Chesapeake 2Q13: Dramatic Turnaround from One Year Ago

It appears that the great ship of Chesapeake Energy is, ever so gradually, turning around. We won’t recount how Chesapeake’s founder Aubrey McClendon was unceremoniously dumped by corporate raider Carl Icahn, nor how some of his closest long-time “friends” betrayed him. All water under the bridge now. The news is that Chesapeake released their second quarter update today and the numbers are mostly good–very good. The company’s EBITDA (net income) increased 77% from the same time last year, and operating cash flow was up 53%.

With respect to the Marcellus, Chesapeake says they connected an astonishing 131 wells during 2Q13, more than double the 52 they connected in 2Q12. Dry gas production in the northern part of the Marcellus averaged 780 million cubic feet per day, and wet gas production in the southern Marcellus averaged 208 mmcf/d, for a total of 988 mmcf/d–almost 1 bcf/d! (Cabot and EQT are the first two companies to average more than a billion cubic per day.) Chesapeake reports they have 11 active drilling rigs in the Utica Shale and 5 in the Marcellus.

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