A sizable boost in quarterly output from the exploration arm, as well as stronger midstream volumes, have helped fuel Appalachian Basin-focused National Fuel Gas Co. (NFG) as it shifts focus to undeveloped acreage in the Marcellus and Utica shales.

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Management told investors during a third quarter conference call the firm’s performance reflected its approach to balanced spending. That approach is helping the company maintain momentum as it prepares for the energy environment of the future, management said.

“Our unique integration allows us to look at project economics on a consolidated basis, and in doing so, we find ways to deliver incremental returns and cash flows that pure play producers and midstream companies typically cannot match,” Seneca President Justin Loweth...