Atlas has completed a vertical well in the Marcellus Shale that produced a record 5 million cubic feet of natural gas into a pipeline over a 24-hour period and, after 25 days of production, has produced approximately 81 million cubic feet.
Atlas completed this well using a two-stage frac design that it pioneered earlier this year, which was drilled on the Company’s own account. The Company has now successfully completed seven two-stage vertical fracs in the Marcellus Shale and has averaged initial rates of production for 24 hours of 2.5 million cubic feet per day. The Company intends to complete all future vertical Marcellus wells with similar multi-stage fracs. Atlas has performed over 100 vertical Marcellus completions.
"These results reflect not only the effectiveness of our completion designs, but also the quality of our acreage," stated Richard D. Weber, President and Chief Operating Officer. "The potential of horizontal wells having frac designs with up to eight stages is very exciting given the exceptional results from our two stage verticals."
Atlas is also currently operating an extensive horizontal Marcellus program and expects to complete 12 wells by early in the second quarter of 2009. Ten of these wells will be drilled in a 50/50 joint venture with an industry partner in Washington County, Pennsylvania.
The remaining two wells will be drilled in eastern Greene and western Fayette counties of Pennsylvania in an industry consortium where Atlas will have a 25% working interest. In each case, Atlas will be the operator. The Company is currently running two horizontal rigs. The first two wells have been drilled and cased to 2,400 feet and 3,800 feet, respectively, and will be completed and turned into line in January.
In addition, Atlas continues to hedge the price it receives for its natural gas production, with hedges in place through 2013 at prices ranging from approximately $8.00 to $9.00 per mcf. The Company’s hedge positions for 2009 and 2010 account for approximately 79% and 63%, respectively, of its recently disclosed production volume for the third quarter of 2008.
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