Fort Worth, TX-based Range Resources Corp. plans to focus 75% of its $1.6 billion capital budget for 2012 on liquids-rich plays in Appalachia and the Midcontinent. Range is adding five “enhancements” this year: the “super-rich” Marcellus Shale, the “super-rich” Upper Devonian Shale, the wet Utica Shale, the horizontal Mississippian plays and the Cline Shale in the Permian Basin. In the fourth quarter Range recorded a net loss of $3 million (minus 2 cents/share) versus a net loss of $318 million (minus $2.02) in the year-ago quarter. Range said the increase in quarterly net income from a year ago was driven by a 46% increase in production and lower costs per Mcfe. The company earned $58 million for full-year 2011 (36 cents/share) compared with a net loss of $239 million (minus 52 cents) in 2010. Cash flow from operations increase 28% to $737 million from $577 million in 2010. Although it lost 20% of its production by selling its Barnett Shale assets in 2011, Range posted a 12% increase in production to 554 MMcfe/d. The company expects 30-35% production growth this year.

Newfield Exploration Co. said it plans to spend $1.5-1.7 billion on capital expenditures in 2012, targeting oil and wet condensate, and ramp up production of oil and natural gas liquids (NGL) by more than 18% while slashing natural gas nearly 15%. The Houston-based company’s net earnings more than tripled in 4Q2011 from a year ago to $68 million (51 cents/share) from $22 million (17 cents). Newfield earned $539 million ($3.99/share) in 2011, versus $523 million ($3.91) in 2010. Oil and NGL production averaged 64,000 b/d during 4Q2011, while natural gas production averaged 478 MMcf/d. For the full year, total production was 300 Bcfe, a 4% increase over the production volumes in 2010.

Denver-based QEP Resources Inc. said it would devote most of its $1.3-1.45 billion capex program toward crude oil and liquids-rich natural gas plays in 2012, and would look to boost annual production to 305-310 Bcfe. For the full year 2011, QEP said adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) climbed 22% to $1.39 billion, while production hit a record 275.2 Bcfe. Net income for 2011 totaled $267.2 million ($1.50/share), compared to $283 million ($1.60) in 2010. Crude oil and NGL production totaled 6.5 million bbl in 2011, up 54% from 4.2 million bbl in 2010. Fourth quarter EBITDA was $390.5 million, up 31% from 4Q2010, while crude oil and NGL production totaled 2.2 million bbl, a 75% increase over 4Q2010.

Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. plans to reduce capital spending by about $100 million this year in response to low natural gas prices. “We’ve taken our foot off the pedal somewhat,” CEO Dan Dinges said during a conference call. The cuts will come entirely from the Houston,-based company’s gas program, even though “the Marcellus delivers returns competitive with a vast majority of oil plays,” according to Dinges. Cabot will spend about $790 million this year. Companywide, Cabot reported a 43.5% increase in production, largely on the back of a 42.5% increase in Marcellus gas production. The company is reporting an estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) rate of 7.5 Bcf for its average 10-stage Marcellus wells and said a few recent standout wells have EURs “in excess of 20 Bcf.” Cabot earned $26.4 million (13 cents/share) in 4Q2011, down from $49.1 million (24 cents) in 4Q2010. For the year the company earned $122.4 million (59 cents/share), up from $103.4 million (50 cents) in 2010.

A turn toward oil and natural gas liquids (NGL) in 2011 proved profitable for Houston-based W&T Offshore Inc., with output lifting operating income to the highest level in history, CEO Tracy W. Krohn said. Net income for the fourth quarter was $46.1 million (61 cents/share) on revenues of $261.9 million, compared with net income of $20.5 million (27 cents) on revenues of $187 million for the same period in 2010. Revenues were higher in the latest fourth quarter due to higher realized oil and NGL prices and increased production. Excluding special items, fourth quarter income was $51.5 million (69 cents/share), compared with $29.6 million (40 cents) in the year-ago quarter. W&T shares zoomed higher Friday, closing the day up more than 8% at $26.83 in heavy trading. The company’s 2012 capital budget is $425 million excluding acquisitions and includes $379 million to drill, evaluate and complete 75 wells, including 25 exploration and 50 development wells.

Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC made “significant progress” on its liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal project in 2011, but that wasn’t enough to keep red ink from marring Cheniere Energy Inc.‘s bottom line, the company said. Houston-based Cheniere reported a net loss of $57.8 million (minus 66 cents/share) in 4Q2011, compared with a net loss of $86.1 million (minus $1.51) in 4Q2010. For the full year 2011, the company reported a loss of $198.8 million (minus $2.60/share), compared with a loss of $76.2 million (minus $1.37) in 2010. The 4Q2011 and full year 2011 losses were primarily due to increased development expenses and general and administrative expenses associated with the Sabine LNG project, the company said. Sabine Liquefaction is planning to construct facilities capable of producing 9 million metric tons per year of LNG in the first phase of its project and selling 7 million metric tons per year of the production under long-term agreements.

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