By OGJ editors
– Atlas Energy Inc., Pittsburgh, said it plans to drill several wells in the coming year in the Collingwood-Utica shale gas play in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula.

Atlas said it has amassed 115,000 gross acres (70,000 net) in the emerging play in which the formations lie at 6,000-9,000 ft. Of that, it acquired 15,000 net acres at an average $321/acre in the first quarter of 2010.

Acreage prospective for the Collingwood-Utica shale was leased for as much as $5,500/acre at the Michigan state lease sale on May 4, 2010.

Much of Atlas’s acreage is held by gas production from shallow Devonian Antrim shale.

The company said it expects to recover significant natural gas liquids from the rich gas stream.

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