Eclipse Res. 2Q17: $325M JV to Keep Drilling, Wants More Acreage

Last week Eclipse Resources, a Marcellus/Utica pure play driller headquartered in State College, PA that drills mostly in Ohio, released their second quarter 2017 update. Eclipse has been on a roll, drilling a series of longest-ever onshore lateral wells–in the world. It began last year when Eclipse drilled what they call their first “super lateral” Utica well in Guernsey County, OH–the Purple Hayes, at 18,500 feet long (see Eclipse Res. 1Q16: Drills Longest Shale Well Ever! “Purple Hayes”). Since that time, the Purple Hayes well has consistently been the #1 oil producing well in the state. In May of this year, Eclipse drilled a new longest-ever well, also in Guernsey County, the Great Scott 3H well at 19,300 feet long (see Great Scott! Eclipse Drills New Longest Lateral in World – in Utica). Barley a month later, in June, Eclipse drilled yet another record-breaker in Guernsey County–the Outlaw C 11H, a Utica well that is an incredible 19,500 feet long horizontally, some 3.7 miles long (see Eclipse Breaks Record Again – New Longest Shale Well in World!). Eclipse wants to keep on drillin’, but they need money to do so. Given the volatile nature of the commodity price of gas (and oil), and given the volatile nature of funding from Wall Street, Eclipse decided to form a $325 million joint venture (jv) with Sequel Energy Group LLC, an affiliate of GSO Capital Partners. That was last week’s really big news coming from Eclipse. They expect to close the jv deal in September and keep the drill bits turning on new super laterals. Meanwhile, Eclipse is partly done with completing (i.e. fracking) both the Great Scott and Outlaw wells. During the conference call, Eclipse CEO Ben Hulburt hinted that they may try super laterals in the Marcellus, given their success in the Utica. Hulburt also indicated the company is still in the market to lease new acreage–IF they can get it for $3,000-$5,000 per acre…

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