Drillers give updates on where they and their plans stand

Consol Energy

Consol Energy will begin drilling its 9,000-acre leasehold around the Pittsburgh airport in August. The company plans to drill 8,000 feet laterals on the wells and expects production to start flowing from the airport acreage in early 2015.

It has also developed a partnership in the Marcellus shale with Noble Energy. The company has 446,000 acres leased in the Marcellus shale and Noble Energy has eight rigs drilling. The company said it plans to drill 182 Marcellus shale wells in 2014.

They are also involved in a partnership in the Utica shale with the Hess Corporation. The company plans to build both Marcellus shale and Utica shale wells on the same pad in Monroe County.

Consol plans to drill 32 wells with Hess in Noble, Belmont, Guernsey and Harrison counties. In addition, Consol plans to invest $24 million outside of the joint venture with Hess, outside of Monroe County.

Tim Dugan, chief operating officer for Consol, said 20 percent of this year’s budget is geared toward gaining acreage.
He said there are an average of six wells on a pad, but he thinks it could grow to 18 wells on a pad using the stacked formation, which means they would drill through Upper Devonian, Marcellus shale and Utica shale.

Range Resources

Jeff Ventura, of Range Resources, said not only are they the first company to discover what was in the Marcellus, but the company will also the first to export ethane to Europe.

Range Resources has over 1 million acres leased in Pennsylvania, and are producing 1.8 Bcf/d (billion cubic feet per day) of wet gas currently.

Gulfport Energy

Gulfport Energy is under new leadership in 2014. Stuart Maier, vice president, geosciences at Gulfport Energy, said the company is working to find the optimal way to develop the Utica shale play, including developing what it has already drilled, and determining what those wells are capable of producing. In addition, the company is awaiting infrastructure, including pipelines, to move the gas to the market in the Utica shale. Gulfport Energy has 179,000 acres leased and have seven drilling rigs in operation.

Rice Energy

Rice Energy started leasing acreage in 2009 in Washington, Pennsylvania. The company now has 21,000 acres in the Marcellus shale in Washington and Greene counties.

Daniel J. Rice IV, chief executive officer, said the company is more interested in chasing the rate of return from wells, not the commodity prices. He added the volumes being produced, along with faster drill speeds and longer laterals, make up for what the company is getting for the oil and gas products in the market place.

The company now has a total of 90,000 acres in Pennsylvania and Ohio. They created a landowners group in Belmont County and now have a strong leasehold of 30,000 acres in the middle of the county, where they drilled the “Big Foot” well.
They also have a joint agreement for drilling with Gulfport Energy in Belmont County.

Stone Energy

Stone Energy is currently a Marcellus shale driller with most of its acreage in West Virginia. Now, the company is trying to getting to the Utica Shale, and currently has 28,500 acres leased in the Utica shale.
They are drilling in the area around Mary Field, West Virginia.
David Welch, Stone Energy CEO, said they expect to have a test well completed in the second quarter of 2014. It is currently being drilled and the company expects to test it later this year.

About the Author

Kristy Foster Seachrist lives in Columbiana County raising sheep and horses. She earned her degree from Youngstown State University and has worked in both print and broadcast journalism. You can follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/fosterk96. More Stories by Kristy Foster Seachrist

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