Chesapeake’s output on the rise

Average daily natural gas output from Chesapeake Energy’s Utica Shale operations jumped to 189 million cubic feet during 2013, reflecting a 309 percent increase from from 2012.

The Oklahoma City-based driller reported a loss of $159 million for the three-month period ending Dec. 31. However, for the entire year of 2013, Chesapeake recorded net income of $474 million.

Chesapeake CEO Doug Lawler said 2013 was “transformational” for Chesapeake when company founder and former CEO Aubrey McClendon resigned and formed his own company, American Energy Partners; the company shed about 65,000 acres in Texas and Louisiana to raise $1 billion in cash; Chesapeake eliminated 60 jobs from its Ohio Valley operations; and it agreed to pay $9.7 million worth of fines and restoration costs for environmental damage in Marshall and Wetzel counties.

Lawler said the company this year plans to reduce drilling costs by nearly $900 million, while still generating comparable production growth year over year. As of Dec. 31, Chesapeake had drilled a total of 425 Utica wells, with 230 in production and 195 awaiting pipeline connections.