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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Experience of Natural Gas Producers Dealing with Low Prices Keeps Credit Flowing

From SNL:
Many independent U.S. natural gas producers, particularly in Appalachia, haven't seen banks trim their credit like their shale oil peers during this spring's bank redetermination season because of a discipline instilled through years of living with low commodity prices, an industry analyst said at a Washington, D.C., think-tank April 28. 
"They've been dealing with such a poor market for so many years," Energy Intelligence Editor Casey Sattler told attendees at a panel discussing the future financing of oil and gas development at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. 
Major Appalachian drillers such as Antero Resources Corp. and Range Resources Corp. have already announced that bankers made no changes to their multi-billion dollar borrowing bases. 
Shale gas producers had to develop a wide variety of tactics to cushion their downside since prices collapsed, Sattler said, including developing sophisticated hedging strategies to protect their revenue streams. 
Wellhead prices for U.S. natural gas began sliding in 2011 to bottom out in April 2012 at $1.89/Mcf, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration figures. The 2016 NYMEX futures strip closed April 27's trading day at $2.443/MMBtu, while spot prices at Marcellus Shale hubs in Pennsylvania have averaged $1.29/MMBtu for the 12 months previous to April 28, according to SNL data. 
"The oil guys never really hedged. They were in and out. The gas guys are more disciplined," Sattler said at the panel discussing financial strategies going forward in a low priced environment.
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