CONSOL Energy Slashes 2016 Drilling Budget 50% from Previous Plan

There’s just no ignoring the fact that most (many? all?) Marcellus/Utica drillers are pulling in their horns for 2016 and, as things stand right now, will drill far less this year than they did last. Take CONSOL Energy as an example. Yesterday CONSOL issued a revised 2016 capital budget and operational forecast (full copy below). CONSOL has decided to spend even less on drilling in 2016 than previously announced. CONSOL spent $1.3 billion on drilling in 2014, $1 billion last year, and was planning “$400-$500 million” this year. Now? That number has crumbled to $205-$325 million. You don’t drill many wells with $200 million. CONSOL’s update says the company plans to spend $110-$210 million on drilling and completing wells, with an emphasis on completing already-drilled wells. Of note and interest is the increasing number of Utica wells that are in the CONSOL portfolio. Even though CONSOL will drill and complete far fewer wells than previous years, they still expect production to increase by 15%…

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