Like a cog on a gear in a well-oiled machine, Cabot Oil & Gas (ticker symbol: COG) is very efficiently engaged in the oil and gas industry. It explores for and produces primarily natural gas (and some oil), and it sells gas to industrial customers, local utilities, and gas marketers. Cabot Oil & Gas has estimated proved reserves of more than 3 trillion cu. ft. of natural gas equivalent. About 96% of the company's reserves and 95% of its production is natural gas. Major areas of operation include gas shale plays in Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Texas. In 2011 Cabot Oil & Gas was operating more than 4,500 net wells.
Cabot Oil & Gas is exploiting the Marcellus Shale play in Pennsylvania. It is also developing the Haynesville Shale play in East Texas and Louisiana (where the company has identified up to 1.8 trillion cu. ft. of estimated gas reserves) the Eagle Ford play in South Texas, and the Marmaton, in the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandle.
Cabot Oil & Gas' revenues increased by 14% in 2011 due to an increase in gas, oil, and condensate revenues thanks to higher production from its drilling programs. This was partially offset by a decrease in brokered natural gas volumes coupled with a decrease in the sales price that slightly outpaced the drop in purchase price.
Net income increased by 18% in 2011 thanks to higher revenues offset by higher operating expenses primarily due to increases in transportation and gathering expenses, general and administrative expenses, depreciation, depletion and amortization and direct operations. These costs were partially offset by a decrease in impairment of oil and gas properties.
In the US the company is investing heavily in exploiting some of the country's major undeveloped gas assets -- shale plays. In order to raise cash to pay down debt and invest in its core US properties, in 2012 Cabot Oil & Gas sold a 35% non-operated working interest in the Pearsall Shale in 50,000 leased acres in Atascosa, Frio, La Salle, and Zavala counties of Texas for $250 million.
In 2011 the company sold certain non-core proved oil and gas properties located in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming to Breitburn Energy Partners, L.P. for $285.0 million. It exited Canada in 2010 with the sale of its remaining assets there for $63.1 million.
In 2010, Cabot Oil & Gas sold its Pennsylvania-based midstream gas assets to Williams Partners for $150 million. Williams also agreed to a 25-year gathering agreement with Cabot for its Marcellus Shale gas production. – less