Saturday, October 30, 2010

Range Resources Corp. (RRC) : Marcellus Shale Update

By Andrea:

Range Resources Corp. (RRC) recently released an update on the Marcellus shale located in Washington County, PA and Lycoming County, PA:

Range's Marcellus production exit rate for the third quarter was 191 Mmcfe per day net. Approximately 71% of the production was natural gas and 29% was NGLs and condensate. At the end of the third quarter, approximately 34 Mmcfe per day of net production was shut in waiting on gathering and compression facilities currently under construction. In addition, Range has drilled 44 wells that are waiting on completion, of which 23 are scheduled to be completed prior to year-end. Given excellent drilling results through the first nine months of the year, Range is well-positioned to meet or exceed its Marcellus Shale year-end 2010 production exit rate target of 200 to 210 Mmcfe per day net.

During the third quarter, the Marcellus Division brought online a total of 18 horizontal wells in southwestern Pennsylvania, all in the liquids-rich "wet area" of the play. The wells had average lateral lengths of 3,291 feet and averaged 11 frac stages. The initial seven-day gross production rate for the 18 wells averaged 8.5 Mmcfe per day. All 18 wells are initially producing under somewhat constrained conditions due to gathering and compression capacity, as the facilities are not designed for peak production. Based on initial production results, we expect the average estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) of these 18 wells to exceed our average reserve estimate of 5.0 Bcfe per well for the southwest portion of Pennsylvania. Given low natural gas prices, we plan to drill fewer wells per pad, utilizing moderate lateral lengths and frac stages. This will allow us to build production with lower cycle times, while efficiently developing our leasehold position and generating outstanding well economics.

Providing additional upside resource potential from this region without additional acreage costs are a variety of shale formations that lie above the Marcellus formation. Range has now drilled and completed an initial horizontal test well to the Upper Devonian shales. Our first test indicates significant gas in place. The average seven-day test rate for the initial well was 5.1 Mmcfe per day. Range plans several more Upper Devonian test wells in 2011. We believe that a majority of our acreage in the southwest portion of the play is prospective for the Upper Devonian shales.

Over the past two years, Range has concentrated its leasing activities to filling in and blocking up its key acreage positions. In addition to acquiring fill-in leases in these areas, we have completed several acreage trades with third parties. The acreage trades allow each party to block up their respective leasehold positions. Recently, Range completed a trade in which it acquired approximately 42,000 net acres in our core area of southwestern Pennsylvania. The new acreage has longer term and adds more than 500 horizontal drilling locations in Washington County, an area where infrastructure is already in place and Range has had significant drilling success. To facilitate the trade, Range transferred approximately 55,000 net acres, of which 47,000 acres are located in West Virginia and 8,000 acres are located in Bradford and Sullivan counties in northeastern Pennsylvania.

The Marcellus infrastructure build out continues to progress on schedule. In the southwestern portion of the play, committed wet gas processing capacity has increased to 185 Mmcf per day, and is scheduled to expand to 390 Mmcf per day by third quarter 2011. Range also has access to an additional 40 Mmcf per day of wet gas processing on an interruptible basis. Dry gas capacity is currently 25 Mmcf per day in southwestern Pennsylvania, increasing to 65 Mmcf per day by year-end 2010. In the northeastern portion of the play, the build out of the first phase 150 Mmcf per day Lycoming County gathering system is on schedule for a year-end 2010 start up, with capacity increasing to as much as 350 Mmcf per day by year-end 2011.

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