Comstock Shifts Drilling Focus Away from Gas

Comstock Resources will refocus its drilling efforts away from natural gas in 2012 due to ongoing weakness in U.S. natural gas prices, the company said Monday.

The company in February and early March will move its remaining two gas-directed drilling rigs from its North Louisiana Haynesville shale drilling program to its recently acquired properties in West Texas.

In 2010, the company had seven operated rigs drilling in North Louisiana. Last year, the company moved two rigs to its oil-focused Eagle Ford shale drilling program and released three rigs.

Comstock now plans to spend approximately $458 million this year for drilling and completion activities. The company will drill 84 wells and complete an additional 29 wells drilled in 2011.

Due to the decline in natural gas price futures since third quarter 2011, Comstock anticipates some of its conventional gas properties to be impaired as of Dec. 31, 2011. The company expects its fourth quarter 2011 financial results to include an impairment of approximately $61 million.
 

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