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Devon Energy Corp. said that as of the end of June it has produced 1 Tcf of natural gas from the Barnett Shale formation in East Texas, a significant milestone since it purchased Mitchell Energy & Development in 2002. "Reaching 1 Tcf of cumulative production demonstrates Devon's ability to identify and develop one of the world's most prolific unconventional gas resources with speed and efficiency," said Stephen J. Hadden, senior vice president of exploration and production. "Devon has increased production from about 350 MMcf/d in early 2002 to more than 570 MMcf/d today. It is also notable that when Devon acquired the Barnett Shale assets in 2002, we booked gas equivalent proved reserves of about 1.9 Tcf," he said. "In spite of the significant production we have realized from the Barnett to date, we have more reserves booked today than when we acquired it." Since its entrance into the Barnett Shale with the Mitchell Energy purchase in January 2002, Devon has drilled more than 1,000 wells in the area, which is primarily located in the Fort Worth Basin in Denton, Johnson, Parker, Tarrant and Wise counties. Devon currently operates 1,830 wells in the Barnett Shale and continues to actively expand its position with 18 rigs currently running.

Chesapeake Utilities Corp. announced plans to extend its gas distribution system southward into Sussex County, DE, from the town of Milford to Milton in early 2006. "The expansion will allow us to provide natural gas as an energy choice to planned residential developments, as well as nearby residential, commercial and industrial customers who will benefit from another fuel option," said Stephen C. Thompson, senior vice president for the utility. Chesapeake's Delaware and Maryland natural gas distribution systems serve more than 42,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in the southern portion of New Castle County, Kent County and parts of Sussex County in Delaware, as well as parts of Maryland's Eastern Shore. Thompson added that Chesapeake's expansion supports Delaware's recently-adopted energy policy, which calls for enhancing the availability of natural gas in areas that don't have it as a fuel option today.

Canada's National Energy Board said it will hold a written public hearing on an application by Westcoast Energy, a Duke Energy subsidiary, for approval of certain firm transportation service enhancements in Zone 3 (Mainline Transportation North) and Zone 4 (Mainline Transportation South). The deadline for filing written interventions is Aug. 5. Westcoast stated in its application that in the past few years increasing amounts of firm service have not been recontracted in Zones 3 and 4, and it believes that the implementation of certain service enhancements will increase the value of firm transportation to both existing and potential shippers and encourage higher levels of contracting.

Despite increased results from utility operations, Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy reported that its overall income from continuing operations for the second quarter was $78 million, or 19 cents/diluted share, compared with $86 million, or 21 cents/share, for the same period last year. Total earnings were $83 million, or 20 cents/share, for the second quarter, compared with $86 million, or 21 cents/share, in the same period in 2004. Utility earnings were up, boosted by higher-than-normal temperatures that increased electricity distribution profits. Earnings from continuing utility operations were $94 million, or 22 cents/share, for the second quarter, compared with $89 million, or 21 cents/share, in the same period last year. Revenues for the period and the first six months of the year were up sharply over similar periods in 2004. Total operating revenues were $2.08 billion for the second quarter and $4.46 billion for the six months ended June 30, compared with $1.7 billion and $4 billion for the same periods last year, respectively. Results from discontinued operations were $5 million in the second quarter compared with $800,000 for the second quarter last year.

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