American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2018 - 59

EMPOWERING THE FUTURE
NGLs to international markets, while maintaining our ability to
supply local markets in times of high seasonal demand. Range
produced record volumes of NGLs in the fourth quarter of
2017, with total net NGL production of 106,038 barrels a day-
up 24 percent compared with fourth-quarter 2016, and making
Range one of the largest independent NGL producers in the
United States. We are one of the few producers with capacity
on Mariner East 1, and we have multiple markets into which to
sell NGLs, including: Canada, Europe, Asia, Latin America,
the Caribbean and the Gulf Coast.

Marcellus/Utica development activity over
the past few years has been characterized
by increasing well productivities and decreasing
well costs. What comes next for Range in its operations? How is the company positioned to create
value across its Appalachian operations?

Q:

VENTURA: Our newly released five-year outlook shows
annual production growth of approximately 11 percent, or close
to 13 percent on a debt-adjusted per share basis, while generating
roughly $1 billion of cumulative free cash flow through 2022.
Doing so will improve the company's financial position significantly and allow us to return more capital and create greater
long-term value for our shareholders.
Since pioneering the play in 2004, we have put a great deal of
focus on building out our infrastructure and improving a technical
understanding across our expansive acreage position. Now, we
can take advantage of the heavy lifting that we have done over
the past decade. Between the improved data and technical understanding, the lessons learned and many areas of efficiency
improvement-including longer laterals, improved completions,
use of existing pads and infrastructure-we expect to be even
more efficient with our capital spending moving forward.
Looking beyond the next five years, we expect to still have
approximately 3,200 Marcellus wells after 2022-a number we
expect will translate to more than 30 years of inventory, all
while holding production at 3.5 Bcfe/d. We also plan to reduce
our debt to EBITDAX ratio to 2.7x in 2020 and below 2x by
2022, even without asset sales.

Two years ago, Range completed a merger
Q: with
Memorial Resource Development Corporation that added a core acreage position in North
Louisiana to the company's portfolio. Why is North
Louisiana an attractive region for Range? How do
the acquired assets complement Range's Appalachian
operations and its longer-term growth strategy?
VENTURA: While the Marcellus will continue to be the
main driver for the company, our North Louisiana assets provide
an advantaged position near the growing demand center along
the Gulf Coast. That position comes with better pricing and netbacks for our North Louisiana production, and the acreage in
that area also has the benefit of natural gas potential from
multiple zones, including Upper Red and Lower Red that lie in

the overpressured Lower Cotton Valley formation.
Not dissimilar to our early days in the Marcellus, and other
basins many of us have seen take off over the years, the geology
in North Louisiana is extremely complex. The initial results we
have achieved in the basin have certainly not been up to Range's
standards, but we see improvement opportunities in our completion
design, stage spacing and improved reservoir modeling. We are
hopeful that paired with new leadership and a talented technical
team, we can see improved results in the coming years.

REBORN IN THE ROCKIES
Among the causalities of the severe down
Q: cycle
that began in late 2014, Samson Resources was forced to file for bankruptcy in 2015.
Mirroring the broader U.S. industry, however, the
company emerged from Chapter 11 protection last
year with a new capital structure and business plan.
What general lessons should oil and gas companies
take from the downturn, and what specific lessons
did Samson learn from its own experience? How
are those reflected in Samson Resources II's strategy?
How is the company deploying the proceeds of its
assets sales in East Texas/North Louisiana to position
for success in its northern Rockies operations?
MILLS: Samson Resources emerged from bankruptcy on
March 1, 2017, a stronger company, after enduring one of the
longest energy bankruptcies. Like many of the energy companies
that entered bankruptcy during the 2014-17 downturn, the
company was over-levered from the original acquisition back in
2011 and heavily weighted toward natural gas. Unfortunately,
the long downturn in natural gas prices predates the 2014
downturn and with a heavy load of expensive debt to service,
the company was fighting an uphill battle for a number of
years. The company began selling assets as far back as 2012,
but could never get on a healthy footing as commodity prices
continued to fall, eventually leading to filing for bankruptcy in
September 2015. During the bankruptcy process, the company
was able to reorganize, sell off additional assets and reduce its
debt by more than $4 billion.
A key lesson for Samson and other industry participants
from this long downturn is the need to maintain a balanced
capital structure, and more importantly, our capital programs
must generate positive returns, not just production growth.
Samson emerged from bankruptcy with three key assets remaining:
our legacy East Texas properties, the Green River Basin and the
Powder River Basin. We also emerged with $245 million in
debt, little liquidity and too many other challenges, which
meant we had to move fast to get the company headed in the
right direction.
We conducted a strategic review to assess our asset base and
core competencies, and to identify where we felt we could
refocus the company to become a premier energy player. By
August, we had agreed to sell our legacy East Texas position
APRIL 2018 59



American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2018

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