Chesapeake Energy CEO Doug Lawler Provides Update at Energy Conference

From Seeking Alpha's transcript of comments by Chesapeake Energy CEO Doug Lawler at Barclays CEO Energy-Power 2017 Conference:
Moving up to Appalachia. This is a very, very strong producing area for the Company. When you think about the Marcellus, the stability of that asset, the cash flow it generates, it’s world class. Also in Appalachia is our Utica asset. We’re looking for several different completion techniques to generate better performance from the Utica. Then, what we’ve seen, it also is a very attractive asset for us in the portfolio and we’ll deploy more capital to the Utica as we see the opportunity in the next year. 
Just highlighting again, this McGavin well, 61 million cubic feet a day; at present it’s doing 55 million cubic feet a day. So, it’s very strong performer; it continues to perform well. The 30-day IP was 55 and it’s still doing 55. So, we’re really encouraged by what that well looks like. We estimate that this 10,000 plus foot lateral that we have somewhere between 600 or 700 opportunities for drilling and completion in the Marcellus. So that’s a very, as you could expect, a very strong capital efficient place for us to deploy our investments and our capital. 
Very good returns. We anticipate 2017 to generate free cash flow of about $315 million over capital spend of about $125 million. As we’ve shared before with you, we can spend roughly $100 million a year. The performance of this McGavin well highlights it yet further that for about $100 million a year or less, we can maintain an asset at 2 to 2.2 BCF a day gross. As I noted, we’ve got a long runway, estimate almost 3,000 locations total and about, as I said, 750, 10,000 foot laterals. So, very strong production profile. And then we also have an expansion area in the Utica, up in the northeastern part of Pennsylvania, about 70,000 net prospective acres there that we believe to -- that will be very efficient for us to develop as well. What’s important about that is we have not drilled a Utica well up there. And utilizing Chesapeake’s experience and expertise with the longer laterals and improved completion techniques, this presents another opportunity for potential growth and return for us. 
Looking at the Utica. There are several pads that we’ve brought on line here in the past few months and we’ll continue to look for opportunities to invest additional capital here. We’re seeing very good improvements in our capital efficiency here, carrying out many of the same modifications to the drilling and completion program as we’ve recognized elsewhere. In the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing on line roughly eight new Utica dry wells. So, we’re continuing to focus there; it should deliver somewhere in the 120 million cubic a feet from those wells. This is a very strong area and you can see with how we’re deviating from our type curve on the bottom left, as you look at how some of these enhanced completions have added additional value for the company contributing further to our capital efficiency.
Read the whole transcript by clicking here.

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