Curtailments of Natural Gas Reach Approximately 1.0 Bcf per Day of Gross Operated Production
In response to continued low natural gas prices and as an effort to help bring U.S. natural gas supply and demand into better balance, Chesapeake has demonstrated industry leadership by curtailing natural gas production to the upper level indicated in the company’s announcement on January 23, 2012. The company has now curtailed approximately 1.0 bcf per day of gross operated natural gas production, or approximately 1.5% of U.S. Lower 48 natural gas production. The curtailed volumes are located primarily in the Haynesville and Barnett shale plays. In addition, wherever possible, the company is deferring completions of dry gas wells that have been drilled, but not yet completed, and is also deferring pipeline connections of dry gas wells that have already been completed.
Company is Reducing 2012 Operated Drilling Capital Expenditures in Dry Gas Plays by Approximately 70% from 2011 Levels, Lowest Level Since 2005; 2012 Average Net Natural Gas Production Projected to Decrease 4% Year Over Year
The company continues to substantially reduce its operated dry gas drilling activity. By the 2012 second quarter, the company expects that its dry gas rig count will be reduced from an average of approximately 75 dry gas rigs used during 2011 to approximately 24 rigs, including 12 rigs in the northeastern portion of the Marcellus Shale, six rigs in the Haynesville Shale and six rigs in the Barnett Shale. Chesapeake’s operated dry gas drilling capital expenditures in 2012, net of drilling carries, are expected to decrease to $0.9 billion, a decrease of approximately 70% from similar expenditures of $3.1 billion in 2011 and the company’s lowest expenditures on dry gas plays since 2005.As a result of production curtailments and reduced drilling and completion activity, partially offset by growth in associated natural gas production in liquids-rich plays, Chesapeake projects that its 2012 net natural gas production will average approximately 2.65 bcf per day, a decrease of 100 mmcf per day, or 4%, compared to the company’s 2011 average net natural gas production of 2.75 bcf per day.