performance is significantly affected by the cost of developing and operating its assets. Development and operating costs are affected by a number of factors including, but not limited to: inflationary price pressure; scheduling delays; failure to maintain quality construction and manufacturing standards; and supply chain disruptions, including access to skilled labour. Electricity, water, diluent, chemicals, supplies, reclamation, abandonment and labour costs are examples of operating costs that are susceptible to significant fluctuation.

Hedging Activities

Cenovus’s Market Risk Mitigation Policy, which has been approved by the Board, allows Management to use derivative instruments to help mitigate the impact of changes in oil and natural gas prices, diluent or condensate supply prices and refining margins. Cenovus also uses derivative instruments in various operational markets to help optimize its supply cost or sales. The Corporation may also utilize derivative instruments to help mitigate the potential impact of changes in interest rates and foreign exchange rates.

 

 

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The use of such hedging activities exposes the Corporation to risks which may cause significant loss. These risks include, but are not limited to: changes in the valuation of the hedge instrument being not well correlated to the change in the valuation of the underlying exposures being hedged; deficiency in the Corporation’s systems or controls; human error; and the unenforceability of Cenovus’s contracts.

There is risk that the consequences of hedging to protect against downside price risk may limit the benefit to Cenovus of commodity price increases or changes in interest rates and foreign exchange rates. The Corporation may also suffer financial loss due to hedging arrangements if it is unable to produce oil, natural gas or refined products to fulfill its delivery obligations related to the underlying physical transaction.

Exposure to Counterparties

In the normal course of business, Cenovus enters into contractual relationships with suppliers, partners and other counterparties in the energy industry and other industries for the provision and sale of goods and services. If such counterparties do not fulfill their contractual obligations, the Corporation may suffer financial losses, may have to delay its development plans or may have to forego other opportunities which may materially impact its financial condition or operational results.

Credit, Liquidity and Availability of Future Financing

The future development of Cenovus’s business may be dependent on its ability to obtain additional capital including, but not limited to, debt and equity financing. Unpredictable financial markets and the associated credit impacts may impede the Corporation’s ability to secure and maintain cost effective financing and limit its ability to achieve timely access to capital markets on acceptable terms and conditions. An inability to access capital could affect Cenovus’s ability to make future capital expenditures and to meet all of its financial obligations as they come due. The Corporation’s ability to obtain additional capital is dependent on, among other things, interest in investments in the energy industry in general and interest in its securities in particular.

As at December 31, 2015, Cenovus had US$4.75 billion in debt outstanding with no principal payments due until October 2019 (US$1.3 billion). The Corporation has a $4.0 billion committed credit facility, with a $1.0 billion tranche maturing on November 30, 2017 and a $3.0 billion tranche maturing on November 30, 2019. The entire amount of the committed credit facility was available at December 31, 2015, to meet operating and capital requirements. Going forward, an inability to access the capital markets, a sustained downturn in the prices of crude oil, refined products, natural gas or significant unanticipated expenses related to development and maintenance of Cenovus’s existing properties and facilities could negatively impact the

Corporation’s liquidity, its credit ratings and its ability to access additional sources of capital. Cenovus is also required to comply with various financial and operating covenants under its credit facilities and the indentures governing its debt securities. The Corporation routinely reviews the covenants and may make changes to its development plans, dividend policy, or may take alternative actions to ensure compliance. In the event that Cenovus does not comply with such covenants, its access to capital could be restricted or repayment could be required. If external sources of capital become limited or unavailable, and/or if repayment is required before maturity, the Corporation’s ability to make capital investments, continue its business plan, meet all of its financial obligations as they come due and maintain existing properties and facilities may be impaired.

Credit Ratings

The credit rating agencies regularly evaluate the Corporation, and their ratings are based on a number of factors not entirely within the Corporation’s control, including conditions affecting the oil and gas industry generally, and the wider state of the economy. There can be no assurance that one or more of the Corporation’s credit ratings will not be downgraded. A reduction in any of the Corporation’s current credit ratings could adversely affect the cost and availability of borrowing, and access to sources of liquidity and capital.

Foreign Exchange Rates

Fluctuations in foreign exchange rates may affect Cenovus’s results as global prices for crude oil, natural gas and refined products are generally set in U.S. dollars, while many of the Corporation’s operating and capital costs as well as its Consolidated Financial Statements are denominated in Canadian dollars. Cenovus has chosen to borrow U.S. dollar long-term debt. An increase in the value of the Canadian dollar relative to the U.S. dollar will decrease the revenues received from the sale of the Corporation’s oil, natural gas and refined products. In addition, a change in the value of the Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar will result in an increase or decrease in Cenovus’s U.S. dollar denominated debt and related interest expense, as expressed in Canadian dollars. Exchange rate fluctuations could have a material adverse effect on the Corporation’s financial condition, results of operations and cash flow.

Interest Rates

The Corporation may be exposed to fluctuations in interest rates as a result of the use of floating rate securities or borrowings. An increase in interest rates could increase Cenovus’s net interest expense and negatively impact its financial results. Additionally, the Corporation is exposed to interest rates upon the refinancing of maturing long-term debt and anticipated future financing needs at prevailing interest rates.

 

 

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Ability to Pay Dividends

The payment of dividends is at the discretion of the Board. All dividends will be reviewed by the Board and may be increased, reduced or suspended from time to time. Cenovus’s ability to pay dividends and the actual amount of such dividends is dependent upon, among other things, the Corporation’s

financial performance, its debt covenants and obligations, its ability to meet its financial obligations as they come due, its working capital requirements, its future tax obligations, its future capital requirements, commodity prices and the risk factors set forth in this AIF.

 

 

OPERATIONAL RISKS

 

Operational risks are those risks that affect the Corporation’s ability to continue operations in the ordinary course of business. In general, Cenovus’s operations are subject to general risks affecting the oil and gas industry. The Corporation’s operational risks include, but are not limited to: operational and safety considerations; market access constraints and transportation interruptions (pipeline, marine or rail); phased growth execution; uncertainty of reserves and resources estimates; reservoir performance and technical challenges; partner risks; competition; technology limitations; third-party claims; land claims; leadership and talent gaps; and information system failures.

Health and Safety

The operation of Cenovus’s properties is subject to hazards of finding, recovering, transporting and processing hydrocarbons, including but not limited to: blowouts; fires; explosions; railcar incident or derailment; gaseous leaks; migration of harmful substances; oil spills; corrosion; and acts of vandalism and terrorism. Any of these hazards can interrupt operations, impact the Corporation’s reputation, cause loss of life or personal injury, result in loss of or damage to equipment, property, information technology systems, related data and control systems, and cause environmental damage that may include polluting water, land or air.

Market Access Constraints and Transportation Interruptions

Cenovus’s production is transported through various pipelines and its refineries are reliant on various pipelines to receive feedstock. Disruptions in, or restricted availability of pipeline service, marine or rail transport, could adversely affect the Corporation’s crude oil and natural gas sales, projected production growth, refining operations and its cash flow. Interruptions or restrictions in the availability of these pipeline systems may limit the ability to deliver production volumes and could adversely impact commodity prices, sales volumes or the prices received for Cenovus’s products. These interruptions and restrictions may be caused by the inability of the pipeline to operate, or they may be related to capacity constraints as the supply of feedstock into the system exceeds the infrastructure capacity. There can be no certainty that investments in new pipeline projects which would result in extra long-term takeaway capacity will be made by applicable third party pipeline providers or that any applications to expand capacity will receive the required regulatory approval. There is also no certainty that short-term operational constraints on

the pipeline system, arising from pipeline interruption and/or increased supply of crude oil, will not occur.

There is no certainty that crude-by-rail, marine transport and other alternative types of transportation for the Corporation’s production will be sufficient to address any gaps caused by operational constraints on the pipeline system. In addition, Cenovus’s crude-by-rail and marine shipments may be impacted by service delays, inclement weather, railcar derailment or other rail or marine transport incident and could adversely impact its crude oil sales volumes or the price received for its product or impact the Corporation’s reputation or result in legal liability, loss of life or personal injury, loss of equipment or property, or environmental damage. In addition, new regulations were introduced in 2015 requiring tank cars used to transport crude oil to be replaced with newer, safer tank cars, or to be retrofitted to meet the same standards. The costs of complying with the new standards, or any further revised standards, will likely be passed on to rail shippers and may adversely affect Cenovus’s ability to transport crude-by-rail or the economics associated with rail transportation. Finally, planned or unplanned shutdowns or closures of the Corporation’s refinery customers may limit Cenovus’s ability to deliver product with negative implications on sales and cash from operating activities.

Operational Considerations

The Corporation’s crude oil and natural gas operations are subject to all of the risks normally incidental to: (i) the storing, transporting, processing, refining and marketing of crude oil, natural gas and other related products; (ii) drilling and completion of crude oil and natural gas wells; and (iii) the operation and development of crude oil and natural gas properties, including, but not limited to: encountering unexpected formations or pressures; premature declines of reservoir pressure or productivity; blowouts; equipment failures and other accidents; sour gas releases; uncontrollable flows of crude oil, natural gas or well fluids; adverse weather conditions; pollution; and other environmental risks.

Producing and refining oil requires high levels of investment and involves particular risks and uncertainties. Cenovus’s oil operations are susceptible to loss of production, slowdowns, shutdowns, or restrictions on the Corporation’s ability to produce higher value products due to the interdependence of its component systems. Delineation of the resources, the costs associated with production, including drilling wells for SAGD operations, and the costs associated with refining oil can entail significant capital outlays. The operating

 

 

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costs associated with oil production are largely fixed in the short-term and, as a result, operating costs per unit are largely dependent on levels of production.

Cenovus’s refining and marketing business is subject to all of the risks inherent in the operation of refineries, terminals, pipelines and other transportation and distribution facilities including, but not limited to: loss of product; slowdowns due to equipment failure or transportation disruptions; weather; fires, and explosions; unavailability of feedstock; and price and quality of feedstock.

The Corporation does not insure against all potential occurrences and disruptions and it cannot be guaranteed that its insurance will be sufficient to cover any such occurrences or disruptions. Cenovus’s operations could also be interrupted by natural disasters or other events beyond its control.

Uncertainty of Reserves and Future Net Revenue Estimates

The reserves estimates included in this AIF are estimates only. There are numerous uncertainties inherent in estimating quantities of reserves, including many factors beyond the Corporation’s control. In general, estimates of economically recoverable crude oil and natural gas reserves and the future net cash flows and revenue derived therefrom are based upon a number of variable factors and assumptions, including but not limited to: product prices; future operating and capital costs; historical production from the properties and the assumed effects of regulation by governmental agencies, including royalty payments and taxes; initial production rates; production decline rates; and the availability, proximity and capacity of oil and gas gathering systems, pipelines, rail transportation and processing facilities, all of which may vary considerably from actual results.

All such estimates are to some degree uncertain and classifications of reserves are only attempts to define the degree of uncertainty involved. For those reasons, estimates of the economically recoverable crude oil and natural gas reserves attributable to any particular group of properties, classification of such reserves based on risk of recovery and estimates of FNR expected therefrom, prepared by different engineers or by the same engineers at different times, may vary substantially. Cenovus’s actual production, revenues, taxes and development and operating expenditures with respect to its reserves may vary from current estimates and such variances may be material.

Estimates with respect to reserves that may be developed and produced in the future are often based upon volumetric calculations and upon analogy to similar types of reserves, rather than upon actual production history. Subsequent evaluation of the same reserves based upon

production history will result in variations, which may be material, in the estimated reserves.

If the Corporation fails to acquire, develop or find additional crude oil and natural gas reserves, its reserves and production will decline materially from their current levels and therefore Cenovus’s business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows are highly dependent upon successfully producing current reserves and acquiring, discovering or developing additional reserves.

Project Execution

There are risks associated with the execution and operation of the Corporation’s upstream and refining growth and development projects. These risks include, but are not limited to, Cenovus’s ability to: obtain the necessary environmental and regulatory approvals; risks relating to schedule, resources and costs, including the availability and cost of materials, equipment and qualified personnel; the impact of general economic, business and market conditions; the impact of weather conditions; risk related to the accuracy of project cost estimates; ability to finance growth; ability to source or complete strategic transactions; and the effect of changing government regulation and public expectations in relation to the impact of oil sands development on the environment. The commissioning and integration of new facilities within the Corporation’s existing asset base could cause delays in achieving targets and objectives. Failure to manage these risks could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Partner Risks

Some of the Corporation’s assets are not operated by Cenovus or are held in partnership with others. Therefore, the Corporation’s results of operations may be affected by the actions of third-party operators or partners.

Interests in certain of the Corporation’s upstream assets are held in a partnership with ConocoPhillips, an unrelated U.S. public company, and are operated by Cenovus. The Corporation’s refining assets are held in a partnership with Phillips 66 and operated by Phillips 66. The success of Cenovus’s refining operations is dependent on the ability of Phillips 66 to successfully operate this business and maintain the refining assets. The Corporation relies on the judgment and operating expertise of Phillips 66 in respect of the operation of such refining assets and Cenovus also relies on Phillips 66 to provide information on the status of such refining assets and related results of operations.

ConocoPhillips or Phillips 66, as unrelated third parties, may have objectives and interests that do not coincide with and may conflict with the Corporation’s interests. Major capital decisions affecting these upstream and refining assets require agreement between each respective partner, while certain operational decisions may be made by the operator of the applicable assets. While Cenovus and its partners generally seek consensus with respect to major decisions concerning the direction and operation of these upstream and refining assets, no assurance can be provided that the future

 

 

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demands or expectations of either party relating to such assets will be satisfactorily met or met in a timely manner or at all. Unmet demands or expectations by either party or demands and expectations which are not satisfactorily met may affect Cenovus’s participation in the operation of such assets, the Corporation’s ability to obtain or maintain necessary licenses or approvals or affect the timing of undertaking various activities.

Competition

The Canadian and international petroleum industry is highly competitive in all aspects, including the exploration for, and the development of, new and existing sources of supply, the acquisition of crude oil and natural gas interests and the distribution and marketing of petroleum products. Cenovus competes with other producers and refiners, some of which may have lower operating costs or greater resources than the Corporation does. Competing producers may develop and implement recovery techniques and technologies which are superior to those Cenovus employs. The petroleum industry also competes with other industries in supplying energy, fuel and related products to consumers.

Companies may announce plans to enter the oil sands business, to begin production or to expand existing operations. Expansion of existing operations and development of new projects could materially increase the supply of crude oil in the marketplace which may decrease the market price of crude oil, constrain transportation and increase the Corporation’s input costs for skilled labour and materials.

Technology

Current SAGD technologies for the recovery of bitumen are energy intensive, requiring significant consumption of natural gas in the production of steam that is used in the recovery process. The amount of steam required in the production process varies and therefore impacts costs. The performance of the reservoir can also affect the timing and levels of production using this technology. A large increase in recovery costs could cause certain projects that rely on SAGD technology to become uneconomical, which could have a negative effect on Cenovus’s business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flow. There are risks associated with growth and other capital projects that rely largely or partly on new technologies and the incorporation of such technologies into new or existing operations. The success of projects incorporating new technologies cannot be assured.

Third-Party Claims

From time to time, the Corporation may be the subject of litigation arising out of its operations. Claims under such litigation may be material or may be indeterminate. The outcome of such litigation may materially impact Cenovus’s financial condition or results of operations. The Corporation may be required to incur significant expenses or devote significant resources in defense against any such litigation.

Land Claims

In western Canada, aboriginal groups have historically filed claims in respect of their aboriginal rights and treaty rights against the governments of Canada and Alberta, and other government bodies, which may affect Cenovus’s business. In particular, aboriginal groups have claimed aboriginal title and rights to a substantial portion of western Canada. In 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada granted aboriginal title over non-treaty lands, representing the first occurrence of such a declaration. There exist outstanding aboriginal and treaty rights claims, which may include aboriginal title claims, on lands where Cenovus operates. Such claims have the potential to have an adverse effect on operations in affected areas. No certainty exists that any lands currently unaffected by claims brought by aboriginal groups will remain unaffected by future claims. Recent outcomes of litigation concerning aboriginal rights may result in increased claims and litigation activity in the future.

Leadership and Talent

Cenovus’s success is dependent upon its Management, its leadership capabilities and the quality and competency of its talent. Failure to retain critical talent or to attract and retain new talent with the necessary leadership traits, skills and competencies could have a material adverse effect on the Corporation’s results of operations, pace of growth and financial condition.

Information Systems

The Corporation depends on a variety of information systems to operate effectively. A failure or act of sabotage of certain business critical information systems could result in operational difficulties or mishap, damage or loss of data, productivity losses or result in unauthorized knowledge and use of information.

 

 

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ENVIRONMENTAL & REGULATORY RISKS

Cenovus’s industry and its operations are subject to regulation and intervention under federal, provincial, state and municipal legislation in Canada and the U.S. in matters such as, but not limited to: land tenure; permitting of production projects; royalties; taxes (including income taxes); government fees; production rates; environmental protection controls; protection of certain species or lands; provincial and federal land use designations; the reduction of greenhouse gas and other emissions; the export of crude oil, natural gas and other products; the transportation of crude-by-rail or marine transport; the awarding or acquisition of exploration and production, oil sands or other interests; the imposition of specific drilling obligations; control over the development, abandonment and reclamation of fields (including restrictions on production); and/or facilities and possibly expropriation or cancellation of contract rights.

Changes to government regulation could impact Cenovus’s existing and planned projects or increase capital investment or operating expenses, adversely impacting our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Regulatory Approvals

Cenovus’s operations require the Corporation to obtain approvals from various regulatory authorities and there are no guarantees that it will be able to obtain all necessary licenses, permits and other approvals that may be required to carry out certain exploration and development activities on its properties. In addition, obtaining certain approvals from regulatory authorities can involve, among other things, stakeholder and aboriginal consultation, environmental impact assessments and public hearings. Regulatory approvals obtained may be subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, including, but not limited to: security deposit obligations; regulatory oversight of projects by third parties; mitigating or avoiding project impacts; habitat assessments; and other commitments or obligations. Failure to obtain applicable regulatory approvals or satisfy any of the conditions thereto on a timely basis on satisfactory terms could result in delays, abandonment or restructuring of projects and increased costs.

Royalty Regimes

The Corporation’s cash flow may be directly affected by changes to royalty regimes. The governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan receive royalties on the production of hydrocarbons from lands in which they

respectively own the mineral rights. The royalty rate that Cenovus is charged on its oil sands production is determined based on the Canadian dollar equivalent price of West Texas Intermediate (“WTI”), and therefore increases in WTI or decreases in the CDN$/US$ exchange rate could significantly increase its royalties, which may have a negative impact on the Corporation’s business, financial conditions, results of operations and cash flow. There is also a mineral tax in each province levied on hydrocarbon production from lands to which the Crown does not own the mineral rights. The potential for changes in the royalty and mineral tax regimes applicable in the provinces Cenovus operates creates uncertainty relating to the ability to accurately estimate future Crown burdens.

Alberta Royalty Review

The Government of Alberta released its Royalty Review Advisory Panel Report on January 29, 2016 (the “Review”). The Review recommends new rules coming into effect in 2017, but also recommends grandfathering, under the current rules, all wells drilled before 2017 for a ten year period and recommends no change to the oil sands royalty structure. The Review recommended modernization of Alberta’s conventional oil and gas royalty regime, but did not provide detail. The Government of Alberta has accepted the recommendations set out in the Review and is expected to adopt those recommendations in spring 2016. It is not anticipated that the new rules will materially impact Cenovus’s financial condition; however, the specific nature in which the new rules will be applied has not yet been determined and may alter this view.

Tax Laws

Income tax laws, other laws or government incentive programs may in the future be changed or interpreted in a manner that adversely affects Cenovus and its shareholders. Tax authorities having jurisdiction over Cenovus may disagree with the manner in which the Corporation calculates its tax liabilities such that its provision for income taxes may not be sufficient or could change their administrative practices to Cenovus’s detriment or the detriment of its shareholders. In addition, all of the Corporation’s tax filings are subject to audit by tax authorities who may disagree with such filings in a manner that adversely affects Cenovus and its shareholders.

Environmental Regulations

All phases of crude oil, natural gas and refining operations are subject to environmental regulation pursuant to a variety of Canadian and U.S. federal, provincial, territorial, state and municipal laws and regulations (collectively, environmental regulations). Environmental regulations provide that wells, facility sites, refineries and other properties and practices associated with the Corporation’s operations be constructed, operated, maintained, abandoned, reclaimed and undertaken in accordance with the requirement set out therein. In addition, certain types of operations, including exploration and development projects and changes to certain existing projects, may require the submission and approval of environmental impact assessments or permit applications. Environmental regulations impose, among other things, restrictions, liabilities

 

 

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and obligations in connection with the generation, handling, use, storage, transportation, treatment and disposal of hazardous substances and waste and in connection with spills, releases and emissions of various substances in the environment. They also impose restrictions, liabilities and obligations in connection with the management of fresh or potable water sources that are being used, or whose use is contemplated, in connection with oil and gas operations. The complexities of changes in environmental regulations make it difficult to predict the potential future impact to Cenovus.

Compliance with environmental regulations can require significant expenditures, including costs and damages arising from releases or contaminated properties or spills. We anticipate that future capital expenditures and operating expenses could continue to increase as a result of the implementation of new environmental regulations. Failure to comply with environmental regulations may result in the imposition of fines, penalties and environmental protection orders. The costs of complying with environmental regulation may have a material adverse effect on Cenovus’s financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. The implementation of new environmental regulations or the modification of existing environmental regulations affecting the crude oil and natural gas industry generally could reduce demand for crude oil and natural gas and increase costs.

Failure to comply with environmental regulations could have an adverse impact on Cenovus’s reputation. There is also risk that Cenovus could face litigation initiated by third parties relating to climate change or other environmental regulations.

Climate Change

Various federal, provincial and state governments have announced intentions to regulate greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions and other air pollutants. Some of these regulations are in effect while others remain in various phases of review, discussion or implementation in the U.S. and Canada. Uncertainties exist relating to the timing and effects of these regulations. Additionally, lack of certainty regarding how any future federal legislation will harmonize with provincial or state regulations makes it difficult to accurately determine the cost estimate of climate change legislation compliance with certainty, including the effects of compliance with such initiatives on the Corporation’s suppliers and service providers.

Alberta Climate Leadership Plan

We are subject to the Specified Gas Emitters Regulation (Alberta) (the “SGER”), which imposes GHG emissions intensity emit 100,000 tonnes per year or more of GHG, which was recently amended. Previously, an owner of such a facility was required to reduce the emissions intensity of that facility by a minimum of 12 percent. The amendments have increased the minimum emission intensity reduction requirement for facility owners to 15 percent in 2016 and 20 percent starting in 2017. One of the options for complying with the SGER is for facility owners to purchase technology fund credits. The amendments have increased the price for such credits from $15/tonne to $20/tonne for 2016 and $30/tonne beginning in 2017.

limits and reduction requirements for owners of facilities that

In November, 2015, the Alberta government announced its climate leadership plan (the “CLP”) and released to the public the climate leadership report to the Minister of Environment and Parks (the “Report”) that it commissioned from the Climate Change Advisory Plan and on which the CLP is based. The CLP includes four strategies that the government will implement to address climate change: (i) the complete phase-out of coal-fired sources of electricity by 2030; (ii) implementing an Alberta economy-wide price on GHG emissions of $30 per tonne; (iii) reducing oil sands emissions to a province-wide total of 100 megatonnes per year (compared to current industry emissions levels of approximately 70 megatonnes per year), with certain exceptions for cogeneration power sources and new upgrading capacity; and (iv) reducing methane emissions from oil and gas activities by 45% by 2025. Uncertainties exist with respect to the implementation of the CLP and the effects that the CLP, including the overall emissions limit, may have on the industry.

Adverse impacts to Cenovus’s business as a result of comprehensive GHG legislation or regulation, including legislation to implement the CLP and the amendments to the SGER, to be enacted and applied to the Corporation’s business in Alberta or any jurisdiction in which the Corporation operates, may include, but are not limited to: increased compliance costs; permitting delays; substantial costs to generate or purchase emission credits or allowances adding costs to the products Cenovus produces; and reduced demand for crude oil and certain refined products. Emission allowances or offset credits may not be available for acquisition or may not be available on an economic basis. Required emission reductions may not be technically or economically feasible to implement, in whole or in part, and failure to meet such emission reduction requirements or other compliance mechanisms may have a material adverse effect on the Corporation’s business resulting in, among other things, fines, permitting delays, penalties and the suspension of operations. Consequently, no assurances can be given that the effect of future climate change regulations will not be significant to Cenovus.

Beyond existing legal requirements, the extent and magnitude of any adverse impacts of any additional programs or additional regulations cannot be reliably or accurately estimated at this time because specific legislative and regulatory requirements have not been finalized and uncertainty exists with respect to the additional measures being considered and the time frames for compliance.

 

 

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The Paris Agreement

In December 2015, Canada and 195 other countries that are members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change met in Paris, France and signed the Paris Agreement on climate change. The stated objective of the Paris Agreement is to hold “the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.” The countries which agreed to the Paris Agreement committed to meeting every five years to review their individual progress on GHG emissions reductions and to consider amendments to non-binding individual country targets. Canada is required to report and monitor its GHG emissions, though the implementation of such reporting and monitoring has yet to be determined. The Paris Agreement also contemplates that by 2020 the parties thereto will develop a new market-based mechanism related to carbon trading, which is expected to be based largely on lessons learned from the Kyoto Protocol. The government of Canada has announced that it will develop a country-wide approach to implementing the Paris Agreement in 2016.

The Corporation is unable to predict the impact of the Paris Agreement on its operations. It is possible that mandatory emissions reduction requirements may have a material adverse effect on Cenovus’s financial condition, results of operations and cash flow.

Low Carbon Fuel Standards

Existing and proposed environmental legislation in certain U.S. states, Canadian provinces and in the European Union, regulating carbon fuel standards could result in increased costs and reduced revenue. The potential regulation may negatively affect the marketing of Cenovus’s bitumen, crude oil or refined products, and may require the Corporation to purchase emissions credits in order to affect sales in such jurisdictions.

The state of California has implemented climate change regulation in the form of a Low Carbon Fuel Standard that requires the reduction of life cycle carbon emissions from transportation fuels. As an oil sands producer, Cenovus is not directly regulated and is not expected to have a compliance obligation. Refiners in California are required to comply with the legislation.

Renewable Fuel Standards

Cenovus’s U.S. refining operations are subject to various laws and regulations that impose stringent and costly requirements. Of specific note is the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (“EISA 2007”) that established energy management goals and requirements. Pursuant to EISA 2007, among other things,

the Environmental Protection Agency issued the Renewable Fuel Standard program that mandates the total volume of renewable transportation fuel sold or introduced in the U.S. and requires refiners to blend renewable fuels such as ethanol and advanced biofuels with their gasoline. The mandate requires the volume of renewable fuels blended into finished petroleum products to increase over time until 2022. To the extent refineries do not blend renewable fuels into their finished products, they must purchase credits, referred to as Renewable Identification Numbers (“RINs”), in the open market. A RIN is a number assigned to each gallon of renewable fuel produced or imported into the U.S. RIN numbers were implemented to provide refiners with flexibility in complying with the renewable fuel standards.

The Corporation’s refineries do not blend renewable fuels into the motor fuel products they produce and, consequently, Cenovus is obligated to purchase RINs in the open market, where prices fluctuate. In the future, the regulations could change the volume of renewable fuels required to be blended with refined products, creating volatility in the price for RINs or an insufficient number of RINs being available in order to meet the requirements. The Corporation’s financial condition, results of operations, and cash flow may be materially adversely impacted as a result.

Alberta’s Land-Use Framework

Alberta’s Land-Use Framework has been implemented under the Alberta Land Stewardship Act (“ALSA”) which sets out the Government of Alberta’s approach to managing Alberta’s land and natural resources to achieve long-term economic, environmental and social goals. In some cases, ALSA amends or extinguishes previously issued consents such as regulatory permits, licenses, approvals and authorizations in order to achieve or maintain an objective or policy resulting from the implementation of a regional plan.

The Government of Alberta has approved the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan (“LARP”), which was issued under the ALSA. The LARP identifies legally-binding management frameworks for air, land and water that will incorporate cumulative limits and triggers as well as identifying areas related to conservation, tourism and recreation. Cenovus received financial compensation from the Government of Alberta related to some of its non-core oil sands mineral rights that were cancelled. The cancelled mineral rights had no direct impact on the Corporation’s business plan, its current operations at Foster Creek and Christina Lake, or on any of its filed applications. Uncertainty exists with respect to the impact to future development applications in the areas covered by the LARP, including the potential for development restrictions and mineral rights cancellation.

The Government of Alberta has also approved the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan (“SSRP”), the second and similar regional plan to be developed under the ALSA. This plan applies to Cenovus’s conventional oil and gas operations in southern Alberta. To date, the SSRP is not expected to materially impact Cenovus’s existing conventional oil and gas operations, but no assurance can be given that future expansion of these operations will not be affected.

 

 

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The Government of Alberta has commenced development of the North Saskatchewan Regional Plan (“NSRP”). This plan will apply to Cenovus’s operations in central Alberta. No assurance can be given that the NSRP, or any future regional plans developed and implemented by the Government of Alberta, will not materially impact operations or future operations in this region.

The Government of Alberta has also announced four additional regional plans which are to come into effect under ALSA which may apply to Cenovus’s landholdings and operations in other areas of Alberta, but development of these plans has not yet begun.

Species at Risk Act

The Canadian federal legislation, Species at Risk Act, and provincial counterparts regarding threatened or endangered species may limit the pace and the amount of development in areas identified as critical habitat for species of concern (e.g. woodland caribou). Recent litigation against the federal government in relation to the Species at Risk Act has raised issues associated with the protection of species at risk and their critical habitat both federally and on a provincial level. In Alberta, the Alberta Caribou Action and Range Planning Project has been established to develop range plans and action plans with a view to achieving the maintenance and recovery of Alberta’s 15 caribou populations. The federal and/or provincial implementation of measures to protect species at risk such as woodland caribou and their critical habitat in areas of Cenovus’s current or future operations may limit the Corporation’s pace and amount of development and, in some cases, may result in an inability to further develop or continue to develop or operate in affected areas.

Federal Air Quality Management System

In June 2014, under the Federal Air Quality Management System, Environment Canada announced draft Multi-sector Air Pollutants Regulations (“MAPR”). The draft MAPR are aimed at equipment-specific Base-Level Industrial Emissions Requirements (“BLIERs”). Under the draft MAPR, nitrogen oxide BLIERs from the Corporation’s non-utility boilers, heaters and reciprocating engines will be regulated in accordance with specified performance standards. Due to the recent change in government, it is unclear when these regulations will come into force. Cenovus does not anticipate a material impact to existing or future operations as a result of the MAPR.

Water Licenses

Cenovus currently utilizes fresh water in certain operations, which is obtained under licenses issued pursuant to the Water Act (Alberta) to provide, for example, domestic and utility water at the Corporation’s SAGD facilities and for its bitumen delineation programs. Currently, the Corporation is not required to pay for the water it uses under these licenses. If a change under these licenses reduces the amount of water available for the Corporation’s use, its production could decline or operating expenses could increase, both of which may have a material adverse effect on the Corporation’s business and financial performance. There can be no assurance that the licenses to withdraw water will not be rescinded or that additional conditions will not be added to these licenses. There can be no assurance that Cenovus will not have to pay a fee for the use of water in the future or that any such fees will be reasonable. In addition, the expansion of the Corporation’s projects rely on securing licenses for additional water withdrawal, and there can be no assurance that these licenses will be granted on terms favourable to Cenovus, or at all, or that such additional water will in fact be available to divert under such licenses.

Alberta Wetlands Policy

In September 2013, the Government of Alberta approved a new wetlands policy to be fully implemented by June 2015 in southern Alberta (“White Area”) and June 2016 for the boreal region (“Green Area”). This new policy is not expected to affect Cenovus’s existing operations in Foster Creek, Christina Lake and Narrows Lake, where the Corporation’s ten year wetlands mitigation and monitoring plans were approved under the previously existing wetlands policy.

New project developments and future phase expansions will likely be affected by this policy. Cenovus’s oil sands leases are in areas where wetlands cover over 50% of the landscape. ‘Avoidance’ may not be an option for new project developments and phase expansions. Additional details of the wetlands assessment and compensation requirements are still to be determined within the policy. Based on written statements in the Alberta Wetland Mitigation Directive, 2015, Cenovus does not anticipate a material impact; however with the change in the provincial government it is unclear how this policy will be implemented. At this time, no assurance can be given that the policy will not have an impact on future development plans.

 

 

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REPUTATION RISKS

 

Cenovus relies on its reputation to build and maintain positive relationships with its stakeholders, to recruit and retain staff, and to be a credible, trusted company. Any actions the Corporation takes that cause negative public opinion have the potential to negatively impact Cenovus’s reputation which may adversely affect its share price, its development plans and its ability to continue operations.

Public Perception and Influence on Regulatory Regime

Development of the Alberta oil sands has received considerable attention in recent public commentary on the subjects of environmental impact, climate change and GHG emissions. Despite that much of the focus is on bitumen mining operations and not in-situ production, public concerns about oil sands generally and GHG emissions and water and land use practices in oil sands developments specifically may, directly or indirectly, impair the profitability of

the Corporation’s current oil sands projects, and the viability of future oil sands projects, by creating significant regulatory uncertainty leading to uncertain economic modeling of current and future projects and delays relating to the sanctioning of future projects.

Negative consequences which could arise as a result of changes to the current regulatory environment include, but are not limited to, extraordinary environmental and emissions regulation of current and future projects by governmental authorities, which could result in changes to facility design and operating requirements, thereby potentially increasing the cost of construction, operation and abandonment. In addition, legislation or policies that limit the purchase of crude oil or bitumen produced from the oil sands may be adopted in domestic and/or foreign jurisdictions, which, in turn, may limit the world market for this crude oil, reduce its price and may result in stranded assets or an inability to further develop oil resources.

 

 

OTHER RISK FACTORS

Arrangement Related Risk

Cenovus has certain post-Arrangement indemnification and other obligations under each of the arrangement agreement (the “Arrangement Agreement”) and the separation and transition agreement (the “Separation Agreement”), both of which are among Encana, 7050372 and Subco, dated October 20, 2009 and November 30, 2009 respectively, entered in connection with the Arrangement. Encana and Cenovus have agreed to indemnify each other for certain liabilities and obligations associated with, among other things, in the case of Encana’s indemnity, the business and assets retained by Encana, and in the case of Cenovus’s indemnity, the Cenovus business and

assets. At the present time, the Corporation cannot determine whether it will have to indemnify Encana for any substantial obligations under the terms of the Arrangement. Cenovus also cannot assure that if Encana has to indemnify Cenovus and its affiliates for any substantial obligations, Encana will be able to satisfy such obligations.

A discussion of additional risks, should they arise after the date of this AIF, which may impact Cenovus’s business, prospects, financial condition, results of operation and cash flows, and in some cases its reputation, can be found in the Corporation’s most recent Management’s Discussion and Analysis, available at sedar.com, sec.gov and cenovus.com.

 

 

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LEGAL PROCEEDINGS AND REGULATORY ACTIONS

 

During the year ended December 31, 2015, there were no legal proceedings to which Cenovus is or was a party, or that any of its property is or was the subject of, which involves a claim for damages in an amount, exclusive of interest and costs, that exceeds 10 percent of Cenovus’s current assets and it is not aware of any such legal proceedings that are contemplated.

During the year ended December 31, 2015, there were no penalties or sanctions imposed against Cenovus by a court relating to provincial and territorial securities legislation or by a securities regulatory authority, nor have there been any other penalties or sanctions imposed by a court or regulatory body against the Corporation that would likely be considered important to a reasonable investor in making an investment decision, and it has not entered into any settlement agreements before a court relating to provincial and territorial securities legislation or with a securities regulatory authority.

INTEREST OF MANAGEMENT AND OTHERS IN MATERIAL TRANSACTIONS

 

None of the Corporation’s directors or executive officers or any person or company that beneficially owns, or controls or directs, directly or indirectly, more than 10 percent of any class or series of Cenovus’s outstanding voting securities, of which there are none that the Corporation is aware, or any associate or affiliate of any of the foregoing persons or companies, in each case, as at the date of this AIF, has or has had any material interest, direct or indirect, in any past transaction or any proposed transaction that has materially affected or is reasonably expected to materially affect Cenovus.

MATERIAL CONTRACTS

 

During the year ended December 31, 2015, Cenovus has not entered into any contracts, nor are there any contracts still in effect, that are material to the business, other than contracts entered into in the ordinary course of business, and each of the Arrangement Agreement and the Separation Agreement, as described under “Risk Factors – Other Risk Factors – Arrangement Related Risk”.

INTERESTS OF EXPERTS

 

The Corporation’s independent auditors are PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Chartered Professional Accountants, who have issued an independent auditor’s report dated February 10, 2016 in respect of Cenovus’s Consolidated Financial Statements which comprise the Consolidated Balance Sheets as at December 31, 2015 and December 31, 2014 and the Consolidated Statements of Earnings and Comprehensive Income, Shareholders’ Equity and Cash Flows for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014, and 2013 and Cenovus’s internal control over financial reporting as at December 31, 2015. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP has advised that they are independent with respect to Cenovus within the meaning of the Code of Professional Conduct of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta and the rules of the SEC.

Information relating to reserves in this AIF has been calculated by GLJ Petroleum Consultants Ltd. and McDaniel & Associates Consultants Ltd. as independent qualified reserves evaluators. The principals of each of GLJ Petroleum Consultants Ltd. and McDaniel & Associates Consultants Ltd., in each case, as a group own beneficially, directly or indirectly, less than one percent of any class of the Corporation’s securities.

TRANSFER AGENTS AND REGISTRARS

 

 

In Canada:

  

In the United States:

Computershare Investor Services Inc.

8th Floor, 100 University Avenue

Toronto, ON M5J 2Y1

Canada

  

Computershare Trust Company NA

250 Royall St.

Canton, MA 02021

U.S.

 

Tel: 1-866-332-8898          Website: www.investorcentre.com/cenovus

 

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

Additional information relating to Cenovus is available on SEDAR at sedar.com, and EDGAR at sec.gov. Additional financial information is contained in the Corporation’s audited Consolidated Financial Statements and MD&A for the year ended December 31, 2015. Additional disclosure, including directors’ and officers’ remuneration and indebtedness, principal holders of Cenovus’s securities, securities authorized for issuance under its equity-based compensation plans and its statement of corporate governance practices, is included in the Corporation’s management proxy circular for its most recent annual meeting of shareholders.

Additional financial information, including disclosure regarding the contribution of each reportable segment to revenues and earnings can be found in Cenovus’s audited Consolidated Financial Statements and MD&A for the year ended December 31, 2015, which disclosure is incorporated by reference into this AIF.

As a Canadian corporation listed on the NYSE, Cenovus is not required to comply with most of the NYSE’s corporate governance standards, and instead may comply with Canadian corporate governance

practices. However, the Corporation is required to disclose the significant differences between its corporate governance practices and the requirements applicable to U.S. domestic companies listed on the NYSE. Except as summarized on Cenovus’s website at cenovus.com, it is in compliance with the NYSE corporate governance standards in all significant respects.

ACCOUNTING MATTERS

Unless otherwise specified, all dollar amounts are expressed in Canadian dollars. All references to “dollars”, “C$” or to “$” are to Canadian dollars and all references to “US$” are to U.S. dollars. The information contained in this AIF is dated as at December 31, 2015 unless otherwise indicated. Numbers presented are rounded to the nearest whole number and tables may not add due to rounding.

Unless otherwise indicated, all financial information included in this AIF has been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards, which are also generally accepted accounting principles for publicly accountable enterprises in Canada.

 

 

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ABBREVIATIONS AND CONVERSIONS

 

 

Oil and Natural Gas Liquids

 

Natural Gas

bbl

 

barrel

 

Bcf

 

billion cubic feet

bbls/d

 

barrels per day

 

Mcf

 

thousand cubic feet

Mbbls/d

 

thousand barrels per day

 

MMcf

 

million cubic feet

MMbbls

 

million barrels

 

MMcf/d

 

million cubic feet per day

NGLs

 

natural gas liquids

 

MMBtu

 

million British thermal units

BOE

 

barrel of oil equivalent

 

CBM

 

Coal Bed Methane

BOE/d

 

barrels of oil equivalent per day

   

WTI

 

West Texas Intermediate

   

In this AIF, certain natural gas volumes have been converted to BOE on the basis of six Mcf to one bbl. BOE may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A conversion ratio of six Mcf to one bbl is based on an energy equivalency conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent value equivalency at the wellhead.

TM denotes a trademark of Cenovus Energy Inc.

 

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APPENDIX A

 

REPORT ON RESERVES DATA BY INDEPENDENT QUALIFIED RESERVES EVALUATORS

To the Board of Directors of Cenovus Energy Inc. (the “Corporation”):

 

1.

We have evaluated the Corporation’s reserves data as at December 31, 2015. The reserves data are estimates of proved reserves and probable reserves and related future net revenue as at December 31, 2015, estimated using forecast prices and costs.

 

2.

The reserves data are the responsibility of the Corporation’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the reserves data based on our evaluation.

 

3.

We carried out our evaluation in accordance with standards set out in the Canadian Oil and Gas Evaluation Handbook as amended from time to time (the “COGE Handbook”) and maintained by the Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers (Calgary Chapter).

 

4.

Those standards require that we plan and perform an evaluation to obtain reasonable assurance as to whether the reserves data are free of material misstatement. An evaluation also includes assessing whether the reserves data are in accordance with principles and definitions presented in the COGE Handbook.

 

5.

The following table sets forth the estimated future net revenue (before deduction of income taxes) attributed to proved plus probable reserves, estimated using forecast prices and costs and calculated using a discount rate of 10 percent, included in the reserves data of the Corporation evaluated for the year ended December 31, 2015, and identifies the respective portions thereof that we have evaluated and reported on to the Corporation’s Board of Directors:

 

   

Independent Qualified

Reserves Evaluator

  

Effective Date of

Evaluation Report

   Location of
Reserves
  

Evaluated Net Present  

Value of Future Net  
Revenue  

(before income taxes,  

10% discount rate)  

$ millions  

 

 

 

McDaniel & Associates

Consultants Ltd.

  

December 31, 2015

   Canada    $20,280
 

GLJ Petroleum

Consultants Ltd.

  

December 31, 2015

   Canada    $1,286
          
          

 

           $21,566
          

 

 

6.

In our opinion, the reserves data respectively evaluated by us have, in all material respects, been determined and are in accordance with the COGE Handbook, consistently applied.

 

7.

We have no responsibility to update our reports referred to in paragraph five for events and circumstances occurring after their respective effective dates.

 

8.

Because the reserves data are based on judgments regarding future events, actual results will vary and the variations may be material.

Executed as to our report referred to above:

 

/s/ P.A. Welch

P.A. Welch, P. Eng.

McDaniel & Associates Consultants Ltd.

  

/s/ Keith M. Braaten

Keith M. Braaten, P. Eng.

GLJ Petroleum Consultants Ltd.      

Calgary, Alberta, Canada    Calgary, Alberta, Canada

February 9, 2016

 

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Cenovus Energy Inc.

  

 

2015 Annual Information Form


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APPENDIX B

 

REPORT OF MANAGEMENT AND DIRECTORS

ON RESERVES DATA AND OTHER INFORMATION

Management and directors of Cenovus Energy Inc. (the “Corporation”) are responsible for the preparation and disclosure of information with respect to the Corporation’s oil and gas activities in accordance with securities regulatory requirements. This information includes reserves data.

Independent qualified reserves evaluators have evaluated the Corporation’s reserves data. A report from the independent qualified reserves evaluators will be filed with securities regulatory authorities concurrently with this report.

The Reserves Committee of the Board of Directors of the Corporation has:

 

  (a)

reviewed the Corporation’s procedures for providing information to the independent qualified reserves evaluators;

 

  (b)

met with the independent qualified reserves evaluators to determine whether any restrictions affected the ability of the independent qualified reserves evaluators to report without reservation; and

 

  (c)

reviewed the reserves data with management and each of the independent qualified reserves evaluators.

The Board of Directors of the Corporation has reviewed the Corporation’s procedures for assembling and reporting other information associated with oil and gas activities and has reviewed that information with management. The Board of Directors, on the recommendation of the Reserves Committee, has approved:

 

  (a)

the content and filing with securities regulatory authorities of the reserves data and other oil and gas information;

 

  (b)

the filing of the report of the independent qualified reserves evaluators on the reserves data; and

 

  (c)

the content and filing of this report.

Because the reserves data are based on judgments regarding future events, actual results will vary and the variations may be material.

 

/s/ Brian C. Ferguson

Brian C. Ferguson

  

/s/ Ivor M. Ruste

Ivor M. Ruste

President & Chief Executive Officer    Executive Vice-President &
   Chief Financial Officer

/s/ Michael A. Grandin

Michael A. Grandin

  

/s/ Wayne G. Thomson

Wayne G. Thomson

Director and Chair of the Board    Director and Chair of the Reserves Committee

February 10, 2016

 

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Cenovus Energy Inc.

  

 

2015 Annual Information Form


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APPENDIX C

 

AUDIT COMMITTEE MANDATE

 

I.

PURPOSE

The Audit Committee (the “Committee”) is a committee of the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of Cenovus Energy Inc. (“Cenovus” or the “Corporation”) appointed to assist the Board in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities.

The Committee’s primary duties and responsibilities are to:

 

 

Oversee and monitor the effectiveness and integrity of the Corporation’s accounting and financial reporting processes, financial statements and system of internal controls regarding accounting and financial reporting compliance.

 

Oversee audits of the Corporation’s financial statements.

 

Review and evaluate the Corporation’s risk management framework and related processes including the supporting guidelines and practice documents.

 

Review and approve management’s identification of principal financial risks and monitor the process to manage such risks.

 

Oversee and monitor the Corporation’s compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

 

Oversee and monitor the qualifications, independence and performance of the Corporation’s external auditors and internal auditing group.

 

Provide an avenue of communication among the external auditors, management, the internal auditing group, and the Board.

 

Report to the Board regularly.

The Committee has the authority to conduct any review or investigation appropriate to fulfilling its responsibilities. The Committee shall have unrestricted access to personnel and information, and any resources necessary to carry out its responsibility. In this regard, the Committee may direct internal audit personnel to particular areas of examination.

 

II.

COMPOSITION AND MEETINGS

Composition

The Committee shall consist of not less than three and not more than eight directors as determined by the Board, all of whom shall qualify as independent directors pursuant to National Instrument 52-110 Audit Committees (as implemented by the Canadian Securities Administrators (“CSA”) and as amended from time to time) (“NI 52-110”).

All members of the Committee shall be financially literate, as defined in NI 52-110, and at least one member shall have accounting or related financial managerial expertise. In particular, at least one member shall have, through (i) education and experience as a principal financial officer, principal accounting officer, controller, public accountant or auditor or experience in one or more positions that involve the performance of similar functions; (ii) experience actively supervising a principal financial officer, principal accounting officer, controller, public accountant, auditor or person performing similar functions; (iii) experience overseeing or assessing the performance of companies or public accountants with respect to the preparation, auditing or evaluation of financial statements; or (iv) other relevant experience:

 

 

An understanding of accounting principles and financial statements;

 

The ability to assess the general application of such principles in connection with the accounting for estimates, accruals and reserves;

 

Experience preparing, auditing, analyzing or evaluating financial statements that present a breadth and level of complexity of accounting issues that are generally comparable to the breadth and complexity of issues that can reasonably be expected to be raised by the Corporation’s financial statements, or experience actively supervising one or more persons engaged in such activities;

 

An understanding of internal controls and procedures for financial reporting; and

 

An understanding of audit committee functions.

Committee members may not, other than in their respective capacities as members of the Committee, the Board or any other committee of the Board, accept directly or indirectly any consulting, advisory or other compensatory fee from the Corporation or any subsidiary of the Corporation, or be an “affiliated person” (as such term is defined in the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), and the rules, if any, adopted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) thereunder) of the Corporation or any subsidiary of the Corporation. For greater certainty, directors’ fees and fixed amounts of compensation under a retirement plan (including deferred compensation) for prior service with the Corporation that are not contingent on continued service should be the only compensation an Audit Committee member receives from the Corporation.

At least one member shall have experience in the oil and gas industry.

 

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Committee members shall not simultaneously serve on the audit committees of more than two other public companies, unless the Board first determines that such simultaneous service will not impair the ability of the relevant members to effectively serve on the Committee, and required public disclosure is made.

The non-executive Board Chair shall be a non-voting member of the Committee. See “Quorum” for further details.

Appointment of Committee Members

Committee members shall be appointed by the Board, effective after the election of directors at the annual meeting of shareholders, provided that any member may be removed or replaced at any time by the Board and shall, in any event, cease to be a member of the Committee upon ceasing to be a member of the Board.

Vacancies

Where a vacancy occurs at any time in the membership of the Committee, it may be filled by the Board.

Chair

The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee will recommend for approval to the Board an unrelated Director to act as Chair of the Committee. The Board shall appoint the Chair of the Committee.

If unavailable or unable to attend a meeting of the Committee, the Chair shall ask another member to chair the meeting, failing which a member of the Committee present at the meeting shall be chosen to preside over the meeting by a majority of the members of the Committee present at such meeting.

The Chair presiding at any meeting of the Committee shall not have a casting vote.

The items pertaining to the Chair in this section should be read in conjunction with the Committee Chair section of the Chair of the Board of Directors and Committee Chair General Guidelines.

Secretary

The Committee shall appoint a Secretary who need not be a member of the Committee. The Secretary shall keep minutes of the meetings of the Committee.

Meetings

The Committee shall meet at least quarterly. The Chair of the Committee may call additional meetings as required. In addition, a meeting may be called by the non-executive Board Chair, the President & Chief Executive Officer, or any member of the Committee or by the external auditors.

Committee meetings may, by agreement of the Chair of the Committee, be held in person, by video conference, by means of telephone or by a combination of any of the foregoing.

Notice of Meeting

Notice of the time and place of each Committee meeting may be given orally, or in writing, or by facsimile, or by electronic means to each member of the Committee at least 24 hours prior to the time fixed for such meeting. Notice of each meeting shall also be given to the external auditors of the Corporation.

A member and the external auditors may, in any manner, waive notice of the Committee meeting. Attendance of a member at a meeting shall constitute waiver of notice of the meeting except where a member attends a meeting for the express purpose of objecting to the transaction of any business on the grounds that the meeting was not lawfully called.

Quorum

A majority of Committee members, present in person, by video conference, by telephone, or by a combination thereof, shall constitute a quorum. In addition, if an ex officio, non-voting member’s presence is required to attain a quorum of the Committee, then the said member shall be allowed to cast a vote at the meeting.

Attendance at Meetings

The President & Chief Executive Officer, the Executive Vice-President & Chief Financial Officer, the Comptroller and the head of internal audit are expected to be available to attend the Committee’s meetings or portions thereof.

The Committee may, by specific invitation, have other resource persons in attendance.

The Committee shall have the right to determine who shall, and who shall not, be present at any time during a meeting of the Committee.

Directors, who are not members of the Committee, may attend Committee meetings, on an ad hoc basis, upon prior consultation and approval by the Committee Chair or by a majority of the members of the Committee.

 

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Minutes

Minutes of each Committee meeting should be succinct yet comprehensive in describing substantive issues discussed by the Committee. However, they should clearly identify those items of responsibilities scheduled by the Committee for the meeting that have been discharged by the Committee and those items of responsibilities that are outstanding.

Minutes of Committee meetings shall be sent to all Committee members and to the external auditors. The full Board of Directors shall be kept informed of the Committee’s activities by a report following each Committee meeting.

 

III.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Review Procedures

Review and update the Committee’s mandate annually, or sooner if the Committee deems it appropriate to do so. Review the summary of the Committee’s composition and responsibilities in the Corporation’s annual report, annual information form or other public disclosure documentation.

Review the summary of all approvals by the Committee of the provision of audit, audit-related, tax and other services by the external auditors for inclusion in the Corporation’s annual report and Annual Information Form filed with the CSA and the SEC.

Annual Financial Statements

 

1.

Discuss and review with management and the external auditors the Corporation’s and any subsidiary with public securities’ annual audited financial statements and related documents prior to their filing or distribution. Such review shall include:

 

  (a)

The annual financial statements and related notes including significant issues regarding accounting principles, practices and significant management estimates and judgments, including any significant changes in the Corporation’s selection or application of accounting principles, any major issues as to the adequacy of the Corporation’s internal controls and any special steps adopted in light of material control deficiencies.

  (b)

Management’s Discussion and Analysis.

  (c)

The use of off-balance sheet financing including management’s risk assessment and adequacy of disclosure.

  (d)

The external auditors’ audit examination of the financial statements and their report thereon.

  (e)

Any significant changes required in the external auditors’ audit plan.

  (f)

Any serious difficulties or disputes with management encountered during the course of the audit, including any restrictions on the scope of the external auditors’ work or access to required information.

  (g)

Other matters related to the conduct of the audit, which are to be communicated to the Committee under generally accepted auditing standards.

 

2.

Review and formally recommend approval to the Board of the Corporation’s:

 

  (a)

Year-end audited financial statements. Such review shall include discussions with management and the external auditors as to:

  (i)

The accounting policies of the Corporation and any changes thereto.

  (ii)

The effect of significant judgments, accruals and estimates.