Gulfport Energy feels impact of volatile natural gas market


Production and net income dropped slightly in the first quarter of the year for Oklahoma City’s Gulfport Energy Corporation but leaders still called it a strong start for the start of the company’s fiscal year.

They also confirmed the company is deferring some drilling and completion activities to the second half of the year because of the “current low natural gas price environment.”

The company released its financial and operational results for the three months that ended March 31 indicating it had net income of $52 million and $185.7 million of adjuted EBITDA, above analysts consensus expectations but also less than the $245.7 million of net income and $190.8 million of adjusted EBITDA reported at the end of the fourth quarter 2023.

The first quarter net ash generated by operating activities was $188 million, more than the $155.5 million provided by activities in the previous quarter.

John Reinhart, President and CEO said the deferment plans as a direct result of the low prices for natural gas. Prices fell another 4 cents in Tuesday’s trading.

“We expect this shift in the timing of 2024 capital spending will result in an accretive financial uplift to our development plan and provide further optionality pending market conditions. The company reaffirms its full year guidance and will continue to assess the timing and level of development activity in order to maximize value and maintain flexibility.”

He still believes the company had a strong start for the new fiscal year with improved operational efficiencies and capital spending below anallyst expectations. Gulfport was still able to return capital to shareholders through its stock repurchase program. The company repurchased nearly 210,000 shares of approximately $29.5 million during the first quarter.  It compared to 490,000 shares repurchased for nearly $66 million in the prevous quarter.

The company also had success in its stacked pay acreage in its initial Marcellus development in Belmont County, Ohio.

Gulfport showed very little activity in Oklahoma’s SCOOP play and indicated most of its drilling and production occurred in the Utica play.

Five wells were spud during the quarter while seven were actually drilled in the Utica while none were spud in the SCOOP and only one was drilled in the Oklahoma play. During the quarter, five Utica wells were completed and none in the SCOOP. Five were turned to sales in the Utica while there were none in the SCOOP.