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Marcellus production drives Range Resources profit

| Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Staking out a lead position in Western Pennsylvania has led to record production for Range Resources Corp., which reported a profit of $53 million in the last three months of 2012.

Range, a Texas company with offices in Cecil, said it averaged 753 million cubic feet of gas and other hydrocarbons each day in 2012, up 36 percent from last year. It also raised its estimate of natural gas reserves by nearly a third to 6.5 trillion cubic feet.

Higher production from the Marcellus shale, especially in Southwest Pennsylvania, led to those increases, the company said.

It used six rigs during the October-December period to drill 30 horizontal wells in the region. It plans to keep six rigs active here throughout 2013. The work helped reduce the backlog of unfinished wells and brought in nearly 60 percent of the company's daily average production.

“The bid driver, the big gorilla is the Marcellus,” CEO Jeff Ventura said during a conference call. “And we've got a core position in it.”

The company plans to spend 80 percent of its capital investments in this region during 2013, he said. The company spent $1.62 billion on investments, including $1.36 billion on drilling, in 2012.

Range's fourth quarter profit of $53 million compared to a loss of $2.8 million for the same period of 2011. Revenue was $458 million, up by more than half from the same period last year. Total profit for the year was $13 million, down 78 percent from 2011. Revenue was nearly $1.5 billion, up 18 percent from last year.

Range shares closed at $74.21, up $2.85.

Timothy Puko is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7991 or tpuko@tribweb.com.

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