Chesapeake 3Q12: $2.1B Net Loss, NGL/Oil Production Way Up

The U.S.’ second largest natural gas producer and most active driller, Chesapeake Energy, released their third quarter earnings and operations report yesterday. The update contains both good and bad. The media will no doubt focus on the bad: Chesapeake posted a $2.1 billion net loss for the quarter mostly due to lower natural gas prices and the need to write down certain assets. But there are signs the company is turning around both financially and operationally.

For some time Chesapeake has focused their activity on liquids-rich plays, and the latest 3-month period reflects it. Chesapeake’s average daily natural gas liquids (NGL) production in 3Q12 was 143,000 barrels/day, an increase of 51% from the same period last year, up 10% from the previous quarter. (Chesapeake’s NGL production represents 21% of their overall production.) Average daily oil production in 3Q12 increased a whopping 96% from the same period last year—up 21% from the previous quarter—to 97,800 barrels/day. And natural gas production in 3Q12 increased 24% from the same period last year—up 9% from the previous quarter—to 4.142 billion cubic feet per day.

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