Appalachian shale drillers again produced a record amount of natural gas while spending much less in the first quarter and now are waiting for higher prices as Eagle Ford and Haynesville producers slow down.
Of the 10 largest publicly traded producers in Appalachia, only Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. reported a year-over year decline in natural gas production in the first quarter, while drillers such as Rice Energy Inc. and Gulfport Energy Corp. in the southwestern Marcellus and Utica drilled like it was hurricane season in 2008. Gulfport increased production 63%, to 692 MMcf/d, while Rice added 53%, to 675 MMcf/d, though both firms are working from much smaller year-ago bases than larger local drillers such as Range Resources and EQT.
All 10 reported less capital spending in the quarter, and four — the well-hedged Antero Resources Corp., Gulfport, Rice and EQT Corp. — reported adjusted profits.
An index of all 10 companies' stocks has outperformed both the S&P's oil and gas exploration and production measure and the S&P 500 year-to-date.Read more by clicking here.
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