Cabot 2Q17: New Production Record, Making Big $, Pipelines Coming

Late last week Cabot Oil & Gas, one of our favorite big Marcellus drillers, released their second quarter 2017 update. And man oh man, was it full of interesting items! Daily natural gas production was up 14% over the same period last year. During 2Q17, Cabot averaged 1.77 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of net Marcellus production (2.1 Bcf/d gross operated production). Also during 2Q17, Cabot drilled 13.7 net Marcellus wells, completed 8.0 net wells and placed 6.0 net wells on production. Financially, the company continues to be a cash-making machine, generating positive free cash flow for the fifth consecutive quarter. During the first half of this year, it cost Cabot an average of $2.01 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) to extract and sell the gas. That’s all expenses. And Cabot made an average of $2.51/Mcf selling that gas. That’s a profit of $0.50/Mcf (or 20% profit). If we could invest $1 and get back $1.20 for every dollar invested, we’d be happy to do that all day long! Cabot is currently operating two drilling rigs and one completion crew in the Marcellus. One of the most interesting (and underreported) parts of the Cabot conference call last Friday is CEO Dan Dinges’ comments on the long-delayed Constitution Pipeline. He said, “we feel more optimistic about this project coming online in the next few years than we did say a year ago.” It seems Cabot (and Williams, the builder of the Constitution) are closely watching what happens with the Millennium Pipeline and Millennium’s request to FERC to override the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which is blocking the Millennium(and the Constitution). Although the Constitution awaits a court decision from the U.S. Second Circuit Court, they are planning other strategies. Dinges also addressed the PennEast Pipeline project, now stalled in New Jersey. Below is last week’s update, excerpts from the conference call, and the Cabot slide deck full of good information…

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