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Ohio Utica Shale

Cabot reports gas production up 34 percent from 1Q 2013

By Bob Downing Published: April 25, 2014

From Caboit Oil & Gas Corp. on Thursday:

HOUSTON, April 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (NYSE: COG) today reported its financial and operating results for the first quarter of 2014. Highlights for the quarter include:

  • Production of 119.9 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe), an increase of 34 percent over last year's comparable quarter
  • Discretionary cash flow of $319.5 million, an increase of 36 percent over last year's comparable quarter
  • Net income excluding selected items of $109.7 million, an increase of 102 percent over last year's comparable quarter
  • Total unit costs (including financing) of $2.66 per thousand cubic feet equivalent (Mcfe), a 19 percent improvement over last year's comparable quarter

First Quarter 2014 Financial Results

Equivalent production in the first quarter of 2014 was 119.9 Bcfe, consisting of 115.8 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas and 686,000 barrels of liquids (crude oil/condensate/natural gas liquids). Equivalent production for the quarter represents a 34 percent increase over the first quarter of 2013 on an absolute basis and a 39 percent increase when adjusting for the Mid-Continent and West Texas asset sales in 2013. "Our daily production levels for the quarter posted a slight increase sequentially, in line with our guidance, despite unscheduled downtime on compressor stations in our Marcellus operating area resulting from severe winter weather," commented Dan O. Dinges, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer.

Cash flow from operations in the first quarter of 2014 was $255.4 million, compared to $212.7 million in the first quarter of 2013. Discretionary cash flow in the first quarter of 2014 was $319.5 million, compared to $234.4 million in the first quarter of 2013. Net income in the first quarter of 2014 was $107.0 million, or $0.26 per share, compared to $42.8 million, or $0.10 per share, in the first quarter of 2013. Excluding the effect of selected items (detailed in the table below), net income was $109.7 million, or $0.26 per share, in the first quarter of 2014, compared to $54.2 million, or $0.13 per share, in the first quarter of 2013. Higher equivalent production and realized natural gas prices drove the quarter's overall improvement, partially offset by lower realized oil prices and increased operating expenses associated with higher production.

Natural gas price realizations, including the effect of hedges, were $3.74 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) in the first quarter of 2014, up 8 percent compared to the first quarter of 2013. "Cabot's Marcellus natural gas price realizations for the first quarter, before the effect of hedges, were in line with our expectations of $0.60 to $0.65 below NYMEX settlement prices," stated Dinges. Oil price realizations, including the effect of hedges, were $97.76 per barrel (Bbl), down 6 percent compared to the first quarter of 2013.

Total per unit costs (including financing) decreased to $2.66 per Mcfe in the first quarter of 2014, down 19 percent from $3.29 per Mcfe in the first quarter of 2013. All operating expense categories decreased on a per unit basis relative to last year's comparable quarter except for exploration expense, which was flat relative to the first quarter of 2013, and transportation and gathering expense, which increased as a result of slightly higher transportation rates and new transportation agreements in the Marcellus.

Operational Highlights

Marcellus Shale

During the first quarter of 2014, the Company averaged 1,209 million cubic feet (Mmcf) per day of net Marcellus production, an increase of 44 percent over the prior year's comparable quarter. Subsequent to the end of the first quarter, Cabot reached a milestone of one trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of cumulative production from its Marcellus Shale asset in less than six years. "This is a tremendous accomplishment, especially considering the Company's maximum rig count in the Marcellus during this period was six rigs, with no more than 290 horizontal wells producing, highlighting the productivity of this asset," said Dinges.

Cabot has averaged approximately 1,480 Mmcf per day of gross Marcellus production during the month of April, which includes a new gross Marcellus production record of 1,538 Mmcf per day. These levels compare to an average of approximately 1,410 Mmcf per day during the first quarter of 2014. "Second quarter production in the Marcellus has started out strong thanks to the continued efforts by our team in the field in tandem with our midstream provider to maximize our deliverability into the interstate pipelines," commented Dinges. "As a result, we expect sequential growth in the second quarter versus our prior expectation of flat production."

Eagle Ford Shale

Cabot's net production in the Eagle Ford during the first quarter of 2014 was 7,271 barrels of oil equivalent (Boe) per day, an increase of 42 percent over the prior year's comparable quarter. This included 6,839 barrels of liquids per day, an increase of 49 percent over the prior year's comparable quarter.

Subsequent to the quarter end, Cabot placed its first six-well pad in the Eagle Ford on production. The six wells had an average completed lateral length of 6,658' and were completed with an average of 25 stages. The wells achieved an average peak 24-hour initial production (IP) rate of 1,045 Boe per day per well (89% oil) during the first ten days on production and the rates continue to improve. As a result of pad-drilling efficiencies, including a new record of ten stages completed in a 24-hour period, the Company realized approximately $600,000 of cost savings per well on this six-well pad.

"We have been very pleased with the strides our Eagle Ford team has made over the last six months. Based on the continued improvement in production rates and realized cost savings, which have resulted in higher rates of return, we are adding a third rig to our Eagle Ford program beginning in the third quarter," explained Dinges. "This additional rig will be focused on multi-well pads and is expected to have minimal impact on 2014 production but will materially impact our estimated 2015 oil production volumes."

During the first quarter, Cabot added approximately 4,000 net acres to its Eagle Ford position through organic leasing efforts and is actively pursuing additional acreage.

- See more at: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=116492&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1921729&highlight=#sthash.M62dCeei.dpuf

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