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Appalachia Shale-Gas Drillers Move to Buy Billions in Own Shares

Appalachian shale drillers are pledging to return billions of dollars to investors through share buybacks while keeping a lid on production growth as cash flow swells.

Antero Resources Corp., which explores natural gas fields primarily in West Virginia and Ohio, said Wednesday it may repurchase up to $1 billion in stock starting next week as part of plan to return as much as 50% of free cash flow over the next few years. That follows similar announcements by CNX Resources Corp. and EQT Corp.