Chesapeake Energy Earnings Down 60%; Cutting Budget 34% in 2015

boy who cried wolfCorporate raiders Mason Hawkins and Carl Ichan, Chesapeake Energy’s two largest investors, are not happy men today. Chesapeake released its full year and fourth quarter 2014 update yesterday and earnings were down–60% from 2013. Depressed earnings can largely be blamed on the low price of natural gas and oil, but also on Chesapeake’s lower estimated production for 2015. The news resulted in a stampede of investors selling Chessy’s stock–which took a massive 11% hit yesterday. Among the many bits of news coming from Chesapeake yesterday is that the company will slash its 2015 capital budget 34% over what it spent in 2014. There will be less drilling in both the Marcellus and Utica Shale, and Chesapeake is actually (if you believe them this time) shutting in wells in the Marcellus/Utica and curtailing some of their production, waiting for the price to increase. They’ve made that threat in the past and never followed through (see Chesapeake’s NatGas Production Cuts Never Materialized). The boy who cried wolf comes to mind. Below is the 2014 report from Chesapeake…
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Chesapeake Energy Investor Phone Call Excerpts + PowerPoint

Yesterday’s news that Chesapeake Energy is scaling back both production and new drilling in the Marcellus/Utica largely came from an analyst call in which Chesapeake management provided answers to questions by analysts. Below we have select portions of the transcript from that phone call, along with a copy of Chesapeake’s latest company presentation (slide deck). Chesapeake’s management talks about curtailment (shutting in and slowing down production) in the Marcellus, and scaling back new drilling in the Utica…
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Rex Energy Looks to Sell 28,300 Marcellus Acres in Bid to Raise $

Last week Rex Energy released its 2014 year in review and projected some numbers for 2015 (see Rex Energy 2014: Revenues Up 39%, Production Up 66%, 50 New Wells). A day later the company hosted an analyst/investor conference call. In reviewing that call, there was some news of interest. Rex said it is considering selling 28,300 non-operated acres in Westmoreland, Clearfield and Centre counties (PA) as a way of raising more money. Officials also said they’re looking for a buyer for their 60% stake in Keystone Clearwater Solutions, an oilfield services company, and a joint venture partner with Rex in its Moraine East acreage. Huh. Below are excerpts from last week’s Rex conference call along with their latest PowerPoint presentation…
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Gulfport Production Up 255%, Spending 96% of $ on Utica in 2015

Gulfport Energy CEO Michael Moore said 2014 was “a transformation year” for the company. Indeed it was. Yesterday Gulfport issued their 2014 year in review and predictions for 2015. Gulfport drills in the Utica and in other shale plays. Combined production for the company in 2014 zoomed up 255% over 2013–most of it from the Utica. Gulfport drilled 85 Utica Shale wells in 2014, and they hooked up/put into production 63 Utica wells in 2014. In 2015 the company plans to spend between $545-$595 million on drilling–96% of that will be spent in the Utica Shale. Below is yesterday’s 2014/2015 update…
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Antero Resources: 2014 a Banner Year, but Cutting 2015 Budget 36%

Yes, it’s earning season and for the next several weeks there will be a parade of companies releasing their 2014 results and looking forward to 2015. Antero Resources, one of the largest drillers in the Marcellus/Utica, is among them. Yesterday Antero released their 2014 numbers and commented on 2015. Among Anteor’s good news: Proved reserves jumped an eye-popping 66% in just one year–to 12.7 trillion cubic feet equivalent (Tcfe). The company’s 3P reserves (proved, probably and possible) jumped to a staggering 40.7 Tcfe. If you look at potential drilling locations for Antero’s 3P leased acreage, they could theoretically drill in 5,331 different locations (70% of those locations being in liquids-rich areas). Daily average production was up a huge 87% year over year. Net revenue doubled for the year. On the down side, Antero is cutting their 2015 budget by 36%, but that’s not a surprise. Below is yesterday’s update…
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MarkWest Energy Continues to Soar in 2014, New Record for Northeast

MarkWest Energy, one of (perhaps the) largest midstream (pipelines & processing plants) companies in both the Marcellus and Utica Shale region, issued its 2014 year in review yesterday. Among the highlights: the company reported record processed gas volumes of over 3.2 billion cubic feet per day from the Marcellus and Utica during the fourth quarter, an increase of over 100% from 4Q13; they processed/fractionated over 200,000 barrels per day of NGLs in the Marcellus/Utica during 4Q14, an increase of over 100% from 4Q13; MarkWest placed into service 720 million cubic feet per day of new processing capacity, with the addition of Sherwood V and Mobley IV in the Marcellus Shale; Cadiz II in the Utica Shale; and Carthage IV in East Texas; and they began operations of a third 60,000 barrels per day propane (and heavier) fractionation facility in Marcellus/Utica. It’s hard to find any bad news for MarkWest! Here’s the update…
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MarkWest Energy Investor Phone Call Excerpts + PowerPoint

In addition to releasing their 2014 update yesterday, MarkWest Energy held an analyst/investor phone call to discuss last year and talk about what’s coming up in 2015. The main portion of that call was a prepared presentation by MarkWest CEO Frank Semple. We’ve selected out the relevant portion of his statement (most of it, actually) which deals with the Marcellus/Utica. Frank gives a useful update on many of the bubbling projects they’ve been working on. Following Frank’s comments is the latest PowerPoint presentation (with a list of our favorite slides)…
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List of Towns in 4 SE OH Counties Getting ET Rover Pipeline

Southeast OH will soon see a lot of new pipelines being laid, and along with it, a lot of new jobs. Energy Transfer Partners recently briefed Monroe County Commissioners on the ET Rover pipeline project, an 800-mile, $4.4 billion pipeline that will connect the Marcellus and Utica Shale region to Canada (see ET Rover Pipeline’s 800-Mile Journey Begins with FERC Filing). If the pipeline is laid as currently planned in the southeastern portion of Ohio, the pipeline will traverse 46.31 miles in Monroe County, 34.99 miles in Belmont County, 20.06 miles in Jefferson County and 17.7 miles in Harrison County. Here’s a list of the lucky townships in those four counties where the pipeline is due to go…
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Antis Show Up at NJ FERC Hearing to Dis PennEast Pipeline

Hundreds of people turned out for the first-ever Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hearing in New Jersey for the PennEast pipeline. You knew the nutters were lined up and ready–just about to burst waiting to get in front of the cameras and microphones to tell their silly tales of not why the pipeline should not be rerouted here or there to avoid something important–but why it should never, ever on God’s green earth NEVER get built. Some 90 people signed up to spew, and of course they didn’t disappoint. There was talk of George Washington and the Hessians (look up your American history if you don’t know what Hessians were); THE Delaware Riverkeeper herself, Maya van Rossum, made a star-studded appearance; and there were calls from some to “stand your ground” and never, ever on God’s green earth NEVER allow this evil, disgusting pipeline to get built…
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