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Maverick Oil & Gas Eyes Midcontinent Gas Reserves

Maverick Oil & Gas has set its sights on the Midcontinent -- that's where the future of natural gas is, CEO V. Ray Harlow said last week in an interview.

Harlow, with 34 years in the oil and gas business, joined Maverick last year, and he now is leading the junior independent on a quest for unconventional reserves in the heart of the United States. Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, FL with offices in Dallas, the independent now holds assets in some of the biggest gas finds in the country, including the Piceance Basin of Colorado, the Barnett Shale in North Texas and the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas.

"We redirected the company's development efforts last year and acquired some property in Arkansas," said Harlow, 54. "We took the company from more of a traditional E&P focus to more of a resource-based focus to projects in the Barnett Shale and the Fayetteville Shale. The potential in those projects is far and away much higher. Now we are a shale player."

Most of the domestic E&P players compete in the Rocky Mountains, Harlow noted. But "if you look at the reserve distribution in the United States through the end of 2005..., the Rocky Mountains contain probably just over 50% of the unconventional gas reserves in the country. The rest lies to the east of there. The hot new plays are in the Midcontinent: Fayetteville, Arkoma, Woodford, Anadarko, Mississippi, Barnett."

The tight gas plays "combine low-risk exploration with high potential productivity," Harlow said. "This fits our risk profile quite well. We like the lower risk, lower cost aspect of it." Maverick acquired its Fayetteville acreage in September, and it spudded the first well in February. It now has commitments to acquire more than 160,000 gross acres in the play, which it would operate with a 45% stake.

Harlow will join executives from Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Lukens Energy Group, Suez LNG NA LLC and W&T Offshore Inc. in a panel discussion about the growing gas supplies outside of the Rockies at NGI's 20th Anniversary GasMart 2006, which will be held May 3-5 in Denver. For more information, visit http://gasmart.com.

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