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Industry Briefs

Mountainview Energy Ltd. announced Wednesday that its founder, Joseph Montalban, has resigned from the company's board of directors effective May 19. Montalban began his career in the oil and gas industry in the early 1950s, first as a roughneck in Alberta and then as a vice president for Flank Oil. He discovered oil in the Bakken Shale after drilling the Bugby #1 well in Glacier County, MT for Flank in 1957. He formed Montalban Drilling in the late 1950s and two public companies in the early 1970s, which would become MSR Exploration Ltd. in 1983. He also founded Gyspy Highview Gathering System Inc. In 2001 Montalban and his son, Patrick, formed Mountainview, which trades on the TSX Venture Exchange. Mountainview, based in Cut Bank, MT, is focused on exploration, production and development of the Bakken and Three Forks shales in the Williston Basin and the south Alberta Bakken shale play.

St. Mary's, WV-based Trans Energy Inc. announced Monday that the first 30 days of production from a horizontal well in the Marcellus shale play in Marshall County, WV averaged 5,344 Mcfe/d. The well, Groves #1H, produced 4,660 Mcfe on the 30th day of production with a 30/64-inch choke. TransEnergy is an independent exploration and production company focused on oil and natural gas development in the Appalachian Basin.

Western, central and eastern Europe offer the greatest natural gas shale development opportunities outside North America, respondents to a recent survey said. Although U.S. and Canada continue to dominate, more than 62% of respondents felt Europe offered the greatest potential for shale gas development when compared to China (31%), according to an industry survey conducted in advance of the Shale Gas World conference to be held in Warsaw, Poland, Nov. 28-Dec. 1. When asked what topics were most important, more than 59% answered "critical" to "environmental issues and risks of pollution," with a further 34% highlighting this topic as interesting. A large majority indicated that political resistance and winning local support were also critical. The survey by Terrapinn Ltd. queried 211 respondents from oil service companies and oil/gas companies.

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