Another quarter of record natural gas and liquids production from Marcellus shale wells sent profit surging at Range Resources Corp., the energy company said Wednesday.
Range reported net income of $146.4 million, or 86 cents a share, in the third quarter, outpacing net income of $19.2 million, or 12 cents a share, in the same period last year.
“It is exciting to see how far we have come since Range completed the Marcellus discovery well 10 years ago this month,” CEO Jeff Ventura said. “We are even more excited about future growth, as we capitalize on the first mover advantages Range enjoys in the Marcellus.”
Executives at the Fort Worth-based company, which has a growing regional headquarters in Cecil, planned to discuss the results with investors Thursday.
Range increased gas and liquid production by 26 percent to the equivalent of 1.2 billion cubic feet a day during the quarter compared with a year ago. That boosted revenue from operations in Marcellus, Texas, Oklahoma and Virginia regions to $617 million, a 39 percent increase from $442 million last year. Much of the growth was from wells in Southwestern Pennsylvania, where the company brought online 28 wells and production jumped by 36 percent.
Range is the state’s most prolific shale driller and posted the third-highest level of gas production during the first half of the year. Cecil-based Consol Energy Inc. this week also reported record gas production in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. Downtown-based EQT Corp. said last week it increased gas production by 25 percent.
All the companies said they are looking at long-term contracts on several pipelines to get gas out of the region and overcome prices that have declined since spring because of a glut in Appalachia. Ventura this month told the Tribune-Review that low prices in the region are becoming a problem for companies.
“Although the rapid growth in Marcellus production has created a challenging regional pricing environment for this quarter, looking ahead, prices are expected to improve,” Ventura said in a statement.
Companies are getting better prices in the southwest corner of the state than in the northeast section, Range said. The company has contracts to move 1.1 billion cubic of gas and liquids a day.
Like other companies, Range is cutting the cost of drilling by putting more wells on established pads and extending the horizontal section further in the shale.