The first operator to an oil and gas resource play is often times not the best. When it comes to the still-nascent Utica Shale, Chesapeake (NYSE:CHK) is often credited as the earliest mover. Unfortunately, Chesapeake is undergoing a debt-reduction program which will renew their focus only on "the core of the core." This means Chesapeake will be selling some Utica assets. Also, Chesapeake's greatest Utica exposure is to dry gas.
The higher returns are in liquids: Natural Gas Liquids (NYSE:NGL), condensate and especially oil. And for this, the best name in the Utica is not Chesapeake but a mid-cap E&P Gulfport Energy (NASDAQ:GPOR).
Gulfport Energy is an independent oil and natural gas exploration...
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