Fort Worth-based Range Resources Corp. reported a 13% increase in oil and natural gas production in the second quarter over a year ago, to 264 MMcfe/d, the highest quarterly production in the independent’s history. The gas-weighted Range, whose recent acquisition of privately held Stroud Energy Inc. doubled its leasehold in the Barnett Shale (see Daily GPI, May 12), said its drilling success has prompted it to raise its production target by 15% through 2007.

Development and exploration expenditures in the quarter totaled $156 million, which funded the drilling of 273 (196 net) wells and 21 (15 net) recompletions. By the end of the quarter, 330 (240 net) of the wells had been placed on production. The remaining 149 (105 net) wells are in various stages of completion or waiting on pipeline connection. For the quarter, Range expects to recognize exploration expense of approximately $7.5 million, including $2.5 million of seismic expenditures. Average realized prices, after adjustment for hedging, are anticipated to exceed $6.50/Mcfe, an increase of 90 cents/Mcfe, which is 16% higher than a year ago.

“We now have almost 350,000 net acres under lease in shale plays and have significantly increased drilling activity,” said CEO John Pinkerton. “Drilling has also increased dramatically in our [coalbed methane] CBM projects that now cover approximately 400,000 net acres. We estimate that the shale and CBM projects alone contain more than 2 Tcf of net unrisked reserve potential.

“Our tight gas projects continue to perform well and a number of exciting exploration projects have either been successfully tested or are in the process of being drilled,” he added. “With superior operating results coupled with our hedging program, we anticipate reporting record financial results for the remainder of 2006 and 2007 as well.” Range will issue its 2Q2006 earnings report on July 27.

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