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National Fuel Reports Third Quarter Earnings

National Fuel Gas Company (“National Fuel” or the “Company”) (NYSE:NFG) today announced consolidated earnings for the third quarter of fiscal 2012 and for the nine months ended June 30, 2012.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Earnings for the third quarter were $43.2 million or $0.52 per share. This compares to earnings of $46.9 million or $0.56 per share in the prior year’s third quarter. The decrease in earnings in the Exploration and Production segment is due to lower commodity prices, and the decrease in earnings in the Utility and Energy Marketing segments is due to warmer weather.
  • In the Pipeline and Storage segment, third quarter earnings of $12.6 million, or $0.15 per share, increased $8.1 million, or $0.10 per share, compared to the prior year’s third quarter, largely driven by the impact of the Line N Expansion and Tioga County Extension projects that were placed in service during the first quarter.
  • Seneca’s production of crude oil and natural gas in the current quarter was 22.1 billion cubic feet equivalent (“Bcfe”), a 30.7% increase over the 16.9 Bcfe in the third quarter of 2011. Appalachian production increased 38.4% to 16.8 Bcfe, including 15.0 Bcfe of production from the Marcellus Shale wells, an increase of 45.6% over the prior year’s third quarter. California crude oil production increased 7.4%. Production for the entire 2012 fiscal year is projected to be between 81 and 85 Bcfe.
  • National Fuel Gas Midstream Corporation’s Trout Run Gathering System located in Lycoming County, Pa., was completed and placed in service on May 30, 2012.
  • The Company is updating and narrowing its GAAP earnings guidance range for fiscal 2012 to reflect actual results for the nine months ended June 30, 2012. The revised GAAP earnings guidance range is $2.38 to $2.48 per share.
  • The Company’s preliminary GAAP earnings guidance for fiscal 2013 is in the range of $2.45 to $2.75 per share. The 2013 preliminary guidance includes oil and gas production for the Exploration and Production segment in the range of 92 to 105 Bcfe and is based on an assumed flat NYMEX price of $3.25 per MMBtu for natural gas and $85 per Bbl for crude oil.
  • A conference call is scheduled for Friday, August 3, 2012, at 11 a.m. Eastern Time.

MANAGEMENT COMMENTS

David F. Smith, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of National Fuel Gas Company, stated: “In our fiscal third quarter, we were very pleased with our operational performance. Seneca’s Marcellus production continues to grow rapidly, increasing nearly 50 percent over last year’s quarter, with favorable hedging helping to offset lower natural gas prices. In addition, we continue to see great success in California, where crude oil production was up 7.4 percent. In our midstream businesses, the Trout Run Gathering System was placed in service this May, and our Northern Access and Line N 2012 expansion projects are on track for completion this fall.

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