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Rice Energy widens loss

Rice Energy Inc. recorded a loss of $69.7 million, or 51 cents per share, for the second quarter. During the same time last year, the Canonsburg-based oil and gas company posted a loss of $7.9 million, or 6 cents per share.

Rice drills for oil and gas in the Marcellus Shale in southwestern Pennsylvania and in the Utica Shale in Ohio. It also owns infrastructure that gathers the gas it and other operators produce and pipelines that carry fresh water from the Mon River and other sources to well sites.

Low natural gas prices have hammered all exploration and production companies operating in the area. Rice’s average realized natural gas price for the quarter was $2.98, after hedging. Its production division recorded an operating loss of $60 million for the quarter, while its midstream branch had income of $20.7 million.

The company said it will continue to increase oil and gas production, placing an emphasis on selling it outside of Appalachia, where gas trades at a discount to the average national price.

It also announced that it has drilled its first Utica well in Greene County, following similar announcements from EQT Corp. and Consol Energy Inc. Production from the well is planned for later this year.

In related news, Rice Energy doubles natural gas production.

This article was written by Anya Litvak from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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