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Cimarex to ensure takeaway from Permian, anticipating ramp-up in production

Cimarex Energy Co. is keeping its focus on moving its production out of the Permian Basin amid a shortage in takeaway capacity as it expects to ride a ramp up in well completions in the latter part of the year.

"With 49 net completions timed for [the third quarter], we continue to forecast sizable oil growth in [the fourth quarter], with sale-adjusted [fourth-quarter] oil volumes to be up, projected to be up 33% to 43% over [the fourth quarter of 2017]," said Executive Vice President and COO Joseph Albi during the company's second-quarter conference call on Aug. 8. "Our lifting and development costs remain in check, and we [will] stay focused on ensuring near- and long-term takeaway for all of our produced products, [while] our drilling projects are generating favorable returns for our program."

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The company announced that it has agreed to terms regarding the sale of 98% of its projected Permian residue gas volume through December 2019, despite the increased demand for takeaway capacity.

Cimarex also announced that it has ensured that 70% of its oil production in the Permian is on pipe and would flow through 2019.

"When we look at these basis differentials that are pretty severe on the oil side in the Permian Basin, the pipelines begin to come online in the second quarter," said Cimarex CEO Thomas Jorden during the call. "More and more of them come online in the third quarter, and you can look at the futures curve on that mid-Cush differential — and the market sees what we see — it will collapse."

Cimarex on Aug. 7 reported $151.9 million, or $1.59 per share, in adjusted net income for the second quarter, compared to $101.0 million, or $1.06 per share, a year earlier. Total production was reported at 211,424 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the second quarter compared to 192,720 boe/d in the second quarter a year ago.

The oil and gas producer expected third-quarter net equivalent production somewhere between 206,000 boe/d and 215,000 boe/d, even with recent sale of its oil and gas assets in Ward County, Texas, due to the high number of projected completions. Cimarex also expected its full-year production to range between 214,000 boe/d and 221,000 boe/d, adjusted for the sale.