Marcellus play to grow fast, predicts Range

Range Resources, using three rigs to drill 40 horizontal wells to Devonian Marcellus shale in the northern Appalachian basin this year, expects to phase in production to 30 MMcfd of gas in first quarter 2009.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, July 24 -- Range Resources Corp., Fort Worth, using three rigs to drill 40 horizontal wells to Devonian Marcellus shale in the northern Appalachian basin this year, expects to phase in production to 30 MMcfd of gas in first quarter 2009.

Range has revised its estimated of unrisked recovery potential to 22 tcfe from 15 tcfe, and the company has secured an initial 150 MMcfd of firm transportation on interstate pipelines.

Overall, the company has drilled more than 100 Marcellus wells, including 20 horizontal wells.

The company's holding has hit 1.4 million net acres, of which 850,000 acres have been highgraded for further evaluation. It plans to add two fit-for-purpose rigs in 2009 and field a total of eight rigs during the year.

Range said 60% of its highgraded leasehold and 10-15 tcfe of the expected ultimate recovery are in southwestern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia and the rest are in northeastern Pennsylvania and southern New York. Existing pipelines and processing facilities are better developed in the southwestern area, the company noted.

Seven horizontal wells completed in the quarter ended June 30 averaged 4.9 MMcfd of gas equivalent, and the expected recovery for all horizontal wells the company has drilled averages 3-4 bcf of gas equivalent.

Marcellus wells require large, multistage water fracs, and Range is part of an industry consortium that works with regulatory agencies to ensure protection of the region's water sources.

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