A portion of the new acreage is included in the company's Pioneer Unit, in which Evergreen now owns approximately 75,000 acres. Evergreen drilled eight coal bed methane wells in the Pioneer Unit in late 2002 and is currently testing five of them. The Pioneer Unit is located approximately 35 miles north of Anchorage. The majority of the new acreage is located immediately to the northwest of the Pioneer Unit, extending about 25 miles up the Susitna River Valley.
Evergreen plans to drill five stratigraphic test wells on various parts of its acreage to obtain additional petrophysical data, including information on coal quality and gas content. Based on the results of these test wells, Evergreen will determine potential locations in 2004 for additional stratigraphic test wells or multi-well pilots.
Evergreen President and CEO Mark S. Sexton commented, "The expansion of our leased acreage base demonstrates our commitment to making shallow gas production a reality in south-central Alaska. Evergreen continues to position itself for value creation through organic growth in a number of prospective areas where we have substantial acreage positions. While our current development focus continues to be the Raton Basin, we have expanded our portfolio of unconventional natural gas projects throughout North America, each having exposure to potentially large gas reserves."
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