Atlas builds Marcellus output, eyes gathering

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Oct. 14
-- Atlas Energy Inc., Pittsburgh, said its Appalachian business unit contributed a record 63.3 MMcfd of gas equivalent of the companwide 118.3 MMcfed in the quarter ended Sept. 30, reflecting Marcellus shale output growth in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Atlas drilled 19 horizontal Marcellus wells, fractured and completed 12, and turned 6 into line in the quarter, exceeding budget. The 12 completions averaged an initial peak rate of 6.8 MMcfed and included a Westmoreland County well whose 21 MMcfd initial rate set a company record.

This Westmoreland County well is a step-out from existing infrastructure and is not expected to be turned into line until second-quarter 2011. Four of the other wells, which were completed but not yet turned into line during the third quarter, will be turned into line during October. The last well is also waiting on pipeline and will be turned into line in 2011.

Atlas listed 23 operated Marcellus wells that had 8 to 17 frac stages/well in laterals 1,913-4,600 ft long. One Greene County well with 11 frac stages in a 3,158-ft lateral has recovered 1.02 bcf of gas in 294 days on line.

Laurel Mountain Midstream, an Atlas joint venture with Williams Cos., Tulsa, continues to make excellent progress in the buildout of its Expansion Gathering System, which is specifically designed for high-volume, high-pressure Marcellus wells.

The first phase of the system is expected to be available to Atlas late in this year’s fourth quarter, while the initial deliveries into the Shamrock station in Fayette County are expected to occur early in the 2011 first quarter.

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