Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation announced continued success from its step-out drilling in the eastern portion of its Marcellus Shale leasehold, further highlighting the consistency of results throughout its acreage position in northeast Pennsylvania. Additionally, the Company reported noteworthy results from its Marmaton drilling program in Oklahoma.
During the quarter, the Company turned-in-line two wells located approximately three miles to the east of its Zick pad, representing about a ten mile step-out from its initial area of development. The initial production rates for these two wells were 16.3 million cubic feet (Mmcf) per day with nine fracture stimulation (frac) stages and 22.2 Mmcf per day from 17 frac stages. "These initial production rates are comparable to our original drilling area and further demonstrate the consistent results we are seeing across our acreage position," said Dan O. Dinges, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "The productivity we have seen in our wells to date gives me comfort in stating that we have de-risked a significant majority of our acreage position in Susquehanna County."
Operational efficiencies in the Company's Marcellus program continued to be a primary focus during the first quarter. The Company completed a total of 456 frac stages during the quarter and achieved a new record by completing eight stages in a 24-hour period with one completion crew. The 456 completed stages is a 70 percent increase over the first quarter of 2012. "In addition to efficiencies on the completion side of our operations, we also commenced operations from our first compressed natural gas (CNG) station to fuel our pickup truck fleet and one of the drilling rigs operating for Cabot," stated Dinges. "We continue to invest in ways to adapt our operations to utilize and benefit from natural gas."
Infrastructure continues to improve as additional projects are nearing completion. Noteworthy is the Central Compressor Station commissioning, which is scheduled for late June. Central will be instrumental in reducing field pressure and will also act as the major discharge station into the Constitution Pipeline, which is on schedule to be operational in March 2015. "Combining this installation with several smaller scale projects in key parts of our acreage affords us visible second half production growth," commented Dinges. "These additions include compression and dehydration being added throughout the third and fourth quarters of 2013."
In the Marmaton, the Company completed five wells during the quarter. These wells were completed with an average of 21 frac stages, resulting in an average initial production rate of more than 800 barrels of oil equivalent (Boe) per day. Production for all five wells is approximately 90 percent oil. "As a result of increased drilling and completion efficiencies, we continue to reduce completed well costs, further improving the economics in the play," noted Dinges. "We continue to be pleased with the results we are seeing from this oil initiative in the Marmaton and will continue to look for ways to further extract value from all of our underappreciated assets."