Rice Energy to spin off midstream assets

Rice Energy Inc., a Canonsburg-based oil and gas operator that went public in January, is planning another IPO for a spin off company to manage its midstream assets.

Following in the footsteps of other local producers like EQT Corp. and Consol Energy Inc., Rice said it will soon file a confidential registration statement for a master limited partnership that will fund the growth of Rice's network of gas gathering pipelines and water distribution assets in Pennsylvania.

Rice has Marcellus and Upper Devonian operations in Washington and Greene counties and has completed its first Utica well in Belmont County, Ohio.

The company reported a net loss of $7.9 million, or 6 cents per share, for the second quarter, down from a $19.6 million profit, or 23 cents per share, during the same period last year.

Its leased acreage has grown during the past quarter, with an acquisition of acreage from Chesapeake Energy in Greene County and the company's own leasing efforts, bringing its total holdings to 126,606 net acres in the Marcellus and the Utica.

For the rest of the year, Rice expects to spend $570 million on drilling and completion, $385 million on leasing and $265 million for midstream infrastructure development.

Anya Litvak: alitvak@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1455.

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