Editor's note: This story originally appeared in the December 2019 edition of E&P. Subscribe to the magazine here.

Slipping shale growth is projected for 2020, according to Stephen Beck, senior director of upstream with Stratas Advisors.

“Shale and other tight resources will power U.S. oil and gas production growth for years, albeit at a slower pace,” he said. “Growth will continue to be driven by the usual suspects—the Permian in liquids and the ‘Mighty Marcellus’ in gas.” 

Stratas estimates U.S. crude production will average about 12.3 MMbbl/d in 2020, up from an estimated 11.9 MMbbl/d in 2019. Lower 48 dry gas is estimated to average 90 Bcf/d, a slight increase over the 89 Bcf/d estimate for 2019, Beck said. The rate of growth for both oil and gas is projected by Stratas to slow in 2020 on reductions in drilling activity that began in 2019.

Stratas Advisors
(Source: Stratas Advisors)

“The Permian reigns supreme in shale oil,” Beck continued. “A large inventory of attractive drilling locations coupled with disciplined operators, will lead to steady growth through the mid-2020s. Low natural gas prices and robust growth in associated gas, primarily from the Permian Basin, are keeping a lid on dry gas opportunities. Additional gas volumes from the Permian in future years are dependent on further infrastructure buildouts.”

According to Stratas, key factors affecting the Marcellus in the years ahead will be access to markets and competition from associated gas.

“Fortunately, for the Marcellus, the play has years of high-quality, low-breakeven inventory remaining to be drilled,” Beck said. “Increasingly, the Marcellus and Utica are being dominated by Marcellus specialists including EQT, Range Resources, Cabot and Antero. Maintaining strong cost discipline will be critical for the region to remain competitive in the years ahead.” 

To reach those increased economics, operators need efficient well designs. A recent study by Deloitte explained the importance of optimizing wells and building for resiliency. “A one-size-fits-all approach to well design and completions is wasteful,” the report stated. “It’s time for the industry to choose the right well design, not the biggest, to maximize efficiencies and profitability.”

The authors of the study suggested that “if Eagle Ford and Permian Basin shale operators were to fully optimize their well designs, they could generate capital efficiency gains of 19% and 23%, respectively. This could represent a $24 billion capex saving opportunity for U.S. shale operators to strengthen their balance sheets and boost returns.”

The following section profiles some of the major U.S. shale players operating in the Permian, Eagle Ford, Rockies, Midcontinent and Appalachia and covers their latest 2019 production results and 2020 forecasts.

Editor’s Note: The following profiles were written based on the companies’ second-quarter and second-half 2019 results, as this was what was available at press time for the print edition. Links to the companies’ third-quarter 2019 reports will be included in this online version of the article.


Antero Resources Corp.

Antero Resources is an independent oil and natural gas company engaged in the E&P and development of natural gas, NGL and oil in the Appalachian Basin. Antero holds more than 612,000 net acres in the southwestern core of the Marcellus and Utica shales (486,000 and 126,000 net acres, respectively, as of year-end 2018) and has 18 Tcfe of net proved reserves.

In the fourth quarter of 2018, Antero’s combined production from the Marcellus and Utica shales totaled 3.2 Bcfe/d, including 150,000 bbl/d of NGL and 12,000 bbl/d of oil, according to the company’s website. 

Antero’s 2019 plans included operating five drilling rigs in the Marcellus and one in the Utica. The company reported second-quarter 2019 production of 3,226 MMcfe/d (29% liquids) and 156,000 bbl/d of liquids production (a 44% increase year over year), according to the company’s website. Additionally, Antero averaged 5.7 completion stages per day in the second quarter.

Looking ahead, the company is targeting 10% to 14% lower well costs and lower drilling and completion capital in 2020 and at least 30% lower per unit lease operating expenses over the next 12 months, according to the company’s Sept. 3 Barclay’s CEO Energy Conference presentation. As of September of this year, Antero responded to lower natural gas and oil prices with an 11% reduction in active completion crews since April 2019.

The company also boasts it is the second largest NGL producer and fifth largest gas producer with about 1,600 premium undrilled core locations with breakeven natural gas prices well below current strip pricing (as of July 31), according to the presentation. Antero also reported that it holds 40% of the core undrilled liquids-rich locations in Appalachia and has a lower breakeven natural gas price than dry gas producers.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 earnings release here

Apache Corp.

In the Permian Basin, the company has more than 2.9 million gross acres. Apache reported estimated proved reserves of 770 MMboe at year-end 2018, representing 62% of the company’s worldwide proved reserves.

“Apache plans to continue focusing a majority of its capital activity in the Permian region during 2019, balancing capital investments between its larger development project at Alpine High and focused exploration and development programs on other core assets in its Permian region,” the company stated on its website. “During 2019, the company expects to average approximately 12 drilling rigs in the Permian region, which includes five rigs at Alpine High largely focused on development drilling.”

In Apache’s second-quarter 2019 results news release, the company reported that its Permian production averaged 226,000 boe/d and it operated an average of 12 rigs and drilled and completed 54 gross operated wells during that quarter.

“Apache is revising its production guidance for the second half of 2019 in the Permian Basin to reflect the delays experienced in the Midland/Delaware basins as well as continuing gas production deferrals at Alpine High in response to ongoing weak Waha gas prices,” the report stated.

For Permian basin oil, Apache expects its third-quarter production to be 94,000 boe/d to 98,000 boe/d and fourth-quarter production to be 100,000 boe/d to 105,000 boe/d. At Alpine High, Apache expects third-quarter production to be between 70,000 boe/d to 75,000 boe/d, which includes the impact of planned production deferrals.

In May and July, Apache sold its assets in the Midcontinent in two separate transactions. The asset sales reflected the company’s exit from the Western Anadarko Basin and the exit from the Scoop/Stack play, according to a company press release.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 financial and operational results report here

Apache Corp. Delaware Basin
Apache’s Alpine High acreage lies in the southern portion of the Delaware Basin, primarily in Reeves County, Texas. (Source: Apache)
Ascent Resources

Ascent Resources LLC is a private E&P company focused on acquiring, exploring, developing and producing natural gas, oil and NGL reserves in the Appalachian Basin.

“Through its subsidiary, Ascent Resources-Utica, the company has grown to become one of the largest privately held exploration and production companies in the United States in terms of asset size and net production and the largest oil and natural gas producer in the state of Ohio,” the company stated on its website. “Ascent Resources operated 29 of the top 40 natural gas wells and 21 of the top 40 oil wells in Ohio in 2018.”

Ascent reported proved oil, natural gas and NGL reserves of about 7.6 Tcfe, as of Dec. 31, 2018, and it achieved about 2.4 Bcfe/d (gross) and 1.9 Bcfe/d (net) production during that same month.

Ascent holds a large, contiguous acreage position in the southern Utica Shale of about 348,000 acres. In August 2018, Ascent acquired about 113,600 net leasehold acres of natural gas and oil properties in the Utica from Hess Corp., CNX Resources, Salt Fork Resources and a fourth undisclosed seller for a combined purchase price of about $1.5 billion, a press release stated.

Ascent expected 2019 net production to average between 2 Bcfe/d and 2.2 Bcfe/d, consisting of about 90% natural gas, 7% NGL and 3% crude oil, according to the company’s 2018 operational and financial results report released in March 2019. The company’s 2019 capex forecast is between $1.1 billion and $1.25 billion, consisting of about $1 billion to $1.1 billion in drilling and completion costs and about $130 million to $170 million in land expenditures. At the midpoint of the capital plan, the company expects to spud between 90 to 100 gross wells, complete 100 to 110 gross wells and bring online 120 to 130 gross operated wells, according to the report.

Recently, Ascent reported an average net production of 1.8 Bcfe/d for the first half of 2019 and proved oil, natural gas and NGL reserves of about 8.84 Tcfe as of June 30, according to a report released Oct. 2.

Editor's note: View the company's recent investor news here

BPX Energy, a division of BP

BPX Energy Inc. (formerly named BP’s Lower 48) is BP’s U.S. onshore oil and gas business that produces oil, condensate and NGL. The company has operations in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.

BPX took over operations of BHP’s oil and gas shale assets in Texas and Louisiana in early 2019. BP’s 2018 purchase of BHP’s U.S. onshore assets was the company’s largest acquisition since purchasing ARCO in 1999 and was described as “transformational” by Group Chief Executive Bob Dudley, according to the company’s website. It was a $10.5 billion acquisition of unconventional oil and gas assets located in the Permian-Delaware and Eagle Ford basins in Texas as well as the Haynesville Basin in Texas and Louisiana.

The acquisition of BHP’s U.S. shale assets added 190,000 boe/d to the BPX portfolio, of which about 45% included high-value liquid hydrocarbons. That production added to the approximately 315,000 boe/d that BPX operated before the transaction with BHP, in fields spanning five states.

BPX is in the process of divesting assets in Wyoming, Colorado, Oklahoma and New Mexico, and it expects to more than double its annual capital spending to more than $2 billion per year on its newly expanded portfolio in Texas and Louisiana, according to the company.

In addition, since BPX began operating the newly acquired Permian assets in March, it has started constructing centralized gathering and infrastructure facilities that, combined with other emissions reduction efforts, will reduce flaring, according to a recent company fact sheet.

The company also has introduced drone-mounted sensors for equipment inspection and implementing green completion technology on its wells.

BP reported that it generated $100 billion in economic value and produced 772,000 boe/d in the U.S. in 2018, according to BP’s 2019 U.S. Economic Impact video. BP also invested more than $115 billion in the U.S. between 2005 and 2018.

Editor's note: Learn more about BPX Energy here

Cabot Oil & Gas Corp.

Cabot’s core operations are located in the Marcellus Shale in northeast Pennsylvania, where the company explores, develops and produces oil and gas. Cabot’s 2019 capital budget was set at about $800 million, and the company’s full-year 2019 plans include drilling and completing 85 to 90 net wells and placing 80 to 85 net wells on production, as stated on the company’s website.

Cabot’s total net production continued to increase during 2016 (1.7 Bcfe/d), 2017 (1.8 Bcfe/d) and 2018 (1.9 Bcfe/d). Year-end proved reserves also continued on the same rising path with 8.6 Tcfe reported in 2016, 9.7 Tcfe in 2017 and 11.6 Tcfe in 2018.

According to the company’s second-quarter 2019 results report, Cabot produced about 2.3 Bcfe/d (100% natural gas) during the quarter. In addition, equivalent production for the six-month period ending June 30 was about 2.3 Bcfe/d (also 100% natural gas), representing a 22% increase compared to the prior-year period, the report stated.

Looking ahead, Cabot’s third-quarter 2019 production guidance ranges from about 2.3 Bcfe/d to 2.4 Bcfe/d.

“Cabot has updated its 2019 capital budget to a range of $800 million to $820 million to reflect the incremental drilling and completion activity on the previously referenced eight-well pad and an increase in drilling activity for the year by four net wells resulting from continued efficiency gains on the company’s three fully contracted drilling rigs,” the report stated. 

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 results report here

Centennial Resource Development Inc.

Headquartered in Denver, Colo., Centennial Resource Development is an independent oil producer with assets in the core of the Delaware Basin in West Texas. The company has about 80,100 net acres (90% operated) and about 2,400 drilling locations (approximately 60% oil).

The company’s assets and operations are held and conducted through Centennial Resource Production LLC.

During the fourth quarter of 2018, Centennial closed three acquisitions for a total of about 2,900 net acres (all from undisclosed third parties). These deals included a transaction of about 2,100 net acres in Reeves County, Texas, as well as about 820 net acres in Lea County, N.M., in two separate transactions.

According to Centennial’s second-quarter 2019 results report, average crude oil production increased 38% to 43,105 bbl/d of oil compared to the prior-year period, and average total equivalent production increased 32% in the second quarter and 33% for the first six months of 2019 compared to prior year periods.

Total capex incurred for the second quarter was $237.4 million, of which about $179.8 million went toward drilling and completion. Centennial’s facilities, infrastructure, land and other capital totaled about $57.6 million during the quarter.

Centennial reduced its operated rig count from six to five in September and expected to maintain a five-rig drilling program for the remainder of the year, according to the report.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 financial and operational results report here

Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Chesapeake Energy has operations in Louisiana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming.

The Oklahoma City-based company acquired WildHorse Resource Development Corp. in a deal worth nearly $4 billion in cash and stock in February, significantly expanding Chesapeake’s Eagle Ford portfolio.

According to Chesapeake’s second-quarter 2019 results report, average daily production was about 496,000 boe and consisted of about 122,000 bbl of oil, 2.034 Bcf of natural gas and 35,000 bbl of NGL, compared to the average daily production of about 530,000 boe for the second quarter of 2018. Oil production represented about 25% of the company’s second-quarter 2019 aggregate production compared to 17% in the second quarter of 2018, the report stated.

As of Aug. 6, Chesapeake is utilizing four rigs in the Brazos Valley area of Texas and placed 24 wells on production (four Austin Chalk gas wells and 20 Eagle Ford oil wells) during the second quarter. According to the report, the company placed 10 wells to sales that have reached maximum 24-hour production rates of more than 900 bbl/d of oil in the first half of the year, compared to three wells that reached that level in the same time period in 2018. Of those 10 wells, seven wells have reached maximum 24-hour production rates of more than 1,000 bbl/d of oil.

Looking ahead, the company expects to place 26 wells on production (all in the Eagle Ford oil window) during the third quarter.

“As we formulate our initial 2020 plans, we expect to allocate more capital to oil growth areas, with less capital going toward our gas assets. As a result, with an approximately flat capital program to 2019, we project our 2020 oil volumes will show double-digit percentage growth over 2019, while our gas volumes will show a double-digit percentage decline,” Chesapeake President and CEO Doug Lawler said in the report.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 financial and operational results report here

Chesapeake Energy Corp.
Chesapeake Energy began developing natural gas in the Haynesville Shale in 2008. (Source: Chesapeake Energy)
Chevron Corp.

Chevron’s U.S. E&P operations are located in Pennsylvania, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. The company is among the top oil-equivalent producers in California and one of the largest leaseholders and producers in the Permian Basin area of Texas and New Mexico.

In the Permian Basin, Chevron holds about 2.2 million net acres and reported 159,000 bbl/d of crude oil, 501 MMcf/d of natural gas and 66,000 bbl/d of NGL in 2018, as stated on the company’s website.

“From 2015 to 2018, development and production costs decreased by about 40% and well performance continues to improve,” the company stated on its website. “Our Permian  unconventional portfolio has more than doubled in value from 2017 to 2019.”

In the second quarter of 2019, Chevron’s Permian production reached just over 420,000 boe/d. Production increased by more than 150,000 bbl/d, a 55% year-on-year increase, which is “the equivalent of adding a medium-sized E&P company to the business unit and to the Chevron portfolio,” according to Jeff Gustavson, vice president of Chevron North America Exploration & Production Midcontinent, in the company’s recent Barclay’s 2019 CEO Energy Power Conference presentation.

Chevron’s Appalachian Mountain business unit manages its natural gas production assets in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. The company holds about 428,000 net acres in the Marcellus Shale and about 462,000 net acres in the Utica Shale, according to Chevron’s “2018 Supplement to the Annual Report.”

U.S. upstream operations earned $896 million in the second quarter of 2019, and net oil-equivalent production of 898,000 bbl/d in the second quarter was up 159,000 bbl/d from a year earlier, according to Chevron’s second-quarter 2019 results report.

The company continues to invest in “high return opportunities” in the Permian Basin and is focused on its significant interests in its Permian assets in Texas and southeast New Mexico, according to company reports. Moreover, in the coming years, Chevron is aiming to produce 900,000 bbl/d in the Permian by 2023, according to the Barclay’s presentation.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 results report here

Chief Oil & Gas LLC

Chief Oil & Gas is a privately held E&P company that states it produces more than 1% of the nation’s supply of natural gas. Founded by Trevor Rees-Jones, Chief is the largest privately owned natural gas producer in America, according to Business Insider. The independent company’s operations are located in the Marcellus Shale in northeastern Pennsylvania with one drilling rig program in Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Wyoming counties.

With close to 600,000 net acres, Dallas-based Chief Oil & Gas became one of the largest leaseholders in the Marcellus Shale in 2008. Since then, Chief has made a number of acquisitions and divestitures, which has allowed the company to concentrate on its northeast Pennsylvania acreage. In 2017 Chief Oil & Gas achieved a 1-Tcf gross cumulative production milestone in the Marcellus Shale and it expects to surpass 2-Tcf gross cumulative production by the first quarter of 2020. Today Chief’s natural gas gross production is about 1.1 Bcf/d, and it operates more than 340 wells in northeast Pennsylvania.

Editor's note: Learn more about the company here

Cimarex Energy Co.

Cimarex Energy Co. operates in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, with most of its wells drilled in the Wolfcamp Shale and Bone Spring Sands in the Permian Basin and in the Woodford and Meramec shales in Western Oklahoma.

The E&P company drilled and completed 122 net wells in 2018 and reported year-end production results of 564 MMcf/d of gas, 67,700 bbl/d of oil and 60,300 bbl/d of NGL, as stated on Cimarex’s website. The company’s 2018 total equivalent production was 222,000 boe/d, and it expected 2019 production would be in the range of 263,000 to 272,000 boe/d.

Cimarex’s second-quarter 2019 production was reported at 274,800 boe/d, with an average production of 83,430 bbl/d of oil. The company invested $325 million in exploration and development during the second quarter (83% in the Permian and 17% in the Midcontinent), according to Cimarex’s second-quarter results report.

In the Permian region, production averaged 188,703 boe/d in the second quarter, a 55% increase compared to the second quarter in 2018. Oil volumes averaged 70,669 bbl/d in the second quarter, which was a 45% increase from the second quarter in 2018, the report stated. Cimarex completed 44 gross (32 net) wells in the Permian region during the second quarter this year. There were 44 gross (20 net) wells waiting on completion as of June 30. Cimarex was operating eight drilling rigs and two completion crews in the region as of Aug. 5.

In the Midcontinent region, production averaged 85,696 boe/d and the company completed 66 gross (eight net) wells in the second quarter this year, according to the report. At the end of the quarter, 55 gross (four net) wells were waiting on completion. Cimarex was not operating a drilling rig or completion crew in the Midcontinent as of Aug. 5.

Third-quarter 2019 production volumes are expected to average 265,000 to 279,000 boe/d.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 results report here

CNX Resources Corp.

CNX Resources operates in the Appalachian Basin, with nearly 5,000 producing gas wells and more than 1 million net acres in the Marcellus and Utica shales. The independent E&P company reported its 2018 net production of 507 Bcfe of gas and 7.9 Tcfe of proved gas reserves.

In August 2018, CNX sold substantially all its Ohio Utica joint venture assets to Ascent Resources-Utica LLC for about $400 million, according to a press release.

In the second quarter of 2019, CNX used up to five horizontal rigs and drilled 30 wells. “The company currently [as of July 30] has three rigs in operation, which are under contract through the end of 2019, and CNX expects to run approximately two rigs and one frac crew in 2020,” the company said in its second-quarter 2019 results and 2020 guidance report.

During the second quarter, the company used two frac crews to complete nine wells, which included five Marcellus Shale wells in Greene County, Pa., and four Utica Shale wells in Marshall County, W. Va., the report stated.

Moreover, CNX expects 2019 production volumes of 510 Bcfe to 530 Bcfe and 2020 production volumes of 570 Bcfe to 595 Bcfe, according to the report.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 results report here

CNX Resources Corp.
CNX Resources has more than 1 million net acres in the Marcellus and Utica shales. (Source: CNX Resources)
Concho Resources Inc.

Concho is one of the largest unconventional shale producers in the Permian Basin. The company focuses on the development of oil and natural gas resources in the Permian.

The independent E&P company acquired RSP Permian Inc. in 2018, increasing its acreage position to nearly 1 million gross acres across the Delaware and Midland basins.

In July 2019, Concho formed a joint venture with Solaris Water Midstream LLC for produced water management in the Northern Delaware Basin, according to a press release.

“Solaris Water will manage Concho’s produced water gathering, transportation, disposal and recycling for an area covering approximately 1.6 million acres located primarily in Eddy County, N.M.,” the release stated. “Concho will contribute 13 saltwater disposal wells and approximately 40 miles of large-diameter produced water gathering pipelines in exchange for cash and equity ownership in Solaris Midstream Holdings LLC, the parent of Solaris Water.”

In September 2019, Concho entered into a definitive agreement to sell its assets in the New Mexico Shelf to Spur Energy Partners LLC for $925 million, a press release stated. The divestiture includes about 100,000 gross acres. The transaction was expected to close in November 2019.

Concho reported second-quarter 2019 production of approximately 30 MMboe and average oil production of 206,000 bbl/d. Natural gas production for the second quarter totaled 737 MMcf/d. The company expected to produce between 316,000 boe/d and 322,000 boe/d in the third quarter.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 results report here

Concho Resources
Concho Resources is one of the largest unconventional producers in the Permian Basin, with operations focused on safely and efficiently developing oil and natural gas resources. (Source: Concho Resources)

ConocoPhillips’ large onshore Lower 48 position comprises 10.3 million net acres, much of it HBP. Current major focus areas for the Lower 48 include the Eagle Ford, Bakken and Permian trends.

For its Lower 48 segment, the company reported 397,000 boe/d of production, 1.3 Bboe proved reserves and $3.2 billion capital spend in 2018. 

According to the company’s second-quarter 2019 results report, ConocoPhillips saw its production grow 26% year over year and acquired approximately $100 million in bolt-on interests and acreage from its Lower 48 “Big 3” unconventionals—the Eagle Ford, Bakken and Permian Basin.

Of the company’s 2019 capex of $6.3 billion, about 70% will be spent in the U.S. and about 55% is targeting unconventionals in the Lower 48 and Canada, according to the company’s August 2019 investor presentation. In the Big 3 shale plays, ConocoPhillips’ 2019 production forecast was about 360,000 boe/d; it expected to run 10 to 11 operated rigs and, as of August, multiwell pilots of new completion designs were underway.

In the Eagle Ford, ConocoPhillips has about 200,000 net leasehold and mineral acres.

In the Permian Basin, ConocoPhillips has about 800,000 net acres, which includes 87,000 net acres in the Delaware Basin and 58,000 unconventional net acres in the Midland Basin.

In the Anadarko Basin, ConocoPhillips has about 284,000 net acres in the Texas Panhandle and western Oklahoma areas.

In addition, ConocoPhillips has about 107,000 acres in Wyoming and the Uinta Basin, about 98,000 net acres in the Niobrara and about 620,000 net acres in the Bakken, which includes 435,000 net mineral acres and 185,000 net leasehold acres.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 results report here

ConocoPhillips’ Bakken net acreage in North Dakota totals 620,000 acres. (Source: ConocoPhillips)
Continental Resources

Continental Resources boasts it is a top 10 independent oil producer in the U.S. Lower 48. With operations in the Bakken and Scoop/Stack, the company reported second-quarter 2019 production of 331,414 boe/d, oil production of 193,586 bbl/d and natural gas production of 827 MMcf/d. Specifically, 158,119 boe/d in the Bakken, 64,786 boe/d in the Scoop and 51,722 boe/d in the Stack were reported for the quarter, according to the company’s second-quarter 2019 results report. Continental is also the largest leaseholder and the largest producer in the Bakken play of North Dakota and Montana.

In North Dakota, Continental is developing the Long Creek Bakken Unit, which covers 10 sq miles and includes about 6,400 gross (5,600 net) contiguous acres. The company expects up to 56 wells will be drilled in Long Creek, with five existing producers. First production is expected in the third quarter of 2020, with oil production forecast to peak in the second half of 2021 at up to 20,000 bbl/d, the report stated. Pipeline infrastructure is being constructed to handle all produced volumes.

Additionally, Continental sold its eastern Stack water-handling facilities in Blaine County, Okla., for $85 million to Lagoon Water Solutions in July. Continental owns and operates three additional water-handling facilities in Oklahoma as well as 10 additional systems in the Bakken.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 results report here

Devon Energy Corp.

Devon Energy is an independent oil and natural gas E&P company with operations throughout the U.S. The company produces about 140,000 bbl/d of oil, 575 MMcf/d of natural gas and 80,000 bbl/d of NGL, as stated on its website. With 3.8 million acres and about 21,200 gross producing wells, Devon’s operations are mainly focused in the core oil-producing areas of the Delaware Basin, Eagle Ford, Stack and Rockies.

The company’s 2019 E&P capex was budgeted at about $1.8 billion to $2 billion, according to the company’s website.

In the first quarter, net production for retained U.S. assets averaged 308,000 boe/d, and this increased to 321,000 boe/d in the second quarter, according to the company’s quarterly reports.

The strongest asset-level performance this year was achieved by the company’s Delaware Basin operations in southeast New Mexico, according to Devon’s second-quarter 2019 results report. Production from this play increased 58% year over year, driving volumes in the Delaware Basin to 120,000 boe/d. “A key growth driver was 28 new wells brought online in the state-line area that averaged initial 30-day rates of about 2,100 boe/d per well,” the report stated.

In the Delaware Basin, where the company has more than 250,000 net acres, Devon plans to spud 120 wells in 2019 and has nine rigs supported by two frac crews as well as six upcoming projects, according to a September 2019 investor presentation.

In the Powder River Basin, the company has more than 300,000 net acres and its activity is targeting the Turner, Parkman and Niobrara intervals. Devon plans to spud 60 wells and bring 40 to 45 new wells online this year in this region, the presentation stated. The company also has 34 upcoming activities planned for this area.

In the Eagle Ford, Devon has three rigs and a dedicated frac crew. This year the company has 80 spuds planned and will bring 45 to 50 new wells online.

In the Stack play, Devon expects to bring about 75 wells online in 2019 and reduced its capital outlook for this region to $50 million. It has 10 upcoming developments planned for this area, according to the presentation. 

As stated in the investor presentation, the company reported production of 21,000 boe/d in the Powder River, 124,000 boe/d in the Stack, 120,000 boe/d in the Delaware Basin and 49,000 boe/d in the Eagle Ford.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 results report here

Devon Energy
A Devon-operated rig works in the Delaware Basin in southeast New Mexico. (Source: Devon)
Diamondback Energy Inc.

Diamondback Energy’s operations are located in the Permian Basin in West Texas, with more than 342,000 net acres. The independent company acquires, develops, explores and exploits unconventional, onshore oil and natural gas reserves.

In November 2018, Diamondback acquired Energen Corp. and Ajax Resources LLC, totaling more than $10 billion. Diamondback’s acquisition of Energen included 179,000 net acres across the Midland and Delaware basins, and the transaction totaled about $9.2 billion. The Ajax Resources transaction was roughly $1.25 billion and included more than 25,000 net leasehold acres in the Northern Midland Basin.

In the second quarter of 2019, Diamondback reported production of 280,400 boe/d (68% oil), which was 149% more than the same quarter last year, according to the company’s second-quarter 2019 results report. In the first half of 2019, the company drilled 172 gross horizontal wells and turned 151 operated horizontal wells to production.

Looking ahead, Diamondback’s full-year 2019 guidance for average daily production is between 277,000 and 284,000 boe/d, according to the report. In addition, the company expects a full-year 2019 capex between $2.725 billion and $2.950 billion. Diamondback also expects to complete 300 to 320 gross operated horizontal wells in 2019, the report stated.

Diamondback is also the parent company to Viper Energy Partners, a Delaware limited partnership formed to own, acquire and exploit oil and natural gas properties in North America, and Rattler Midstream, a Delaware limited partnership formed to own, operate, develop and acquire midstream infrastructure assets in the Permian Basin.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 financial and operational results report here

A pumpjack and Diamondback rig are seen just west of Midland, Texas. (Source: Diamondback Energy)
Encana Corp.

For Encana, the last year has been full of acquisitions and divestitures. In December 2018, Encana’s wholly owned subsidiary, Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc., sold its San Juan assets in New Mexico to DJR Energy, a press release stated. The sale of Encana’s noncore San Juan assets included about 182,000 net acres and represented the company’s total land position in the play.

In February 2019, Encana acquired Newfield Exploration Co. for about $6 billion.

Then, in August 2019, Encana’s wholly owned subsidiary, Newfield Exploration Mid-Continent Inc., sold its natural gas assets in Oklahoma’s Arkoma Basin for $165 million. Encana’s Arkoma assets included about 140,000 net acres of leasehold and production of about 77 MMcfe/d (98% natural gas).

Encana’s U.S. operations are located in the Williston, Uinta, Anadarko, Permian and Eagle Ford.

In the Permian Basin, the company reported its second-quarter production of 104,000 boe/d (84% liquids). “Encana continues to demonstrate efficiency gains with its four-rig program focused on Cube development,” the company stated in its second-quarter 2019 results report. “A recent 14-well pad in Martin County, Texas, commenced production and is averaging 14,900 bbl/d after 90 days.”

In the Anadarko Basin, the company reported its second-quarter production of 163,000 boe/d. “Recent significant growth is largely attributable to the 31% quarter-over-quarter increase in Stack oil production,” the report stated. Oil and condensate accounted for about 37% of Anadarko Basin production volumes and averaged 60,000 bbl/d in the second quarter.

“Encana continued to enhance returns in the Stack through additional reductions in completed well costs,” the company said in the report. “Since closing the acquisition of Newfield in mid-February, well costs have been reduced by $1.4 million to $6.5 million (pre-Encana 2018 average was $7.9 million). Eighty-nine gross Stack wells in the Meramec completed year to date are tracking type curve including 18 gross Cube-style wells that are showing strong oil productivity.”

Encana announced on Oct. 31 its intention to establish corporate domicile in the U.S. The move, which requires shareholder, stock exchange and court approval, is expected to occur in early 2020. According to an Encana news release, as part of this process, the new company will rebrand under the name Ovintiv Inc.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 financial and operational results report here

Encana’s Oklahoma operations have delivered enhanced returns this year, according to the company’s second-quarter
2019 results report. (Source: Encana)
Endeavor Energy Resources

Endeavor Energy Resources is a private E&P company with more than 350,000 net acres in Martin, Howard, Midland, Glasscock, Upton and Reagan counties in the Midland Basin. The company boasts that it holds the second largest land position in the basin. About 98% of the company’s assets have yet to be drilled.

Total net production was 10.2 MMBoe in the second quarter of 2019, which was a 60% increase from 6.3 MMboe for the same quarter in 2018, according to Endeavor’s second-quarter 2019 results report. The company spudded 42 wells and placed 38 gross operated horizontal wells on production during the second quarter. Endeavor’s working interest on operated horizontal wells placed on production was about 93%. Wells placed on production during the second quarter were among the best to date, achieving an average 30-day IP rate of more than 1,141 boe/d (78% oil), according to the report. As of Aug. 8, Endeavor was operating nine horizontal drilling rigs and three dedicated frac crews.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 operating results report here

EOG Resources Inc.

EOG is one of the largest crude oil and natural gas E&P companies in the U.S. Specifically, it is the largest U.S. horizontal oil producer with 555,000 bbl/d, per October 2018 IHS stats in EOG’s May 2019 investor presentation.

The company’s U.S. operations produced 243 MMboe in 2018 and year-end proved reserves totaled 2.8 Bboe. For 2019, the company targeted 12% to 16% U.S. oil growth, with a capital budget of $6.3 billion, about 740 net planned completions and investment in premium exploration, according to the presentation.

Second-quarter 2019 total company crude oil volumes grew 18% year over year to 455,700 bbl/d, which was a new company record, according to EOG’s second-quarter 2019 results report. Compared to the second quarter of 2018, NGL production increased by 16%, while natural gas volumes grew 10%, contributing to total company production growth of 16%.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 results report here

EQT Corp.

EQT Corp. is the largest producer of natural gas in the U.S., according to the company’s website. The company’s operations are located in the Appalachian Basin throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.

In the second quarter, the company drilled 22 net wells in the Marcellus Shale and four net wells in the Utica, according to EQT’s second-quarter 2019 results report. The company expected to drill 96 net wells in the Marcellus and 16 in the Utica for 2019, and it also forecasts production of 1,480 Bcfe to 1,520 Bcfe total sales volumes for full-year 2019. 

In the second half of the year, EQT had five to seven rigs in the Marcellus-Utica, one to two tophole rigs and three to five frac crews.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 results report here

EQT Corp.
An EQT horizontal drilling rig on a natural gas wellsite in rural Appalachia. (Source: EQT)

Equinor, formerly Statoil, is a broad, global energy company. Equinor’s U.S. onshore operations are located in the Appalachian Basin, the Louisiana Austin Chalk and the Bakken play in North Dakota.

Equinor’s U.S. onshore operations are the largest international production outside Norway with a total equity production of about 321,000 boe/d in the third quarter of 2019.

Equinor has 247,000 net acres in Appalachian Basin (operated and nonoperated), 235,000 net acres in the Bakken and about 60,000 net acres in Louisiana Austin Chalk. The company has about 3,200 onshore producing wells.

On Nov. 7, Equinor signed an agreement to divest to Repsol its 63% interest and operatorship of its onshore business in the Eagle Ford (69,000 net acres), according to a company press release.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 results report here

Equinor operates in the Bakken near Williston, N.D., among other major shale plays in the U.S. (Source: Ole Jørgen Bratland, Equinor)
FourPoint Energy LLC

FourPoint Energy is a private E&P company with field offices located throughout Western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. The company is headquartered in Colorado and has operations in Oklahoma and Texas.

According to the company, it is the No. 1 producer in the western Anadarko Basin. FourPoint operates in 14 counties, has more than 2 million gross acres and operates two rigs. FourPoint reported gross operated production of 430 MMcfe/d (47% gas, 30% NGL and 23% oil) in the basin, according to the company’s website. FourPoint also continues to jointly operate DoublePoint Energy LLC, a pure-play Midland Basin company with joint venture partner, Double Eagle Energy Holdings III LLC.

Editor's note: Learn more about the company here

Hess Corp.

Hess Corp.’s U.S. unconventional operations are located in the Bakken Shale. The company has more than 500,000 net acres and an average working interest of ~75%. The independent energy company reported 2018 net production of 117,000 boe/d in the Bakken. That increased to 140,000 boe/d in the second quarter of 2019, which was also an increase from the previous quarter due to increased drilling activity and improved well performance, according to Hess’ second-quarter 2019 results report. Hess operated six rigs in the second quarter, drilling 39 wells and bringing 39 new wells online. The company expected full-year 2019 net production for the Bakken to be in the range of 140,000 boe/d to 145,000 boe/d, the report stated.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 estimated results report here

Hess operates in the North Dakota Bakken and Three Forks formations. (Source: Hess Corp.)
HighPoint Resources Corp.

In March 2018, Bill Barrett Corp. merged with Fifth Creek Energy Co. LLC and changed its name to HighPoint Resources Corp.

HighPoint Resources develops oil and natural gas in the Denver-Julesburg Basin. The E&P company holds about 155,400 net acres and reported year-end 2018 net production of about 10.2 MMboe and 104.6 MMboe proved reserves.

The company reported second-quarter 2019 oil, natural gas and NGL production of 2.84 MMboe and 1.75 MMbbl oil volumes (62% of total equivalent production sales volumes), according to HighPoint’s second-quarter 2019 results report. Production sales volumes for the second quarter included about 62% oil, 21% natural gas and 17% NGL. Second-quarter 2019 capex totaled $124.4 million and capital projects included spudding 15 gross extended-reach lateral wells and placing 30 gross extended-reach wells on initial flowback, the report stated. Capex included $118.2 million for drilling and completion operations, $0.4 million for leasehold and $5.8 million for infrastructure and corporate assets.

The third-quarter 2019 production sales volume is expected to be 3.4 MMboe (64% oil) with oil volumes forecast to be 2.18 MMbbl (64% of total equivalent production sales volume), according to an Oct. 7 company press release.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 financial and operational results report here

HighPoint Resources
A HighPoint Resources’ drilling rig operates in rural northeast Wattenberg Field in Weld County, Colo. (Source: HighPoint Resources)
Lewis Energy Group

Lewis Energy owns and operates more than 1,600 wells on over 450,000 acres in South Texas. The company’s ongoing major production operations are located in Wilcox, Escondido, Olmos, Eagle Ford and Edwards formations. In 2010, Lewis partnered with BP Plc to operate a joint venture in the gas window of the Eagle Ford Shale, which continues today. The company filed numerous drilling permits in 2018 for the Eagle Ford Shale. According to the Railroad Commission of Texas, Lewis Energy is one of the top 10 Eagle Ford Shale drillers. In addition, in a recent Oil and Gas Investor report, Lewis Energy was named on the publication’s “Top 100 Private E&Ps” list and reported that the company had production of 165,616 boe/d.

Editor's note: Learn more about the company here

Laredo Petroleum Inc.

Laredo Petroleum Inc. is an independent energy company focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of oil and natural gas properties and the gathering of oil and liquids-rich natural gas from the Permian Basin of West Texas.

The company reported third-quarter 2019 oil production of 27,800 bbl/d and 81,900 boe/d.

“The company’s execution of its [operating] plan has exceeded expectations and accelerated early 2020 activity into 2019,” Laredo stated in its third-quarter 2019 results report. “The 52 gross completions that were planned for full-year 2019 are now expected to be finished by the end of October as the company has further reduced cycle times.”

Laredo’s 2019 capex totaled $490 million, with $425 million for drilling and completion activities and $65 million for production facilities, land and other capitalized costs, the report stated. Laredo anticipates the completion of 58 gross wells by year-end 2019.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 financial and operational results report here

Marathon Oil

Marathon Oil’s U.S. operations are in the Eagle Ford, Bakken, Stack/Scoop and Permian Basin.

U.S. production averaged 332,000 net boe/d for the second quarter of 2019, including 192,000 net bbl/d of oil, according to Marathon Oil’s second-quarter 2019 results report.

In the Eagle Ford, the company’s production averaged 109,000 net boe/d in the second quarter, and it brought 41 gross company-operated wells to sales in the quarter. The company has about 145,000 net surface acres in the Eagle Ford. 

Marathon Oil’s Oklahoma production averaged 82,000 net boe/d in the second quarter, and it brought 18 gross company-operated wells to sales. The company has about 300,000 net surface acres in the Stack/Scoop.

In the Northern Delaware, Marathon Oil’s production averaged 28,000 net boe/d in the second quarter, and it brought 16 gross company-operated wells to sales. The company has about 85,000 net surface acres in the Northern Delaware.

Marathon Oil’s Bakken production averaged 104,000 net boe/d in the second quarter, and it brought 30 gross company-operated wells to sales. The company has about 260,000 net surface acres in the Bakken.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 results report here

Matador Resources

Matador Resources is an independent energy company that explores, develops, produces and acquires oil and natural gas resources in the U.S. The company’s operations are in the Delaware Basin in Southeast New Mexico and West Texas, the Eagle Ford Shale play in South Texas and the Haynesville Shale and Cotton Valley plays in northwest Louisiana.

Matador acquired 8,400 gross (8,400 net) acres for about $387 million in Lea and Eddy counties, N.M., in the Bureau of Land Management New Mexico Oil and Gas Lease Sale in September 2018, a press release stated. “The acquired acreage blends well with Matador’s existing properties, expanding and bolting on acreage in the Antelope Ridge asset area in Lea County, New Mexico, and establishing a foothold for the company in the prolific Stateline area in Eddy County, New Mexico, while maintaining Matador’s weighted average all-in Delaware Basin acreage cost at approximately $11,000 per net acre,” the company stated in the release.

The company reported second-quarter 2019 average production of 61,300 boe/d (60% oil), average oil production of 36,800 bbl/d and average natural gas production of 147.1 MMcf/d, according to the company’s second-quarter 2019 earnings report. As of July 31, Matador expects to complete and turn to sales 167 gross wells (operated and nonoperated) in 2019. 

Delaware Basin average oil production was 32,800 bbl/d, and Delaware Basin average natural gas production was 113.5 MMcf/d, the report stated. During the second quarter, Matador continued to focus primarily on the exploration, delineation and development of its Delaware Basin acreage position in Loving, Lea and Eddy counties. Matador began 2019 operating six drilling rigs in the Delaware Basin, and the company operated six drilling rigs there as of July 31, according to the report.

During the second quarter and early in the third quarter of 2019, Matador sold portions of its noncore assets in South Texas and in the Haynesville Shale as well as a small portion of the company’s leasehold in a nonoperated area of the Delaware Basin, receiving about $22 million after closing those transactions.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 results report here

Matador Resources
Matador Resources is actively developing its large acreage position in the Delaware Basin. (Source: Matador Resources)
Mewbourne Oil Co.

Headquartered in Tyler, Texas, Mewbourne Oil Co. develops oil and natural gas prospects, acquires leasehold interests and serves as the operator in the drilling, completion and production of oil and natural gas wells. Focusing on the Anadarko and Permian basins, the company operates more than 2,300 wells.

In the second quarter of 2019, Mewbourne averaged approximately 80,000 bbl/d of oil and 300 MMcf/d in the Permian. The company has nine rigs running in southeast New Mexico.

Editor's note: Learn more about the company here

Murphy Oil Corp.

Murphy Oil’s U.S. onshore operations are in the Eagle Ford Shale. The company has about 135,000 gross acres in the unconventional oil and gas play in the Karnes, Tilden and Catarina fields.

Murphy increased Eagle Ford Shale production more than 23% in the second quarter compared to the first quarter of 2019, according to the company’s second-quarter 2019 results report. The company reported its second-quarter production of about 44,000 boe/d (88% liquids, 74% oil). Murphy brought 23 Karnes wells online in the second quarter with six wells in the Austin Chalk, three wells in the Upper Eagle Ford Shale and 14 wells in the Lower Eagle Ford Shale, according to the report. Murphy’s Eagle Ford Shale well campaign is on track to achieve third-quarter production of more than 50,000 boe/d, with fourth-quarter volumes expected to be approximately 53,000 boe/d, the report stated.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 financial and operational results report here.

Noble Energy

Noble Energy’s U.S. onshore operations are located in the Denver-Julesburg (D-J) Basin, Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale.

The independent E&P company brought 17 wells online in the first half of the year, according to Noble’s second-quarter 2019 results report. The company operated six rigs (two D-J and four Delaware) and drilled 42 wells (26 D-J and 16 Delaware) in the second quarter. Noble completed 59 wells (33 D-J, 17 Delaware and nine Eagle Ford) and began production on 77 wells (36 D-J, 25 Delaware and 16 Eagle Ford) in the first half of the year.

In July production for the company’s U.S. onshore assets was about 285,000 boe/d and oil volumes were 125,000 bbl/d, “reflecting robust base and new well performance,” the report stated.

The D-J Basin averaged 145,000 boe/d in the second quarter, according to the report.

Sales volumes from the company’s Delaware Basin assets totaled 64,000 boe/d during the quarter, and the company brought 10 wells online in the Calamity Jane lease in late June.

Sales volumes from the Eagle Ford totaled 54,000 boe/d for the second quarter, and the company delivered 16 wells to first production. These Eagle Ford wells started production in June from the company’s North Gates Ranch area.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 results report here.

Oasis Petroleum

Oasis Petroleum operates in the Williston and Delaware basins. The E&P company reported second-quarter 2019 production of 84,500 boe/d and expected third-quarter production to range between 87,000 and 90,000 boe/d (about 71.5% oil), according to Oasis Petroleum’s second-quarter 2019 results report.

Oasis completed and placed 27 gross (20.6 net) operated wells and 0.8 net nonoperated wells on production during the second quarter. Completions included 24 gross (17.6 net) operated wells in the Williston Basin and three gross (three net) operated wells in the Delaware Basin, the report stated.

In the Williston Basin, the company had 1,385 gross operated top-tier locations as of year-end 2018. Oasis has 414,000 net acres and plans for a two- to three-rig program throughout 2019 in the basin. Williston production averaged 78,300 boe/d in the second quarter of 2019.

In the Delaware Basin, Oasis had 600 to 700 gross operated locations in the Delaware Basin as of year-end 2018. The company has 23,000 net acres, and production in the basin averaged 6,200 boe/d in the second quarter of 2019. The company has plans for a two-rig program throughout 2019 in the Delaware Basin.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 results report here.

Oasis Petroleum
An Oasis Petroleum pumpjack operates in the Williston Basin. (Source: Oasis Petroleum)

Occidental is one of the largest U.S. oil and gas companies with onshore operations concentrated in the Permian Basin and the Rockies.

The company is the No. 1 producer in the Permian Basin. Occidental’s Permian Resources business develops growth-oriented unconventional opportunities in the region and reported average production volumes of 289,000 boe/d in the second quarter of 2019, a year-over-year increase of 44%. Through the company’s Permian Enhanced Oil Recovery business, Occidental injects more than 2.6 Bcf of CO2 into oil reservoirs daily, producing 153,000 boe/d in the second quarter of 2019.

Occidental and Ecopetrol formed a joint venture (JV) in July to develop 97,000 net acres of Occidental’s Midland Basin properties in the Permian Basin. Ecopetrol will hold a 49% interest in the new venture, while Occidental will own a 51% interest and operate the JV. The JV allows Occidental to accelerate its development plans in the Midland Basin while retaining production and cash flow. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

In October the company announced the startup of a solar facility to power oil and gas operations for the Goldsmith Field near Odessa, Texas. The company’s Oxy Low Carbon Ventures subsidiary also signed a long-term power purchase agreement for 109 MW of solar energy, beginning in 2021, for use in its Permian operations.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 results report here.

Occidental’s operations are shown in West Texas. (Source: Occidental)
Parsley Energy Inc.

Parsley Energy is an independent oil and natural gas company with operations in the Midland and Delaware basins in the Permian.

In October Parsley entered into a merger agreement with Jagged Peak Energy Inc. in which Parsley will acquire Jagged Peak for about $2.27 billion, increasing Parsley’s footprint in the Delaware Basin, a press release stated. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.

Parsley reported second-quarter 2019 net oil production of 86,600 bbl/d and a total net production average of 140,100 boe/d, according to the company’s second-quarter 2019 results report. During the second quarter, the company spudded 41 wells and placed 39 gross operated horizontal wells on production. Completion and development activity has been focused on the Midland Basin and this will continue for the remainder of the year. The company expects third-quarter net oil production to average 87,000 to 90,000 bbl/d and full-year 2019 net oil production to be 85,000 to 86,500 bbl/d, according to the report.

Parsley reported capex of $372 million during the second quarter, which includes $290 million for operated drilling and completion activity, $76 million for operated facilities and infrastructure, and $6 million associated with nonoperated development activity.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 financial and operational results report here.

PDC Energy Inc.

PDC Energy is an independent oil and gas company with operations in the Wattenberg Field in Colorado and Delaware Basin in Texas.

The company reported second-quarter 2019 oil production of 4.9 MMbbl (about 53,800 bbl/d), which was a 24% increase from the second quarter of 2018. Total production reached 12.4 MMboe (about 136,500 boe/d) in the second quarter of 2019, which was a 32% increase from the second quarter of 2018.

The Wattenberg Field represents PDC’s largest asset with more than 75% of its 2018 production and 78% of year-end 2018 proved reserves, as stated on the company’s website. PDC has about 96,000 net acres in the area and is the third largest leaseholder and producer in the Core Wattenberg area, according to the company. PDC is actively developing this liquid-rich field through horizontal drilling in the Niobrara and Codell formations. As of year-end 2018, PDC estimates it had about 920 gross horizontal future drilling locations in the Wattenberg Field.

In the second quarter of 2019, the company spudded 43 wells and turned 27 wells in-line in the Wattenberg Field with average working interests of 92%, according to the company’s second-quarter 2019 results report. The company’s completion crew averaged about 17 stages per day in the first half of 2019.

In the Delaware Basin, PDC has about 36,000 net acres in Reeves and Culberson counties. The company’s 2019 drilling focus was on multiwell pads testing Wolfcamp wells in the A or B benches, the company stated on its website.

In the second quarter of 2019, PDC spudded 10 wells and turned eight wells in-line in the Delaware Basin with average working interests of about 92%. Second-quarter production of 31,500 boe/d (about 43% oil) represented 26% growth in total production and oil production compared to the first quarter of 2019, according to the quarterly report. The company’s average second-quarter drill times, in terms of spud-to-rig release, averaged 23 days, which was a 33% improvement from the second quarter of 2018. PDC decreased its rig count from three to two in June and released its completion crew in July. As of Aug. 7, the company expected to operate two drilling rigs for the remainder of 2019 and resume completions in 2020, according to the report.

In August PDC announced its intent to merge with SRC Energy Inc. in an all-stock transaction valued at the time of about $1.7 billion. The merger is expected to close in the fourth quarter this year. “The combined entity would have been the second largest producer in the Wattenberg Field in the second quarter of 2019 and have combined leasehold of approximately 182,000 net acres in the field. The combined company will be the largest operator in Colorado that is also headquartered in the state,” the company told E&P in late October.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 financial and operational results report here.

PDC Energy
PDC has drilling operations in the Wattenberg Field in rural Weld County, Colo. (Source: PDC Energy)
Pioneer Natural Resources Co.

Pioneer Natural Resources is an independent E&P company with operations focused in the Permian.

In 2018 Pioneer sold about 10,200 net acres in the western portion of its Eagle Ford Shale acreage position for $102 million to Sundance Energy; its West Panhandle assets for $201 million to an undisclosed buyer; its assets in the Raton Basin in southeastern Colorado for $79 million to Evergreen Natural Resources LLC; and about 2,900 net acres in the Sinor Nest Field in Live Oak County, Texas, for $132 million to an undisclosed third party, according to company press releases.

In the second quarter of 2019, Pioneer placed 83 horizontal wells on production. Second-quarter 2019 Permian production averaged 330,000 boe/d and Permian oil production averaged 206,000 bbl/d, according to the company’s second-quarter 2019 results report.

For full-year 2019, the company expected to operate an average of 21 to 23 horizontal rigs in the Permian Basin, including about five rigs in the southern joint venture area. This program is expected to place 265 to 290 wells on production, compared to 270 wells placed on production during 2018, according to the report. Pioneer projects 2019 Permian production of 320,000 to 335,000 boe/d and 203,000 to 213,000 bbl/d of oil, representing about 12% to 17% growth over 2018 production levels.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 financial and operational results report here.

QEP Resources Inc.

QEP Resources operates in the Permian and Williston basins. The company reported year-end 2018 proved reserves of 658.2 MMboe (52% oil, 11% NGL and 37% dry gas) and second-quarter 2019 production of 7.5 MMboe (68% oil, 16% NGL and 16% dry gas).

In July 2018, QEP Resources announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, QEP Energy Co., entered into a definitive agreement to sell natural gas and oil-producing properties, undeveloped acreage and related assets located in the Uinta Basin for proceeds of $155 million, a press release stated. 

In November 2018, QEP Energy Co. entered into another definitive agreement to sell its assets in the Williston Basin to Vantage Acquisition Operating Co. LLC for $1.725 billion, a press release stated. The transaction was expected to close in the first half of 2019.

In January 2019, QEP Resources sold its natural gas and oil-producing properties, undeveloped acreage and associated gas gathering and treating systems in the Haynesville/Cotton Valley to Aethon III, a press release stated.

QEP Resources closed on the sale of several assets during the second quarter 2019 for total net cash proceeds of about $37.6 million, according to the company’s second-quarter 2019 results report.

In the second quarter of 2019, oil and condensate production in the Permian Basin was 3.3 MMbbl and oil-equivalent production was 7.5 MMboe. The company placed 23 gross-operated horizontal wells on production and had two operated rigs in the Permian in the second quarter.

Williston Basin net production averaged about 32,600 boe/d (81% liquids) during the second quarter, according to the results report. As of the end of the quarter, five of seven wells were waiting on completion. These wells are expected to be completed during the fourth quarter. At the end of the second quarter, the company had one drilling rig in the Williston Basin.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 financial and operational results report here.

Range Resources Corp.

Range Resources, a U.S. independent oil producer, operates in the Appalachia and North Louisiana.

“Range Resources pioneered the Marcellus Shale more than 15 years ago with the successful drilling of the Renz #1 well in Southwestern Pennsylvania,” the company told E&P. “Range is a top 10 U.S. natural gas producer and among the top three NGL producers in the country.”

In 2019 Range completed more than $1.1 billion in asset sales. The company has sold a total of 3.5% overriding royalty interest in their Washington County, Pa., acreage.

In the third quarter of 2019, the company announced it expected a 2019 capital spending reduction to $736 million, which is $20 million below budget. Third-quarter production averaged 2,244 MMcfe/d. Production for the fourth quarter of 2019 is expected to be approximately 2.33 Bcfe/d to 2.35 Bcfe/d, which includes an approximately 25-MMcfe/d impact from recent asset sales and ethane recovery. Full-year 2019 production is expected to average approximately 2.28 Bcfe/d, which is in line with prior guidance, after incorporating asset sales and reduced ethane recovery in September and October.

In May 2019, Range published its first Corporate Sustainability Report, and the company announced it is working toward a zero-emissions goal across its operations, attained a 70% reduction in leak ratio and recorded a 153% recycled water rate, as part of its water-sharing program in the Marcellus.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 results report here.

Range Resources
A Range Resources rig is at work on site in Washington County, Pa. (Source: Range Resources)

Shell’s Appalachia operations drill and produce dry gas from the Marcellus and Utica formations. Shell entered the area in 2010 after acquiring 750,000 leasehold acres from East Resources, and the company currently leases approximately 400,000 acres primarily in Pennsylvania.

Shell is one of the largest leaseholders and producers over a nine-county area in the Appalachia Basin, as stated on the company’s website. The company’s Appalachian asset primarily focuses on Tioga County, and it operates more than 350 dry gas wells.

Shell’s operations in the Permian Basin reach from Midland, Texas, to the southeastern border of New Mexico and along the Pecos River. In 2012 Shell purchased Chesapeake Energy Corp.’s interest in oil and gas leases jointly owned by Anadarko Petroleum Corp. to develop an area of mutual interest. Today Shell has an interest in more than 500,000 acres (260,000 net acres) in the Delaware Basin with focus on the Wolfcamp, Bone Springs and Avalon formations. Shell’s Permian asset, which comprises about 500 operated and 800 nonoperated wells, produces more than 160,000 boe/d.

The company’s Permian projects have a startup date projected between 2019 and 2020, with peak production of about 250,000 boe/d, according to the company’s second-quarter 2019 results presentation.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 results report here.

One of Shell’s Appalachia unconventional well pads is located in rural, northcentral Pennsylvania. (Source: Shell)
SM Energy Co.

SM Energy is an independent energy company engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development and production of crude oil, natural gas and NGL. The company reported a second-quarter 2019 production of 12.4 MMboe (or 136,500 boe/d) with 44% oil in the commodity mix. As of year-end 2018, the company had 1,156 net producing wells.

In South Texas, the company expects to complete 19 net wells in 2019. It had 11 net completions in the second quarter and 13 net completions year to date through the second quarter, according to the company’s website. SM Energy was also in a joint development partnership to complete 12 gross wells during 2019. SM Energy had one rig running, one completion crew and about 163,000 net acres in South Texas as of September.

In the Midland Basin, the company expects to complete more than 100 net wells in 2019. SM Energy completed 32 net wells in the second quarter and 59 net wells were completed year to date through the second quarter, according to the company’s website. SM Energy had six rigs running, three completion crews and about 81,500 net acres in the Midland Basin as of September.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 results report here.

Southwestern Energy Co.

Southwestern Energy (SWN) explores, develops, produces and markets domestic natural gas, oil and NGL from nearly a half-million acres of land across Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Third-quarter 2019 total production was 202 Bcfe, an 8% increase compared to the prior year’s third quarter, excluding production from the Fayetteville Shale, which was sold in December 2018. Third-quarter oil production was up 42% to more than 15,000 bbl/d compared to the third quarter of 2018, and liquids increased to 22% of total production. Capital invested during the third quarter was $240 million. SWN drilled 24 wells, completed 30 wells and placed 34 wells to sales in the third quarter.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 results report here.

An SWN employee works atop a derrick on a SWN drilling rig in the Appalachia. (Source: Southwestern Energy Co.)
Whiting Petroleum Corp.

Whiting Petroleum boasts it is one of the largest independent E&P companies in the U.S. that controls one of the largest acreage positions in the Bakken/Three Forks resource play in the Williston Basin of North Dakota and Montana with 473,781 net acres. In the eastern Denver-Julesburg Basin of Colorado, Whiting has 86,532 net acres. 

Whiting’s second-quarter 2019 production totaled 11.6 MMboe, an average of 127,090 boe/d, and crude oil and NGL comprised 65% and 17%, respectively, of total production, according to the company’s second-quarter results report. Whiting’s Williston Basin second-quarter production averaged 113,191 boe/d and the company put 50 gross wells on production in the basin. During the quarter, Redtail Field production averaged 13,137 boe/d, and Whiting put its first 11 wells on production in the Foreman Butte area. Whiting’s second-quarter capex totaled $232 million, which included $16 million for nonoperated drilling and completions.

Earlier this year, Whiting entered into agreements to sell $53 million of nonoperated properties, which encompass 6,800 net acres and had production of 703 boe/d as of April, the report stated. The transactions were expected to close during the third quarter.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 financial and operational results report here.

WPX Energy

WPX Energy is an independent energy producer with operations in the Permian and Williston basins.

In March 2018, WPX sold its holdings in the San Juan Basin’s Gallup oil play to Enduring Resources IV LLC for $700 million, a press release stated.

WPX has about 130,000 net surface acres in the Permian Basin, and its drilling operations are focused in the Delaware Basin. WPX completed 18 Delaware wells during the third quarter, including nine in the Wolfcamp A interval, five wells in the Third Bone Spring Formation and four in the Wolfcamp XY interval.

WPX has about 86,000 net surface acres in the Williston Basin, and its drilling operations are focused on the Bakken and Three Forks formations. WPX completed 26 Williston wells during the third quarter, including 14 wells in the Bakken and 12 wells in the Three Forks.

The company expects to produce 109,000 to 111,000 bbl/d in fourth-quarter 2019 oil volumes. WPX also anticipates full-year 2019 total production of 162,000 to 167,000 boe/d, according to the company’s third-quarter 2019 report. The company expects to produce 102,000 to 104,000 bbl/d of oil for full-year 2019.

Editor's note: View the company's third-quarter 2019 results report here.

Read each of E&P's "2020 Unconventional Yearbook" articles:

OVERVIEW: Oil and Gas Production Forecast: 2020 and Beyond 

KEY PLAYERS: Shale Growth Slows For Top US Operators (see story above)

TECHNOLOGY: E-fracs, Refracs And The Role Of Digital Technologies

ENVIRONMENT: Stepping Up for an Environmentally Sustainable Energy Future


US LNG Producers Shift into High Gear In Global Market

Midstream Connections Solid, Future Waves Less So