Antero revises capital budget

Increased spending: Antero has increased its capital budget to $3.7 billion

US independent Antero Resources has upped its full-year capital budget, which also led it to increase its 2014 production guidance.

The company increased its capital budget to $3.7 billion, well up on the $2.6 billion it initially forecast at the start of the year.

The revised figure includes $2.4 billion for drilling and completion, $850 million for the expansion of midstream facilities and $450 million for core leasehold acreage acquisitions.

Antero said it was accelerating its drilling programme for the second half of the year following the continued success of its shorter stage length well programme and its targeted addition of roughly 70,000 net acres during the year.

The company also plans to increase the rig count for the second half of the year to 22, up from an average of 20 during the first half of the year.

The additional rigs will increase its average rig count for the year to 21, which Antero said was the main contributor to the increase in its drilling and completion budget. Its original budget at the start of the year forecast an average rig count of 18.

Other factors hitting its drilling and completion budge included a higher average working interest of 93% for wells drilled in 2014, as compared to 86% working interest assumed at the beginning of the year, a 1% increase in average drilled lateral length to over 7900 feet and the application of shorter stage length completions to several additional wells.

With the increase in its capital budget and acceleration of its drilling programme, Antero increased its output forecast for the year.

The company now plans to produce between 900 million and 1 billion cubic feet equivalent per day over 2014, up 5% from the midpoint of its previous guidance.

It also rose its output target for 2015 from 1.4 Bcfed to 1.5 Bcfed and it's 2016 target was raised to 2.2. Bcfed, up from its previous target of 2.1 Bcfed.

The reason behind the revised guidance and targets was the fact Antero has accelerated its initiatives to develop the highly rich gas areas of its Marcellus and Utica assets.

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