Rex Energy announced its first quarter 2009 results from continuing operations. The raise in revenue was in part because of an early redemption of certain oil derivatives related with 2011 production which netted about $4.6 million in proceeds. First quarter of 2009 production was about 232 thousand barrels of oil equivalent (MBOE), which was 78% oil and 22% natural gas. EBITDAX grew to $8.7 million, up 19% over the year-ago quarter. The company recorded a net loss from continuing operations, consistent with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), for the quarter of $1.3 million, or $0.04 per share. Earnings comparable to analyst approximates were $2.1 million, or $0.06 per share.

Capital expenditures in the first quarter of 2009 were $13.3 million, of which $6.1 million was spent on exploration and developmental activities; $5.2 million was spent on leasing and acquisitions; and $2 million was spent on Rex Energy’s tertiary recovery projects in the Illinois basin.

Benjamin W. Hulburt, Rex Energy’s president and chief executive officer, commented, The first quarter of 2009 was a solid start to the year. We completed the divestiture of our Southwestern Region assets, netting about $17.3 million which allowed us to reduce our debt to only $5 million and maintain about $4 million in cash on hand at the end of the quarter. Our low debt level, combined with 86% of current production hedged through 2010 at average floors prices of $62.99 per barrel and $7.32 per Mcf, sets us apart from many of our peers and allows us to not only endure in this challenging economic environment, but to continue to grow. I am also very pleased with the excellent progress our operations team has made in reducing operating expenses. As a result of their efforts, lease operating expenses in the first quarter were down 15% from the prior quarter and down 17% relative to the first quarter in 2008.

In a final comment, Hulburt stated, I’m pleased to report that our 2009 Marcellus Shale horizontal drilling program is now underway. We have now completed drilling our first horizontal Marcellus well and are rigging up on the second. We expect to fracture, stimulate and put the first well into line during the month of June.