Ultra to ramp up Marcellus program in 2010

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Feb. 15
-- Ultra Petroleum Corp., Houston, plans to drill more than 110 Marcellus wells in 2010 compared with 37 gross (22.5 net) wells in 2009.

The company has placed 13 wells on production by the end of 2009 at rates averaging 7.5 MMcfd. Laterals at those wells average slightly more than 3,800 ft.

Initial production rates at the horizontal wells completed so far have ranged from more than 3.4 MMcfd to 10.4 MMcfd, including two wells that are exceeding 7.5 MMcfd after 30 days.

First 30-days production averages more than 3 MMcfd at the company’s first six wells and more than 5.7 MMcfd at its next seven wells. The company’s first production in the Marcellus program began in July 2009.

Preliminary estimated ultimate recoveries affirm Ultra’s 3.75 bcf of gas equivalent type-curve, and some preliminary EURs exceed 6 bcf of gad equivalent. The cost to drill and complete a horizontal Marcellus well in 2009 was $3.5 million.

Ultra’s four interconnects to major interstate pipelines remain well ahead of the drilling campaign. By midyear 2010, capacity is expected to exceed 560 MMcfd.

The company began 2009 with 288,000 gross (152,000 net) acres in the Marcellus. Through a combination of land acquisitions, trades, and swaps, Ultra increased its holdings to 326,000 gross (169,000 net) acres by yearend 2009.

An acquisition announced in late 2009 and to be completed in late February will expand its holdings to 486,000 gross (249,000 net) acres. To its core position in Tioga, Bradford, Lycoming, and Potter counties in north-central Pennsylvania, Ultra will add acreage in Lycoming, Clinton, and Centre counties.

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