Wilmoth: Low natural gas prices shrink Oklahoma energy profits

Continued suppressed natural gas prices are lowering profits for Oklahoma energy companies, despite their efforts to produce more oil.
by Adam Wilmoth Published: February 22, 2013

Yet most companies are reluctant to move away from natural gas altogether, in part because of a belief that prices eventually will rebound.

Chesapeake has long said it expects natural gas prices to soon climb. But after getting burned on much lower prices last spring, the company said Thursday it has locked in half its 2013 natural gas production at an average price of $3.62 per thousand cubic feet.

“We believe these incremental hedges go a long way toward de-risking our 2013 and 2014 cash flow expectations, despite the fact that we are somewhat bullish on gas markets from this point forward,” Chief Financial Officer Nick Dell'Osso said.

Dell'Osso said the company still expects prices to climb over the next several years.

“To be short-term protected while still being long-term bullish I think makes sense,” he said.

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by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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