EQT Raises Estimates of Methane, NGL Production for 2017

In December 2016 EQT, one of the largest Marcellus/Utica drillers with its headquarters in the Pittsburgh area, released a forecast for 2017 (see EQT 2017 Forecast: Drilling 119 Marcellus, 81 UD, 7 Utica Wells). At that time, EQT said they would spend $1.5 billion to drill a total of 200 Marcellus and Upper Devonian wells, and 7 exploratory Utica wells. Yesterday EQT released an update to/revision of their 2017 plans. The new plan still shows a budget of $1.5B to drill a total of 207 wells. So what changed? EQT is drilling longer laterals–from 7,000 feet on average to 8,000 feet on average, for their Marcellus wells. EQT finds by doing so their decline curves (how much a well will ultimately produce) has increased by 14% to 2.4 billion cubic feet equivalent per 1,000 feet drilled. Originally EQT forecasted they would produce 810-830 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe) of natural gas. That has gone up. They now plan to produce 835-855 Bcfe of natural gas in 2017. NGLs are going up too. The original forecast was for 13,100-13,700 barrels of liquids, now raised to 17,975-18,575 barrels. The one “negative” in this updated forecast is that EQT has factored in a 15% rise in the cost of oilfield services…

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