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Despite their historically selective exploratory approach, the company has recently been becoming more aggressive. Their exploration related spending has spiked from 15% in 2005 to 50% (or $300 million) in 2007. In May of 2007, the company acquired 60000 acres in Colorado that has proved reserves equal to 15 million barrels of oil in which 97% is natural gas.
As sellers of commodity products, oil and gas companies operate in a highly competitive environment in which all firms are price-takers because they must sell their products at given market prices. Therefore, firms generally find competetive advantages through efficient, intelligent, and sometimes, innovative use of the drillbit. Furthermore, in order to remain competitive, it is also important for firms to earn high returns on investment through intelligent property acquisition and operational prowess. Scale does matter some, as companies with greater production levels and revenue can generally cover many administrative expenses over a wider base of properties.
Below is a table comparing several metrics from some of the main players in the independent oil & gas industry.
|Proved Reserves||Square Footage|
|Revenue TTM ($M)||Operating Margin||Production (MMcfe/Day)||Oil (MMBbls)||Natural Gas (Bcf)||LNG (MMBbls)||Gross developed acreage (in thou)||Gross undeveloped acreage||Gross Total|