Columbia Hits Whopper Deep Appalachian Find
Calling it the largest reserve discovery in the Appalachian
Basin, Columbia Natural Resources (CNR), a Columbia Energy Group
subsidiary, said it found reserves with estimated production of 50
MMcf/d while drilling deep into a sub-basin in Roane County, WV.
The exploratory test well was drilled to a depth of 10,300 feet in
the Trenton-Black River Formation on the Vineyard Ridge prospect.
"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 CEO.
The preliminary finding dwarfs the average estimate for
production from an Appalachian Basin reserve, which is usually
between 0.5 MMcf/d and 0.75 MMcf/d, Larry Malone, a CNR spokesman
The company is scheduled to start drilling an offset well this
fall, which will confirm the initial findings and indicate if there
are any more reserves in the area. Production from the Roane County
well is scheduled to begin in July.
Columbia plans to connect the well to a natural gas gathering
facility for initial production while it builds a pipeline that
will feed directly into Columbia Gas Transmission. The site is just
20 miles from Columbia's office in Charleston, WV.
CNR is one of the largest players in the Appalachian Basin. "It
is our core production area," Malone said. The company owns 7,700
wells and 2.6 million net acres in the basin with a total reserve
base of 840 Bcf.
Meanwhile, Columbia Energy Group has asked the Securities and
Exchange Commission to allow it to increase its investment in oil
and natural gas E&P properties in Canada from $5 million to $55
million. Columbia, a registered holding company under the Public
Utility Holding Company Act of 1935, must get SEC approval for
foreign ventures. The company said its Columbia Natural Resources
Canada Ltd. operates properties in areas similar to its
Appalachian Basin holdings in the U.S. It plans to spend $50
million over three years developing additional properties in the
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