EQT drops exploratory Utica program ahead of Rice deal after strong Marcellus results

EQT Corp. has suspended its test drilling in the Utica Shale ahead of improvements that the company is anticipating with its upcoming $6.7 billion acquisition of Rice Energy.

The Pittsburgh-based natural gas driller announced the move Thursday in a line with its second-quarter earnings report. EQT (NYSE: EQT) executives are expected to discuss the Rice (NYSE: RICE) deal during a conference call with analysts later Thursday.

RELATED: 7 things to know about the EQT-Rice Energy merger

The pending…

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