Ultra gauges Tuscarora, eyes Pennsylvania

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Aug. 2 -- Ultra Petroleum Corp., Houston, gauged a Silurian Tuscarora natural gas discovery in Tioga County, Pa., and has greatly expanded its acreage position in the area.

Ultra's Marshlands Unit-1, on a 17,982-acre prospect in which the company holds 100% working interest, went on line May 25. Ultra gradually increased the flow rate, now stable at 3.9 MMcfd of gas with 3,247 psi flowing casing pressure. Cumulative production exceeds 150 MMcf.

The company drilled to TD 11,141 ft and attempted completion in Upper Ordovician Bald Eagle before hydraulically fracturing three Tuscarora zones at 8,925-9,144 ft. It plans to spud a second well on the structure later this year using a larger rig capable of reaching Ordovician Trenton-Black River, the $6 million discovery well's unreached primary objective.

Only one other well in a large surrounding area of the Appalachian basin produces from Tuscarora, an Ultra official said.

Meanwhile, Ultra forged a 50-50 joint venture with private East Resources Inc., Wexford, Pa., to further explore in northern Pennsylvania, where Ultra's total landholding is 234,827 acres, up from 26,868 acres at the end of 2005. As operator, East Resources plans to spud the first well later this year on a seismically defined structure.

Ultra hiked its 2006 capital budget $25 million to $450 million to support the Pennsylvanian exploration effort.

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