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Stone Energy's 2Q Production Boosted by Appalachian Volumes

Stone Energy Corp. expects to report second quarter production near the high end of its guidance for the period, estimating that it produced 174 MMcfe/d for what would be a better-than-expected finish on incremental production from the Appalachian Basin that came back online in June.

The company entered an interim gas gathering and processing agreement with Williams last month for its Mary Field in West Virginia, which is its largest asset in the basin (see Shale DailyJuly 1). The company had shut-in the field last September on stagnant oil and natural gas prices that were further reduced by negative basis differentials and fees for transportation, processing and gathering (see Shale DailySept. 25, 2015). The move curtailed about 100 MMcfe/d.

Stone said late Monday that volumes from the Mary field, where it holds 39,200 acres, have averaged more than 75 MMcfe/d this month. The company expects that the field will ramp back up and hit more than 125 MMcfe/d next month. Fifty-seven wells, representing about 60 MMcfe/d, remain shut-in "due to downstream liquids-handling capacity constraints," Stone said, adding that those wells would likely come online next month.

Stone produced 292 MMcfe/d in 2Q2015 prior to the Appalachian curtailments. The company had turned away from the basin last year in favor of the offshore Gulf of Mexico, which accounted for 138 MMcfe/d of 2Q2016 production. In addition to the Mary Field, other assets and working interest in the Appalachian Basin accounted for 36 MMcfe/d. Second quarter production volumes, Stone estimates, should consist of 59% oil, 32% natural gas and 9% natural gas liquids.

Stone's interim deal with Williams, which also helped the midstream company boost its gathered volumes in the region, runs through Aug. 31 and continues on a month-to-month basis thereafter unless one of the parties terminates it.

The explosion and fire at Enterprise Products Partners LP's Pascagoula gas processing plant in Mississippi last month, knocked out 20-25 MMcf/d from Stone's offshore Pompano platform (see Daily GPI,June 28). The incident forced the company to shut-in those volumes or re-inject them. Since then, Stone has negotiated an agreement to flow gas to an alternate market at levels similar to those before the incident occurred. The company cautioned, however, that the arrangement does not guarantee capacity and re-injection could remain an option. 

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