Norse announced signing a one-year contract with Braden Drilling for use of a Speedstar 185 drilling rig. Consistent with previous guidance, this rig will be used for continued drilling of horizontal Herkimer wells on our 130,000 acres in Central New York. Drilling is expected to start in October 2010. The new wells will be fully supported by our recent investment in state of the art 3D seismic covering 38,000 acres.
Negotiations are continuing with multiple service providers for additional drilling rig capacity in anticipation of the need to expand drilling operations.
"I believe that the fantastic drilling opportunities in our core Herkimer business provides a competitive advantage, while we await the beginning of Marcellus and Utica Shale drilling," noted Mark Dice, President and Chief Operating Officer of Norse.
Drilling the Herkimer play generates added value for Norse through holding acreage by production that is highly prospective for large scale development of the Marcellus and Utica shale formations. Norse's acreage is also advantaged by its access to multiple interstate pipelines serving attractive natural gas markets in the Northeastern United States.
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