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Range Resources sets new record in the Utica

Range Resources Corp. announced yesterday that it believes a record has been set for horizontal drilling in the Appalachian Basin with its Utica exploration well after seeing a higher initial production rate than any other Utica well.

The well, dubbed the Claysville Sportsman’s Club No. 1, is located in Washington County, Pennsylvania. It achieved an initial test rate of 59 million cubic feet (Mmcf) of natural gas over a 24 hour period against simulated pipeline pressure and initial flow back conditions. The well was drilled and cased to a vertical depth of 11,693 feet and has a lateral length of 5,420 feet with 32 different fracking stages. The company reports that the initial production rate is equivalent to about 10.9 Mmcf of gas per day for each 1,000 feet of lateral.

The company believes the well is confirmation of the geological analysis, bolstering the value of its ‘stacked-pay’ acreage in southwest Pennsylvania. The company believes its acreage position of roughly 400,000 net acres is ideal due to being perched above three different layers of shale: the Utica, the Marcellus, and the Upper Devonian formation. From a single well pad there is the potential to explore each different layer, minimizing production and operating costs.

Range Resources holds an 87.5% interest in the well with the remainder being owned by NiSource Inc. Flow back on the well will be paused, or will enter a shut-in phase, for 90 days while the proper facilities are put into place. After that, the well is expected to enter a production phase.

In a statement, Range Resources President and CEO Jeff Ventura commented on the announcement by saying, “Our continued capital efficiency improvement is enabling Range to maintain our 20% to 25% growth target for 2015, while reducing our capital budget by 18%. This capital efficiency improvement coupled with our favorable hedge position and strong balance sheet gives us confidence that we can deliver substantial shareholder value in 2015 despite the challenging commodity price environment.”

“We are very excited about the initial test results of our Utica/Point Pleasant well,” Ventura said. “Given our 400,000 net acre acreage position in the area, coupled with existing well control and 3-D seismic, we believe this translates into significant potential. Being able to drill additional Utica wells on the same locations as our Marcellus wells should further enhance our capital efficiency for many years to come.”

In related news, Stone Energy reports success of Utica exploration well.

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