Sunday, May 23, 2010

Consol plans to double Marcellus Shale production

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Consol Energy Inc. plans to more than double its natural gas production in Western Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale region over the next five years, CEO J. Brett Harvey said at the company's annual shareholders' meeting today.

The Cecil, Washington County-based coal and natural gas company became the third largest player in terms of acreage controlled in the gas-rich shale formation with its $3.5 billion purchase last week of Dominion Resources Inc.'s holdings.

So far, "We have one (drilling) rig in the Marcellus Shale, and we're bringing on a second rig," Harvey said after the meeting at the Hyatt Regency hotel near Pittsburgh International Airport. "By the end of next year we should have five rigs in the Marcellus Shale" operating in an area stretching from northern West Virginia past Indiana County in Pennsylvania.

Each rig will drill 15 to 18 wells a year, Harvey said.

Consol produces about 141 billion cubic feet of gas annually now, but "in the next five years we plan to go to 350" bcf, he said. "We might even exceed that if the price of gas is right."