The Biloxi Marshlands No. 1-2 well represents the fourth apparently successful well in as many drilled and/or completed in the Company's Biloxi Marshlands play during 2003. The total production from the first three wells is approximately 55 mmcfe/d, including the most recently announced well, the No. 7-1 well, which was tested at 13.5 mmcfe/d and placed on production at approximately 15 mmcfe/d.
As a result of these recent discoveries and the successful operations on the Thibodaux No.1 well, the Company's current net daily production totals over 100 mmcfe/d. This represents an increase of over 68% or approximately 42 mmcfe/d above the Company's average daily production rates for the fourth quarter. Additional production increases are anticipated assuming the Biloxi Marshlands No. 1-2 well and the Hughes No. 2 well are placed on production as anticipated.
The Company's exploration and exploitation efforts are primarily focused on its Biloxi Marshlands project area that targets the prolific Cris "I" sand interval. The Company believes this prospective area has been under drilled and under exploited. Meridian has options and leases comprising approximately 200,000 acres in its Biloxi Marshlands project area and is currently underway with the acquisition of approximately 400 square miles of proprietary 3-D seismic data covering its acreage positions as well as an additional 200,000 acres of Louisiana state water bottoms. The Company expects to continue with its exploration program in this play drilling a minimum of 10-12 wells during 2004 in addition to those drilled and scheduled for 2003. The number of wells is an estimate and may be fewer or greater depending on the results of its 3-D seismic program and capital budget considerations.
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