Range boosts Marcellus shale high-grade acreage

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Texas July 14 -- Range Resources Corp. said it has drilled more than 100 wells in the Marcellus shale, including 20 horizontal wells, and has increased its high-graded acreage position to 850,000 net acres out of 1.4 million acres total.

Previously, Range had high-graded 700,000 acres of the Marcellus shale play in the Appalachian basin. The 850,000 acres includes transactions expected to close shortly.

John Pinkerton, Range's chairman and chief executive, said Range continues to accelerate both its drilling and acreage acquisition efforts in the Marcellus shale. The play is developing into the southwest region covering southwestern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia and the northeast region covering northeastern Pennsylvania and southern New York. Of is in the southwest.

Range anticipates that the ramp up of Marcellus production will begin primarily in the southwest, where 60% of its high-graded acreage position lies, and move northeast. Pipelines and processing plants are being built.

Currently, Range has three rigs operating in the Marcellus play and plans to drill 40 horizontal wells in 2008. Wells are being drilled, completed, tested, and shut in awaiting pipeline construction.

Production is expected to reach 30 MMcfd in the first quarter of 2009. The last 10 reported horizontal wells had an average peak initial rate of 4.1 MMcfd equivalent (natural gas and liquids).

Range estimates gross average reserves in the range of 3-4 bcfe/horizontal well. The company anticipates that a typical Marcellus horizontal well will cost $3-4 million. Estimated finding and development costs are 90¢ to $1.60/MMcf.

The Fort Worth independent revised upward its estimate of the unrisked reserve potential of its leasehold position to 22 tcf from15 tcf.

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