CONSOL Ahead of Schedule for 2011 Drilling

CONSOL reported an operations update for the quarter ended March 31, 2011.

In the Marcellus Shale, CONSOL drilled 13 horizontal wells for the quarter, putting it slightly ahead of schedule for the 70 wells to be drilled in 2011. Seven wells were drilled in Southwest Pennsylvania, four in Central Pennsylvania, and two in Northern West Virginia.

With additional drilling in early April, CONSOL has drilled 17 wells in 2011, with a total Marcellus lateral footage of over 60,000 feet. This compares to a total lateral footage of 78,000 feet for all of 2010. The drilling efficiency continues to increase in all three operating areas. Drilling days from kick-off point to total depth is averaging fewer than 10 days. The company has now received its complement of four walking rigs, which it plans to deploy in the Marcellus and Utica shales for the remainder of the year.

Subsequent to the close of the quarter, CONSOL hydraulically fractured three horizontal wells on its DeArmitt pad, in Westmoreland County, Pa. These are the first wells to be fraced on the former Dominion property. The first two of those wells, the 1C and the 1A are flowing at a combined rate of over 15 MMcf per day. The DeArmitt 1C has 4,200 feet of lateral, and had 14 successful frac stages, with 300-foot spacing. The DeArmitt 1A has 3,400 feet of lateral, and had 10 successful frac stages, with 300-foot spacing.

"It is very gratifying," commented chairman and CEO J. Brett Harvey, "to see that the first two wells drilled on the acquired Dominion property appear to be very substantial. Twelve months ago we had one operating area in the Marcellus: Southwestern Pennsylvania. That area, encompassing Greene and Washington counties, has basically been de-risked. We acquired two new operating areas: Central Pennsylvania and Northern West Virginia. The DeArmitt results and the results of others in the area significantly de-risk the acreage in and around Indiana County, Pa. We will have more data on our third area as we move through the second quarter."

CONSOL Energy's Gas Division achieved record quarterly gas production of 35.9 Bcf for the quarter ended March 31, 2011. The company re-affirms its 2011 production guidance of 150-160 Bcf.