Noble Energy 2017: Even with 363K Acres, No New Marcellus Drilling

Noble Energy, a driller with a significant presence in the Marcellus but with a bigger presence in other shale plays, (and operations in other countries and offshore), announced in February that of the four shale plays they operate in onshore in the U.S.–the DJ Basin, Eagle Ford, Delaware and Marcellus–in 2016 they plan to focus on the first three and scale back in the Marcellus, limiting their Marcellus activity to completing previously drilled wells (see Noble Energy Loses $2.4B in 2015; Marcellus Scale-Back in 2016). They followed through on that promise. In November 2016 Noble ended its joint venture deal with CONSOL Energy, with Noble getting 363,000 Marcellus Shale acres in the divorce settlement (see Divorce: CONSOL & Noble Dissolve M-U Joint Venture). Yesterday Noble issued their fourth quarter and full year 2016 update, along with a preview for 2017. What we learned can be summed up as this: No new Marcellus drilling in 2016, and none planned for 2017. However, Noble does plan to complete previously drilled but uncompleted (DUC) wells it has in inventory in the Marcellus…

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