CNR discovers significant gas production zone in West Virginia

Jun 15, 1999 02:00 AM

Columbia Natural Resources (CNR), the exploration and production subsidiary of Columbia Energy Group, announced that it has successfully penetrated the Trenton-Black River Formation and discovered a potentially new and significant natural gas production zone in Roane County, West Virginia.
"The well demonstrated a significant flow of natural gas as we drilled into the top of the formation; certainly it was far more than anything we expected based on past experience," said W. Henry Harmon, CNR's president and CEO.
Geologic characteristics of this well appear to be similar to prospects CNR has successfully developed in New York in the Trenton-Black River formation. CNR has been successful on 70 % of wells attempted in this formation in the New York sub-basin where it has established production from 25 wells. The company has scheduled drilling of an offset well in the fall of 1999, which will attempt to confirm the Roane County discovery.

The Roane County discovery is the third successful deep test conducted by Columbia Natural Resources this year and is consistent with the company's exploratory objectives in the Appalachian Basin. "CNR will continue its efforts to explore the deeper potential of prospects throughout the region, exploiting its mineral holdings, which exceed 2 mm acres," Harmon said. An additional four wells are scheduled to be drilled to depths exceeding 10,000 feet in 1999 to test similar structures at various locations throughout CNR's operating territory.

During preparatory operations for installation of production string, the well demonstrated an open-flow rate estimated to be approximately 50 mm cfpd of natural gas. Bottom-hole pressures were gauged initially at 6,600 pounds per square inch absolute (psia), which is uncharacteristic of typical Appalachian Basin production. The exploratory test well was drilled to a depth of 10,300 feet over a 35-day period this spring on Columbia's prospect in the Vineyard Ridge area.
"We won't be able to fully appraise the size and characteristics of this particular discovery until after additional testing and well connection are completed and production has begun," said Jack Watson, CNR's vice president of operations. CNR plans to construct five miles of large diameter pipeline so it can directly access a nearby high-pressure transmission pipeline.

Columbia Natural Resources is one of the largest producers of natural gas and oil in the Appalachian Basin. Headquartered in Charleston, W.Va., CNR has holdings that include the equivalent of 844 bn cf of gas reserves, produced from 7,700 wells, and more than 5,400 miles of natural gas gathering pipelines.
Columbia Energy Group, based in Herndon, Va., is one of the nation's leading energy services companies, with 1998 revenues of nearly $ 6.6 bn and assets of about $ 7 bn. Its operating companies engage in all phases of the natural gas business, including exploration and production, transmission, storage and distribution, as well as commodities marketing, energy management, propane sales and electric power generation, sales and trading. Columbia companies serve customers in 34 states and the District of Columbia; over 60 % of America's gas and electric revenue is derived in and around its principal operating region.

Source: Columbia Natural Resources
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