Baytex Energy Corp. Canada oil companies is an oil and gas corporation based in Calgary, Alberta. The company is engaged in the acquisition, development and production of crude oil and natural gas in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin and in the Eagle Ford in the United States. Approximately 83% of Baytex’s production is weighted toward crude oil and natural gas liquids. Baytex’s common shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BTE.
Wells Drills Last 2 Years Western Canada
Baytex Western Canada Facility List
In 2021, we are benefiting from our diversified oil weighted portfolio and our commitment to allocate capital effectively. Based on the forward strip(1), we expect to generate over $350 million of free cash flow in 2021.
As a result of our strong operating performance through the first half of 2021, we are increasing our production guidance to 79,000 to 80,000 boe/d, up from 77,000 to 79,000 boe/d, previously. We continue to forecast 2021 exploration and development expenditures of $285 to $315 million.
Our interest expense guidance is 3% lower due to reduced net debt and the repurchase and cancellation of US$106 million principal amount of 5.625% long-term notes.
Production in the Eagle Ford averaged 33,957 boe/d (80% oil and NGL) during Q2/2021, as compared to 26,741 boe/d in Q1/2021. The higher volumes reflect an increased pace of completions and continued strong operating performance. During the second quarter we commenced production from 38 (10.2 net) wells, up from 24 (7.0 net) wells in Q1/2021. In Q2/2021, we invested $31 million on exploration and development in the Eagle Ford and generated an operating netback of $112 million. We expect to bring approximately 22 net wells on production in the Eagle Ford in 2021.
Viking Light Oil
Production in the Viking averaged 16,301 boe/d (88% oil and NGL) during Q2/2021, as compared to 19,403 boe/d in Q1/2021. Our capital program in the second quarter included the seasonal slowdown, which resulted in the completion of 14 (14.0 net) wells, as compared to 44 (43.2 net) wells during the first quarter. In Q2/2021, we invested $17 million on exploration and development in the Viking and generated an operating netback of $72 million. We expect to bring approximately 120 net wells on production in the Viking during 2021.
Our heavy oil assets at Peace River and Lloydminster produced a combined 23,304 boe/d (91% oil and NGL) during the Q2/2021, as compared to 24,395 boe/d in Q1/2021. We scheduled minimal heavy oil development for the first half of 2021. Our heavy oil program kicked off in June with approximately 35 net wells planned for the year, including up to seven net wells in our Spirit River (Clearwater equivalent) play.
Peace River Clearwater
Across all of our core assets, inventory enhancement continues to be a priority. We are also committed to building and maintaining respectful relationships with Indigenous communities and creating opportunities for meaningful economic participation and inclusion. In early 2020, we executed a strategic agreement with the Peavine Métis settlement in the Peace River area that covers 60 sections of land directly to the south of our existing Seal operations. At the time, we identified significant potential for this early stage exploratory play targeting the Spirit River formation, a Clearwater formation equivalent.
Pembina Area Duvernay Light Oil
Production in the Pembina Duvernay averaged 1,698 boe/d (80% oil and NGL) during Q2/2021, as compared to 2,138 boe/d in Q1/2021. We now have nine producing wells in the Pembina area and have significantly de-risked our approximately 38-kilometre long acreage fairway, where we hold 232 sections (100% working interest) of Duvernay land. We expect to bring two additional 100% working interest wells on production during the third quarter.