Top Players in Natural Gas
Overall, the top 40 natural gas producers in the United States saw a positive year-over-year change in production. At the end of the second quarter this year, the total million cubic feet reported by the Natural Gas Supply Association was 39,797 million cubic feet per day. This was about a 1,500 difference from 2018, which pumped out 37,087 million cubic feet per day.
At the six-month mark, EQT has produced 3,950 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, followed by ExxonMobil at 2,758 MMcf/day, and BP with 2,360 MMcf/day. On the lower end of the top producers, Hess Corporation came in 40th with 179 MMcf/day.
Who are they
Company/SecondQuarter2019 MMcf/day | 2018 MMcf/day
1) EQT – 3,859/3,672
2) ExxonMobil – 2,803/2,591
3) BP – 2,410/2,541
4) Cabot Oil & Gas – 2,349/1,895
5) Antero Resources – 2,288/1,835
6) Chesapeake Energy – 2,034/2,311
7) Southwestern Energy Co. – 1,626/2,209
8) Ascent Resources Utica Holdings – 1,562/1,076
9) Range Resources- 1,573/1,495
10) CNX Resources – 1,389/1,248
The remaining top producers include:
11) Equinor ASA (formerly Statoil)
12) Gulfport Energy
15) EOG Resources
16) Devon Energy
17) Royal Dutch Shell
18) Continental Resources
19) Concho Resources Inc.
21) Ultra Petroleum
22) Cimarex Energy
24) Seneca Resources (National Fuel)
25) Encana, Noble Energy, Inc.
ExxonMobil looking good?
Those who follow the S&P 500 say that it’s ready to enter the last bit of 2019 in good standings, though natural gas producers are pointing the other way. Notwithstanding the positive year-to-year production change, fossil fuel stocks are struggling. However, stock watchers seem to be excited about ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM).
Motley Fool writer Daniel Foelber, despite Exxon’s underperformance, purposes advice from Warren Buffet: “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.” The financial writer is encouraging investors to lean into ExxonMobil, regardless of shaky ground in the market.
Exxon is the second-largest refinery, which means it has the capacity to take on heavier crude oil with more hydrocarbons for more usable products than other companies. It also is applauded for its upgrades and new technologies that keep it in business. In November 2019, Exxon was the only non-tech company to receive an innovation award for its efficiency in the Management Top 250 ranking by the Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University. These are several reasons Foelber believes the Exxon stock could rise in value.
The name of the game
With the downturn in the market, companies may decide to produce more natural gas in order to offset any loses. However, this could prove even more detrimental if every producer decided to increase production, as prices would be forced downward. Regardless, though, some believe that ExxonMobil is in a position to successfully capitalize on its hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. The company has already increased the exploration of onshore plays domestically.
But Exxon isn’t the only company with the capability to move up and down the leader board. In the top spot is EQT, which just a few years ago was listed as the fourth top producer of natural gas in America. EQT took to drilling more wells, an action that jolted the company ahead of its competitors. Also, Chesapeake Energy, called “America’s natural gas champion,” has also seen this type of movement. Once driving the natural gas industry, Chesapeake now wades on the lower half of the top 10 producers.
The leader board is not a secure list to be on, as companies rise and fall with the availability of resources. Exxon, currently, is favorable in the stock world. However, depending on what it is able to drill up, the company could falter behind its competitors.
Daniel Foelber (2019). ” You’d Be Smart to Buy ExxonMobil Stock in 2020″ The Motley Fool
Natural Gas Production: Year-to-Year Comparision. Natural Gas Supply Association
John Bromels (2019). “Why These Natural Gas Stocks Can’t Win” The Motley Fool