EXCO Resources' drilling program continues to make solid progress with 22 drilling rigs running at the end of the fourth quarter of 2007. This compares with 26 rigs running at the end of the third quarter of 2007 and 15 rigs running at year-end 2006.
Fourth quarter of 2007 development expenditures totaled $151.3 million and funded the drilling and completion of 139 gross (119.8 net) new wells, as well as other capital activities. The company's drilling success rate was 99%. EXCO's full year 2007 spending totaled $487.2 million.
In 2007, EXCO drilled and completed 485 gross (400.6 net) wells. It had 11 gross (7.7 net) dry holes, resulting in a 98% success rate. At year end, EXCO had approximately 39 wells across the portfolio in various stages of completion. EXCO's 2008 capital budget as approved by our Board of Directors during the fourth quarter of 2007 totals $625 million, and will fund the drilling and completion of 609 gross (536.3 net) wells, among other activities.
EXCO has several initiatives underway to grow reserves and production in areas that have been in the company's portfolio as well as in new areas. EXCO has entered into one joint venture, and the company is negotiating a second to expand its leasehold positions in the Permian Basin. In the first venture EXCO has gained operations and a 70% working interest in more than 20,000 mostly contiguous acres. The company is presently drilling five shallow tests to evaluate the block. Seismic work is planned in the first quarter.
In the Rockies, EXCO are drilling a well to evaluate company-owned leases as well as to earn an interest in a significant amount of farmout acreage. Logs indicate the presence of economic hydrocarbon accumulations. In our Rockies area the company has approximately 100,000 acres of leasehold in Wyoming where it plans to drill nine wells to evaluate various plays during 2008. EXCO will drill four horizontal wells and additional vertical wells to evaluate the Marcellus shale in Appalachia in 2008. The company is transferring producing technology into Appalachia and initial results from artificial lift applications are encouraging. EXCO is leasing additional acreage, particularly in East Texas/North Louisiana and in Appalachia in areas that have growth opportunities as identified by the company's engineers and geoscientists. In East Texas, EXCO has three horizontal wells planned, and it also plans to drill downspaced 20-acre wells in certain areas of East Texas and North Louisiana.
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