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Range Resources' CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Jeffrey L. Ventura

Thank you, Rodney. I'll begin with an overview of the company. Ray will follow with an operations update. Roger will be next with a discussion of our financial position and John will follow with his perspective. Then we'll open it up for Q&A.

Let me begin with a review of where we've been as a company, where we are today and where the company can go in the future. Despite the current low gas price environment, Range is well positioned for 2012 and beyond. This is a result of our multiyear strategy of growth in reserves and production on a per share basis, debt adjusted, with one of the lowest cost structures in our peer group, coupled with building and high grading our inventory. It's also the result of long range planning, both operationally and financially.

Our organic growth rate from 2003 to 2011 ranged from less than 5% to 2011's top rate of 12%. During this timeframe, Range went from being one of the higher cost companies in our peer group to one of the lowest cost companies. This was the result of getting into plays that if successful, offered very repeatable high rate of return growth opportunities such as the Marcellus Shale and horizontal Mississippian plays. It's also the result of exiting relatively high cost low-growth plays with little repeatability, like the Gulf of Mexico and Deepwood Viner Chalk [ph]. As a result of our strategy, we sold about $1.8 billion of properties during this timeframe. This focused our technical resources on higher quality opportunities and lowered our cost structure. It also provided significant funding for better return projects.

Looking back, we were fortunate to have sold these properties in a higher commodity price environment. Carrying over a portion of the 2011 sale proceeds into 2012, coupled with our strong hedge position for the year puts us in a strong position to execute on our plan. We're currently hedged on the gas side with the floors of $4.45 per Mmbtu for approximately 75% of our estimated 2012 production. I believe 2012 will be an inflection point for Range.

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