Utica’s 2nd Biggest Driller, Gulfport Energy, Floats $650M in IOUs

Gulfport logGulfport Energy is an Oklahoma City-based independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company (“driller”) with its main operations in the Utica Shale of eastern Ohio and along the Louisiana Gulf Coast. In August MDN ran an article looking at the top 5 drillers in the Utica Shale (see Which 5 Drillers Dominate in the Utica Shale?). Gulfport was #2 in that list, only behind Chesapeake Energy. Gulfport owns 223,000 net acres in the Utica, produced 2/3rds of a Bcf (billion cubic feet) of natural gas and equivalents per day in 2015, and drilled 165 wells in 2015. Yesterday Gulfport announced a program to swap out old debt for new debt–offering $650 million in “senior notes” (we call them IOUs) in a program to repurchase other notes coming due in 2020. Yes, it’s all financial mumbo jumbo as far as we’re concerned. What it points out is the extraordinary lengths drillers will go to stay afloat during this time of low natgas prices…

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