Ultra Petroleum's Board of Directors has approved the 2010 capital budget of $1,450.0 billion. The capital budget includes the previously announced Marcellus leasehold acquisition of $400.0 million which is expected to close late February 2010. Excluding the acquisition, the 2010 capital budget is $1,050.0 billion.
"In 2010, we again expect to increase our production in Wyoming by drilling approximately 200 gross (110 net) wells. Additionally, we will expand our Marcellus program as we plan to drill approximately 110 gross (70 net) wells. It is extremely important for us to continue evaluating and de-risking our acreage in the Marcellus so that we are able to better quantify the actual size of the growing resource to Ultra and our shareholders," commented Michael D. Watford, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "These wells are instrumental to resource expansion and key to value creation. We look forward to increased reserves and greater value at year-end 2010," Watford added.
Production for 2010 is expected to grow approximately 20 percent to 215 Bcfe as compared to 180 Bcfe for 2009.
At this time, Ultra is providing preliminary production guidance for 2011 and 2012 targeting 20 percent per annum production growth at similar capital expenditures levels.
"We expect production to grow by approximately 20 percent each year for the next three years from 180 Bcfe at year-end 2009 to 310 Bcfe at year-end 2012 through the execution of our current capital expenditure plan. With two decades of identified drilling opportunities before us in Wyoming coupled with our new Marcellus opportunity, both at high rates of return, we are illustrating that our differentiated asset base and operating program provide for industry leading performance," stated Watford.
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