By Pittsburgh Business Times

Range Resources Corp. (NYSE:RRC) bounced back from a loss of $39.9 million, or 26 cents per share, during the second quarter last year to a profit of $9.1 million, or 6 cents per share, this past quarter, the company announced Monday night.

Total revenue for the quarter was $224.8 million, a 25 percent increase from the comparable period last year.

Range announced a $135 million acquisition of 115,000 acres in Virginia in a non-Marcellus area where the company already has a footprint. It also noted a recently-negotiated joint venture with Canadian firm Talisman Energy Inc., which will allow the companies to develop a total of about 14,000 acres in Bradford County. Range's expense for that will be about $25 million, according to Rodney Waller, senior vice president at Range.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, Range has its regional base in Canonsburg, Pa., and is one of the most active drillers in the Marcellus Shale. According to the earnings release, by the end of June, the company ⿿had drilled 146 horizontal Marcellus wells to date of which 29 are awaiting completion and four are awaiting pipeline hook up.⿝

The company stated that Marcellus production ⿿continues to exceed expectations.⿝ An average of 95 Marcellus wells shows a $4 million per well cost and 5 billion cubic feet of production.

⿿Drilling rigs are becoming more efficient as are completions and production operations,⿝ the report stated. ⿿These efficiencies, coupled with being ahead of schedule on production volumes, are allowing us to add an additional $210 million of capital to the Marcellus project in 2010.⿝

Range currently has 13 rigs in the Marcellus, all but one in the firm's core area in southwestern Pennsylvania. The company announced it will drill 18 more wells than it had planned for 2010, which adds another $31 million to the capital budget this year.

"Given the strong rate of return on this project, we believe this accelerated drilling is the right thing to do, even at todayâ¿¿s gas price," said Jeff Ventura, executive vice president and COO at Range.

The realized price of the companyâ¿¿s gas sales fell by 25 percent from the same time last year, but the price of natural gas liquids increased by 54 percent. Rangeâ¿¿s production of these liquids, which are plentiful in the southwestern Pennsylvania part of the play, also increased by 67 percent during the period.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals

Copyright 2010