St. Mary Drills First Horizontal Haynesville Well, Decreases Rig Count

St. Mary Land & Exploration Company has provided an update on planned operational activities for 2009. The company plans to invest at or within its cash flow for exploration and development activities, with current capital investment tagged at $341 million.

Tony Best, President and CEO, commented, "While the current financial environment is challenging for many companies, St. Mary enters 2009 on solid footing and with significant opportunities in front of us. Our financial position is strong and we intend to maintain our financial strength by investing within cash flow this year. In 2009 we plan to test some very exciting emerging resource plays that have the potential to grow value for St. Mary stockholders."


By the end of February 2009, St. Mary plans to have seven operated drilling rigs running. This is a decrease from the peak of 16 rigs reached in mid-2008. The Rocky Mountain, ArkLaTex, and Permian regions each currently have one operated rig running, with the remainder of the rigs operating in the Mid-Continent region. St. Mary plans to operate an average of six rigs company-wide in 2009. Two operated rigs in the Mid-Continent region will focus on drilling horizontal Woodford shale and deep Springer wells in the Arkoma and Anadarko basins, respectively, and one operated rig is scheduled for the Rocky Mountain region. The Permian Basin region will have one operated rig running intermittently throughout 2009. In its emerging shale plays, the Company's activity will average one to two operated rigs between the Haynesville shale, the Eagle Ford shale, and the Marcellus shale programs.

In the Haynesville shale, St. Mary has reached total depth on it first operated horizontal Haynesville well. The Johnson Trust 1-2 well (SM 90% WI), located in the Spider Field in De Soto Parish, Louisiana, was drilled to an approximate measured depth of 15,100 feet and has a lateral length of roughly 3,300 feet. The well is scheduled to be completed in early March due to a delay related to the sourcing of proppant after the Company revised its original stimulation design. St. Mary's current completion design calls for a ten stage, slick water fracture stimulation using slightly under three million pounds of premium resin coated sand. The next planned well in the Haynesville is expected to be in Shelby County, Texas, where the Company has a sizeable acreage position. St. Mary has approximately 50,000 net acres that are prospective for the Haynesville shale in East Texas and northern Louisiana.

In addition to the Haynesville, a major focus in 2009 is testing the potential of the other emerging shale plays to which the Company is exposed. Plans are to drill the first operated horizontal well in the Eagle Ford shale in the second quarter of 2009 and the first operated Marcellus shale well early in the third quarter. St. Mary has exposure to approximately 210,000 and 43,000 net acres in the Eagle Ford and Marcellus shales, respectively, assuming all of the acreage is earned.