EQT, the largest producer of natural gas in the United States, reported a net loss of $601 million or $2.35 in the third quarter 2020, Kallanish Energy reports.
That compares to a loss of $361 million or $1.41 per share in 3Q 2019.
That loss was smaller than had been expected with lower operating costs helping offset a drop in demand and prices in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Sales volumes in the quarter ending Sept. 30 fell about 4% to 366 billion cubic feet of equivalents with about 15 billion cubic feet of production curtailed.
It reported the production curtailed in September was returned on-line starting in early October and all curtailed production has been returned to service, it said in Thursday’s announcement.
It had also curtailed production from mid-May to mid-July.
The Pennsylvania-based company said its average realized price fell 5.7% to $2.33 per thousand cubic feet equivalent.
EQT said its 3Q results “continue to see meaningful step changes in efficiencies, as we continue to find ways to increase performance and enhance results,” said president and CEO Toby Rice in a statement.
The company reported net cash provided by operating activities of $184 million and free cash flow of $47 million in the quarter.
It announced that it is cutting its full-year 2020 capital budget by $50 million at the midpoint of its guidance.
That budget will be between $1.05 billion and $1.1 billion, it said.
In the quarter, the company spent $248 million on its capital budget. That is $55 million lower than 2Q 2020 and $227 million lower than 3Q 2019.
It raised the bottom end of its full-year 2020 adjusted core earnings by $50 million to a range of between $1.55 billion and $1.6 billion.
EQT said it expects full-year sales volumes of between 1.48 billion cubic feet equivalent and 1.5 bcfe, slightly higher than its previous full-year estimate.
It reported that horizontal drilling speeds improved by 19% and completion stages/day improved by 15%, compared to 2Q 2020.
It reported well costs of $660 per foot in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, surpassing its target price by $70 a foot.
EQT spud 30 wells in the quarter in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, drilled 27, completed 23 and turned in line 22 wells.
In the fourth quarter, it plans to spud 13 wells, drill 25 wells, complete 19 wells and turned in line 26 wells in the two states.
It drilled one Utica Shale well in Ohio in the third quarter and has no fourth quarter plans in Ohio.
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