The Company also indicated that approximately $39 million of its $149 million capital budget had been expended in the second quarter, funding the drilling of 115 (64.3 net) wells and 5 (3.6 net) recompletions. Six (3.5 net) of the projects proved unproductive. For the quarter, the Company expects to recognize exploration expense of $4.2 million, including $1.0 million in seismic expense and $2.1 million in dry hole expense. By June 30, 42 of the newly drilled wells had been placed on production. The remaining wells were in various stages of completion or waiting on pipeline connection.
In the Southwest, 37 (30.9 net) wells were drilled during the quarter and currently eight rigs are running. The two-rig drilling program which began in March at the Conger field in Sterling County, Texas, is currently drilling the sixteenth and seventeenth wells of 25 planned for the year. To date, nine newly drilled wells have been completed and one existing well was recompleted resulting in a combined incremental rate of 7.2 (5.7 net) Mmcfe per day. At the Fuhrman-Mascho Unit in Andrews County, Texas, an additional 10-well program was recently initiated, based upon the encouraging results of an 18-well program completed earlier this spring. A refrac program is also underway at Fuhrman with four refracs completed thus far, which resulted in an incremental rate of 1.5 (1.2 net) Mmcfe per day. Additional refrac candidates are being analyzed based upon the initial success of the program. In Val Verde, 12 wells have been recompleted adding incremental production of 3.1 (2.4 net) Mmcfe per day. Significantly, Range owns a 25% interest in an onshore Texas discovery well that recently tested 4.0 (0.8 net) Mmcfe per day at over 10,000 psi flowing tubing pressure. In the area of the discovery, Range has lease holdings totaling nearly 13,000 acres with working interests varying between 25% and 65%. Also in the area, Range has a 25% interest in approximately 30,000 acres of lease options. Currently, three rigs are drilling in the Watonga-Chickasha trend of western Oklahoma and two others are drilling in the Texas Panhandle, where three recently drilled wells are waiting on completion and five are waiting on pipeline. These eight wells are expected to yield an initial rate of 4.7 (2.6 net) Mmcfe per day when placed online.
In the Gulf Coast, the Smith #1, the Yegua discovery placed on production in March, continues to produce 7.7 (3.8 net) Mmcfe per day at a flowing tubing pressure of 7,100 psi. An offset well is expected to spud in the third quarter. Offshore, the West Delta 30 L-13 well encountered multiple pay sands and is currently being completed as a dual completion. The first string recently went online at 6.6 (2.6 net) Mmcfe per day. The second string is expected to be on production by the end of the month. In addition, the East Cameron 33 #9 Falcon prospect is scheduled to spud this week. The Company has a 25% working interest before casing point and a 37.5% working interest after casing point in this high-potential exploratory test.
The drilling program in Appalachia continues to progress on schedule. For the quarter, 75 (32.4 net) wells were drilled, of which 72 (31.2 net) were successful. In the first half of the year, the division drilled 118 of 259 wells planned for 2004. Presently, 10 rigs are drilling in various project areas in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. In the second half of 2004, two wells are planned in the shallow portion of the Trenton Black River play in northern New York, including an offset to the recent Harper #1 discovery well, a Trenton gas completion that is expected to come online later this summer. In Pennsylvania, the initial five wells of a coalbed methane pilot program have been drilled and are expected to be online by mid-August. A second five-well program is scheduled to begin in the third quarter. Also in Pennsylvania, the division has begun drilling in the deeper Huntersville Chert play, where three to six wells are planned by year-end.
Commenting on the announcement, John Pinkerton, Range's President, said, "Our active drilling program continues to make solid progress. Our large, multi-year inventory of drilling projects is the key to consistently growing production and reserves on a cost-efficient basis. Increasing production from drilling and recently completed acquisitions, coupled with strong commodity prices are anticipated to drive results in the second half of the year to record levels."
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