Independent oil and gas company Range Resources Corp said its second-quarter production rose to 434 million cubic feet equivalent per day (mmcfe/d), outpacing its earlier forecast of 420-425 mmcfe/d.

The company attributed the 14 percent year-over-year and 4 percent sequential rise in production to better-than-expected drilling results at its Barnett and Marcellus shale plays.

Despite a significantly lower capital budget and the recent sale of its West Texas oil properties, Range currently anticipates that it will achieve double-digit production growth again in 2009, the company said in a statement. Range also said it will record about $11 million in exploration expenses for the second quarter, which includes $6 million in seismic expenditures.

Citing low natural gas prices, the company also decided not to renew leases for certain non-core Barnett shale assets, which would result in a one time charge of $22 million in the second quarter.

The company owns about 900,000 acres in the natural gas-rich Marcellus shale. Shares of the Fort Worth, Texas-based company closed at $40.93 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

 (Reporting by Shradhha Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Aradhana Aravindan)