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Range cuts 2020 capital budget to $520M while keeping production flat

Range Resources Corp. reduced its capital budget for 2020 to $520 million, which the company plans to allocate for its Marcellus Shale assets, while aiming to maintain production at 2.3 Bcfe/d.

For full year 2019, Range estimated its capital spending to be $728 million, or $28 million less than the $756 million budget set aside for the year, according to a Jan. 6 release. The decrease was mostly attributed to improvements in drilling and completion efficiencies, water recycling program and service cost reductions.

In addition, Range is expecting its fourth-quarter 2019 production to be near the high end of its 2.33 Bcfe/d to 2.35 Bcfe/d guidance.

Range also noted that its year-end 2019 proved reserves increased to 18.2 Tcfe as of Dec. 31, 2019, compared to the 18.1 Tcfe balance noted on Dec. 31, 2018. During 2019, the company said that it added 1.2 Tcfe of proved reserves, driven by its Marcellus development.

The independent natural gas, NGL and oil producer also increased its hedge position, with over 1 Bcf/d hedged, equivalent to more than 60% of its expected 2020 natural gas production, in order to support the budget.

Additionally, the company said that it has $93 million remaining on its $100 million repurchase program that it initiated in October 2019. Range also decided to suspend its dividend to prioritize debt reduction.

"Over the last 18 months, Range has executed approximately $1.1 billion in asset sales," Range CFO Mark Scucchi said. "Maintaining and further enhancing financial strength is core to Range's strategy and debt reduction remains a priority, guiding the Company's capital investment and continuing divestiture initiatives."