Appalachian pure-play CNX Resources Corp. increased its total proved reserves 7% year/year to 8.43 Tcfe as of the end of the fourth quarter, replacing more than 300% of its 2019 net production, management said Monday.
The increase in proved reserves was driven by extensions and discoveries from continued development of the Pittsburgh-based operator’s assets in the Marcellus and Utica shales.
Net revisions year/year to proved reserves totaled negative 564 Bcfe. Improved well performance contributed 709 Bcfe in positive revisions, offset partially by 97 Bcfe attributable to “negative pricing and other revisions primarily from decreasing natural gas prices.”
Negative revisions further included 304 Bcfe in reclassification due to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules and 872 Bcfe due to changes in the operator’s plans to reflect “our continued focus on portfolio optimization.”
CNX calculated a pre-tax discounted present value (aka PV-10) of $4.18 billion for its proved reserves, down from $6.17 billion at year-end 2018. That’s based on SEC pricing as of Dec. 31 ($55.69/bbl West Texas Intermediate, $2.58/MMBtu New York Mercantile Exchange, $19.10 for natural gas liquids and $44.22/bbl for condensate) and also reflects adjustments for “quality, hedges, transportation costs and basis differentials.”
Proved developed reserves at year-end totaled 4,839 Bcfe (or 57%), with proved undeveloped (PUD) totaling 3,587 Bcfe (43%).
“PUD at year-end 2019 represent 67% of the total wells the company expects to drill over the next five years,” management said. This “implies meaningful future upside in both the Marcellus and Utica shales in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.”
For 2019, CNX turned-in-line 41 gross wells in the Marcellus Shale at an average completed lateral length of roughly 9,400 feet; expected ultimate recoveries (EUR) are 2.6 Bcfe on average per thousand feet of completed lateral. CNX said completion optimization continued to drive better EUR in the Marcellus in 2019.
“These improvements have allowed the company to book Marcellus Shale PUD with average EUR of over 2.7 Bcfe/thousand feet of completed lateral, compared to 2.4 Bcfe/thousand feet booked in 2018,” management said.
In the Utica Shale, CNX turned-in-line 10 gross wells in 2019. Those wells had completed laterals roughly 6,400 feet on average.
When CNX released its 4Q2019 financial results late last month, management said the company recorded a nearly $500 million impairment on natural gas properties in Pennsylvania during the quarter, owing to the continued downward spiral in commodity prices.
The company also slashed its 2020 capital expenditure budget by $40 million to $530-610 million and lowered its production guidance to 525-555 Bcfe from 535-565 Bcfe.
A glut of Lower 48 production has tanked natural gas prices, sending futures to four-year lows this winter. This comes as equity markets have seen a shift in emphasis, with investors now focused much more on a company’s profits than its production growth.
CNX’s share price was trading at $6.54 on the New York Stock Exchange at around 1:30 p.m. ET Monday, off just under 12%.
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