CONSOL Energy 2Q17 – Utica Well Problems, Production Decline

CONSOL Energy released its second quarter 2017 update yesterday, along with a conference call to discuss results in 2Q17 and what’s ahead for the rest of 2017 and even a hint of what’s coming in 2018. Perhaps the biggest news coming from yesterday is that CONSOL had problems with two well pads in the Ohio Utica during last quarter–problems which slowed them down and resulted in a rare decrease in natural gas production year over year. CONSOL production was down 7% due to problems with drilling out frack plugs at two well pads in Monroe County, OH. According to CONSOL COO Tim Dugan, they were “one-time” events and unusual. Dugan said, more or less, CONSOL is experimenting and hey, sometimes the experiments go wrong. But the “operational improvements” the company has made by experimenting have far outweighed any temporary problems like those in Monroe County. CONSOL will spend more and drill more in 2017 than previously forecast–spending $620-$645 million to drill 34 wells this year (which works out to close to $19 million/well on the high end). In 2018, CONSOL will add a third drilling rig, although they’re not yet saying where it will get deployed (PA Marcellus or OH Utica). Here’s the latest from a company that will soon split in two (coal and gas) and rename itself…

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