Ultra Petroleum 1Q17 – Holding on to 72K Marcellus Acres, for Now

Ultra Petroleum, based in Houston, TX, is an independent exploration and production (E&P) company mainly focused on drilling in the Green River Basin of Wyoming. Ultra also drills for oil in the Uinta Basin/Three Rivers area in Utah. In addition, Ultra maintains a “non-operated” (someone else does the drilling) position in the Pennsylvania Marcellus shale with leases on 72,000 net acres–no small amount. One year ago, in April 2016, Ultra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy (see Ultra Petroleum (with 184K Marcellus Acres) Files for Bankruptcy). A year later, Ultra announced it has emerged from bankruptcy, raising nearly $3 billion to pay back creditors and floating 195 million shares of new stock (see Ultra Petroleum Does Bankruptcy Right, Exits with Higher Value). The company is worth more today than when it entered bankruptcy. Talk about engineering a turnaround! Ultra shows other E&Ps how to do a bankruptcy “right.” A few weeks back Ultra issued its first quarter 2017 update. While the official update itself doesn’t mention Ultra’s Marcellus acreage, the earnings call did. We learn more about Ultra’s attitude and future plans for their Marcellus holdings from comments made by Ultra CEO Michael Watford. We also get more details about the company’s Marcellus holdings from the accompanying slide deck used during the earnings call…

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