Range Resources intends to direct its 2020 capital spending towards its Marcellus assets Credit: FreeImages/Patrick Moore. US-based natural gas producer Range Resources has slashed its capital expenditure to $520m for 2020, as part of its efforts to reduce debt.The company estimates its capital spending for 2019 to reach $728m, nearly $28m less than the original budget.The move to reduce capital spending is driven by continued improvement in the company’s drilling and completion efficiencies, water recycling program, and service cost reductions.Range intends to direct its 2020 capital spending towards its Marcellus assets.Range Resources CFO Mark Scucchi said: “Over the last 18 months, Range has executed approximately $1.1 billion in asset sales. 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.“At the same time, we believe the repurchase program initiated last quarter to buy shares at a substantial discount to intrinsic value with a small portion of asset sale proceeds reflects our responsible commitment to create long-term value.”Range suspends dividend to focus on debt reductionTo focus on debt reduction, the company has also decided to suspend its dividend, which was nearly $20m annually.By the end of 2019, proved reserves by volume held by Range included 67% natural gas, 31% natural gas liquids and 2% crude oil and condensate. Proved developed reserves account for 54% of the company’s reserves.The company increased its proved reserves by 1.2Tcfe through the drill-bit, driven by the development of Marcellus assets. Its reserves were increased by 924Bcfe due to continued improvement in the well performance of existing Marcellus producing wells.Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, Range Resources is an independent natural gas, NGL and oil producer with operations focused on stacked-pay projects in the Appalachian Basin.The company also expects to direct additional propane and butane volumes through the Mariner East system to international markets in 2020.
A new smartphone app for the Peanut Disease Risk Index, or “PEANUT Rx,” will help Georgia peanut growers predict their risk of disease for this year’s crop.The PEANUT Rx program, created by researchers from the University of Georgia, University of Florida, Auburn University and Mississippi State University, allows producers to predict the advantages of using various crop management strategies. Growers can now access this information in the field, on the tractor or in their truck, thanks to the new app.“I’m not here to tell a grower what to do. Our role in University of Georgia Cooperative Extension is to give farmers options, give them opportunities,” said Bob Kemerait, plant pathologist on the UGA Tifton Campus. “The opportunity that this app provides is (for growers) to educate themselves on what their risk is, to manage that risk and then to understand the prescription fungicide programs that different companies offer, spraying fewer times or more times, depending on (whether they’re at a) low risk or high risk. Even if they don’t change their fungicide program, it’s an opportunity to learn how to reduce risk and how to properly manage risk.”The PEANUT Rx app can be accessed from smartphones with Apple or Android operating systems. Those with a Android operating system can go to Google Play and search “UGA PEANUT Rx.” Growers using iPhones should go to the Apple App Store and search “PEANUT Rx.” The app is free and only takes a few minutes to download. Risk factors are updated annually, providing growers with the most updated information relating to research and variety testing, Kemerait said.“There are countless hours and years of research in this PEANUT Rx project. The beauty of it is its simplicity. We are able to package many of the things we understand about disease risk in peanuts into a few simple steps,” Kemerait said. “It’s now even more available through a smartphone app. We’re hopeful growers will adopt it and be comfortable with it, in order to better manage their peanuts.”PEANUT Rx deals with the three major diseases in peanuts: tomato spotted wilt virus, leaf spot and white mold. Kemerait said the index examines production factors like crop rotation, planting dates, plant varieties and the insecticide growers use at the beginning of the growing season. The index provides producers with a risk assessment of crops that could be affected by one of these three diseases.“It helps our farmers tailor a program that’s most appropriate for their risks. We’re not waiting until we see disease; we’re looking at the preseason risk factors that are associated with outbreaks of the disease and then changing those factors – finding a different variety, adjusting planting date, plant population, tillage practices – that will affect risks. Once you have a final risk value, then you decided what fungicide program is most appropriate for your situation,” Kemerait said.To learn more about PEANUT Rx, go to ugapeanuts.com. If you have additional questions, contact your local UGA Extension agent.Georgia is the country’s top producer of peanuts, recording $507.4 million in farm gate value in 2013, according to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development.