Shares of Chesapeake Energy surged nearly 10% last Wednesday after the oil and gas company reported strong production outlook for the fourth-quarter.
CHK’s revised strategy to focus on oil production and to move away from gas finally paid off, after the Oklahoma-based oil producer said that it expects the total production to hover somewhere in-between 462,000 and 464,000 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day for the December ending fourth-quarter. FactSet consensus expected the production to touch 448,000 BOE per day.
CHK further added that it expects oil production to range between 86,000 to 87,000 barrels (bbls) of oil per day, compared to FactSet consensus of 85,200 bbls per day. According to CHK’s Chief Executive Doug Lawler, divested Utica oil volumes have been completely compensated by oil volume growth in the Powder River Basin and Eagle Ford Shale in the last two months of the year.
Separately, CHK also announced that the company has been successful in reducing its total outstanding debt by roughly $1.8 billion since the end of 2017, and asset sales generated more than $2 billion in net proceeds during 2018. A majority of the asset sale proceeds have been utilized to settle the term loan and senior secured second lien debt.
CHK also added that in-line with the company’s strategy to reduce its capex investment and increase capital efficiency in 2019, it plans to reduce its rig count by 20% to an average of 14 rigs versus 18 rigs currently. Reduction in rig count is expected to improve capital efficiency by 15%-20% from 2018 as total net capital per rig line is likely to decrease.
Shares of CHK have surged almost 30% since touching its one-year low of $1.90 in mid-December.