CNX Gas pushes Chattanooga shale exploration

CNX Gas has expanded its position the Devonian Chattanooga shale gas play to 235,000 acres in northeastern Tennessee and plans a two-rig program to drill 10 wells in the rest of 2008.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Oct. 22 -- CNX Gas Corp., Pittsburgh, has expanded its position the Devonian Chattanooga shale gas play to 235,000 acres in northeastern Tennessee and plans a two-rig program to drill 10 wells in the rest of 2008.

The acreage in Scott, Campbell, Anderson, and Morgan counties, Tenn., is largely contiguous and is composed of only a small number of leases, a rarity in the Appalachian basin, the company noted. It expanded by buying out its 50% partner Knox Energy Inc. and acquiring several other leases.

Chattanooga is 50-80 ft thick at about 3,500 ft and rich in total organic carbon. The company has drilled eight horizontal wells in the play.

The most recent well cost $900,000 to drill and complete. The wells were drilled with a truck-mounted, top-drive rig with a 185,000 lb. hookload capacity.

CNX Gas, which connected the fifth well in mid-October, said gas rates at the first four wells are 230, 160, 100, and 230 Mcfd. Daily rates for the better wells have been stable.

New drilling is occurring in areas that have shown better initial results, and the company plans microseismic work in late 2008 to better understand the variances in individual well production.

CNX Gas operates all of its Chattanooga shale wells with an average 92.5% working interest and expects to have 100% interest in all future wells with termination of a farm-out agreement with Atlas America Inc. and the acquisition of Knox Energy.

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