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West Virginia

By OGJ editors
– Gastar Exploration Ltd., Houston, has spud its first operated horizontal Marcellus shale test, Wengerd-1, in Marshall County, WV.

An affiliate of Atinum Partners Co. Ltd. will pay 87.5% of the well cost to earn 50% interest. Hydraulic fracturing is expected by late first quarter 2011, and the well could go on production shortly afterwards.

Atinum and Gastar are also participating in a seven-well program to test Marcellus on acreage pooled with an offset operator in Butler County, Pa. Atinum and Gastar collectively own 38.4% of the seven wells, and Atinum will pay 87.5% of the combined net cost.

The vertical holes have been drilled from one pad, and a larger rig will drill horizontal sections early next year. Completion is to begin in the 2011 second quarter.

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