Houston-based independent Magnum Hunter Resources Corp.'s Triad Hunter LLC unit has bought Marcellus Shale oil and gas properties and leasehold mineral interests in Wetzel County, WV, for $20 million, the company said. The assets acquired include 2,225 net contiguous acres containing 20 identified horizontal drilling locations, of which seven gross locations are currently booked as proved undeveloped. A company analysis conducted in December found that the assets contained total proved reserves of about 11.5 Bcfe (16% proved developed producing) with net production of 517 Mcfe/d (100% natural gas).

Chesapeake Energy subsidiary Chesapeake Appalachia LLC has been temporarily barred from removing soil from a waste disposal pit in Wetzel County, WV, by a restraining order issued by judge Frederick Stamp of the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia. The order was sought by Larry and Jana Rine, who last year filed a lawsuit claiming Chesapeake unlawfully dumped drilling waste in the pit, which is located on the Rines' property near New Martinsville at the base of the state's northern panhandle. The couple have alleged that Chesapeake, which is performing repairs on a slip near the pit, is also removing evidence -- contaminated soil -- from the site. Chesapeake has denied "any and all allegations of wrongful or illegal conduct" and said its activities were covered by a permit issued by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. The restraining order, which was issued Tuesday, allows Chesapeake to continue repairs to the slip. A hearing is scheduled in Wheeling April 21.

Crimson Exploration Inc. has successfully completed its Littlepage McBride #1 well targeting the Eagle Ford Shale in Karnes County, TX. The well, which began production last week at a gross daily rate of 876 bbl and 717 Mcf, was drilled to a total measured depth of 15,885 feet, including a 4,800-foot lateral, and was finalized in 70 days, the Houston-based independent said. It was the company's first well on its 1,250-gross acre position in Karnes County. Crimson said it intends to follow its restricted rate philosophy and does not anticipate increasing the rate further, "although the well performance to date suggests it is capable of much higher rates." Crimson owns and operates approximately 6,700 net acres in the Eagle Ford, 12,000 net acres in the Haynesville Shale, Mid-Bossier and James Lime plays in San Augustine and Sabine counties in East Texas, 11,000 net acres in the Denver-Julesburg Basin of Colorado, and conventional properties in Texas, Louisiana, Colorado and Mississippi.