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Gulfport Output Appears in Line with Guidance

Gulfport Energy Corp. reported Wednesday it expects production in 1Q2014 averaged 27,100 boe/d, in line with guidance, and more than half weighted to natural gas.

The estimated output excludes about 900 boe/d in the quarter attributed to Gulfport’s Utica Shale asset acquisition from Rhino Resources Partners LP (see Shale Daily, Feb. 28). The purchase is giving Gulfport another 8,200 net acres in eastern Ohio that adds 1,000 boe/d to its production profile. The Oklahoma City operator has around 165,430 acres in the Utica, is primary target.

The production mix in the first three months was 52% weighted to natural gas, 48% for oil and natural gas liquids. Pro forma for Rhino, output averaged around 28,000 boe/d.

Gulfport also owns a one-quarter stake in Grizzly Oil Sands ULC, a Canada oilsands producer. Grizzly achieved first bitumen production at the operator's first steam-assisted gravity drainage facility at Algar Lake in 1Q2014. In March, Algar's output averaged around 30 b/d of bitumen. Grizzly's Windell rail transloading facility at Conklin in Alberta also began operating in the quarter, with the first load from Algar hauled by truck to the Windell terminal for sales to the U.S. Gulf Coast market.

Gulfport management presented at this week's Oil and Gas Investment Symposium that is sponsored by the Independent Petroleum Association of America. In a note Wednesday to clients, Wells Fargo's Gordon Douthat said Gulfport indicated its dry gas-type curve would be updated between May and June after it has more production history from three wells producing in the Utica.

Management is "sticking to its guns on the condensate curve, with plans in the short term; to provide the market with data to support their current type curve," Douthat wrote. "Despite harsh winter weather, company feels good about 1Q2014 production as some downtime was built into guidance. Ramp thereafter is less impacted by shut-ins as wells after 1Q2014 will be drilled on pads without existing wells."

Gulfport is putting "a lot of science work" into the Darla pad in Utica, which is to begin hydraulic fracturing later this month. Results aren't expected until at least September, but they should provide "an important data point for completion design and well spacing," he said.

Gulfport continues to actively lease in the Utica formation and has a goal to buy 8,000-10,000 more acres every quarter. However, Douthat noted that the smaller transactions haven’t experienced a pricing uptick like some of the recent larger transactions. Most of Gulfport’s leasehold spending should be completed this year, he added.

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