CALGARY — Baytex Energy Corp. says it earned $563 million and continued to pay down debt in the fourth quarter of 2021 against the backdrop of surging oil and gas prices.

The Calgary-based company says its earnings increased to $1 per share, up from $32.7 million or six cents per share in third quarter and $221 million or 39 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Baytex says its revenue from petroleum and natural gas sales during the three months ended Dec. 31 amounted to $552 million, up from $234 million in the previous year’s quarter.

The oil and gas producer says its production during the fourth quarter averaged 80,789 barrels of oil equivalent per day, compared with 70,475 in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Baytex says it has reduced its net debt level by approximately $1.1 billion over the past three-and-a-half years, and expects to hit its target of $1.2 billion in net debt during the second quarter of 2022.

The company says as a result, for 2022 it will allocate about 25 per cent of its annual free cash flow to direct shareholder returns and will also implement a share buyback program in the second quarter.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2022.

Companies in this story: (TSX:BTE)

The Canadian Press

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