Range's 2009 Natural Gas Production Better Than Projected

The chairman and CEO of Range Resources Corporation, an independent oil and gas company, said the company's first quarter drilling and production results for 2009 have exceeded expectations.

The announcement was made in a news release from the company.

The first quarter production growth is attributable primarily to the Marcellus Shale play in Pennsylvania, the Nora field in Virginia and the Barnett Shale play in North Texas. Range has now posted 25 consecutive quarters of sequential production growth. Currently, Range has 15 rigs in operation versus 33 rigs this time last year.

It operates in the Southwestern, Appalachian and Gulf Coast regions of the United States.

First quarter production volumes averaged 416 Mmcfe (million cubic feet equivalent) per day -- a 12 percent increase over the prior year and 3 percent higher than fourth quarter 2008. Mmcfe includes oil, gas and natural gas liquids.

Currently, Range is not drilling in Bradford County, but has 40,000 acres leased in the county. The company is currently focusing on southwestern Pennsylvania due to it having a better pipeline infrastructure, said Carl J. Carlson, director of government affairs for Range Resources.

"We will definitely be drilling in Bradford County, but probably not this year," he said. The company would begin developing its leases in Bradford County once it builds the infrastructure it needs. It plans to do this once prices for natural gas, which are now low, improve, he said.

John Pinkerton, Range's Chairman and CEO, said: "Despite the number of drilling rigs dropping from 33 to 15, we continued to grow production at low cost. Achieving 25 consecutive quarters of production growth is a testament to the quality of our technical teams as well as the depth and quality of our drilling inventory."

He also noted: "Importantly, we are on track to more than double our Marcellus production in 2009 and are setting the stage for further increases by expanding the infrastructure and bringing in state-of-the-art drilling technology to the Marcellus Shale play."  

Copyright (c) 2009, The Daily Review, Towanda, Pa. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.