Although it cut capital expenditures earlier this year on the dim outlook for natural gas prices, Appalachian pure-play Eclipse Resources Corp. managed to beat its second quarter production guidance.
Volumes came in at 305.2 MMcfe/d, above the top end of its 290-300 MMcfe/d guidance for the second quarter. Production was up from 287.8 MMcfe/d in the year-ago period. Volumes declined from 1Q2018, when the company produced 315.2 MMcfe/d. In May, Eclipse said it would reduce full-year spending by 20%, causing it to cut 2018 production guidance slightly.
Management again had little to say about the strategic and financial review to maximize shareholder value that was announced earlier this year. “As we have previously discussed, there is no timetable for the completion of the strategic review process nor any assurance that the review process will result in a transaction or other strategic alternative,” CEO Benjamin Hulburt said. “The company will provide further information when and if disclosure is appropriate or required.”
It isn’t clear what exactly the company is considering, but Hulburt has said “all alternatives” are being examined in an ongoing process.
Eclipse has been focused in recent years on drilling so-called super laterals, horizontals longer than 15,000 feet. The trend continued in the second quarter with the Rolland C 5H well in Ohio’s Utica Shale dry gas window. Hulburt said the company set a new internal record for production when the Rolland, drilled to a total measured depth of 26,027 feet with a 15,285-foot lateral, was turned to sales at an initial production rate of 40 MMcf/d. The well has since been shut-in for offset operator activity.
Additionally, the company is in the final stages of completing its first operated well in the Flat Castle area, where the company acquired 44,500 net acres last year in north-central Pennsylvania marking its first step outside of Ohio. Management said the company plans to place the Painter 2H well to sales this quarter.
Prices averaged $3.22/Mcfe during the second quarter, up from $2.84/Mcfe at the same time last year. Year/year revenue was up 20% to $103.6 million.
Eclipse reported a net loss of $19 million (minus 6 cents/share) for the second quarter, compared to net income of $11.5 million (4 cents) in the year-ago period. The quarter included a $7 million impairment on unproved properties and operating expenses have continued to increase in the second half of the year as the company’s Rover Pipeline capacity is being fully utilized.