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Westmont Expands Marcellus Shale Leasehold

Furthering its plans to acquire approximately 3,650 net acres of Marcellus Shale leasehold, Westmont Resources Inc. on Friday said it has signed a memorandum of understanding for the acquisition of a 252-acre oil and gas leasehold in Pennsylvania's southwest tier.

The acreage includes three producing wells drilled to 250 feet and a six-inch diameter gathering system in Westmoreland County, according to the Bellevue, WA-based company. Terms were not disclosed.

"This acquisition is a very positive step toward realizing our strategy of positioning the company for long-term reserve and production growth," said Westmont President Glenn McQuiston. "At the same time, the current production of this acreage both substantially reduces the risks and provides a strong foundation for expansion into the remainder of our target properties. On the newly acquired acreage we plan to increase the depth of the existing wells, demonstrate the long-term potential of this acreage and follow on with additional wells."

Westmont purchased 233 net acres of leasehold in Westmoreland County in February. That leasehold included eight wells producing about 280 Mcf/d of natural gas.

In May Westmont purchased 3,400 total leasehold acres and 120 existing oil wells in the Marcellus Shale, part of the company's goal to produce more than 3,500 bbl of oil per month by the end of the year (see Shale Daily, May 31). That leasehold -- which spans southwest Pennsylvania and northwest West Virginia -- contains 11 operational wells currently producing 0.6-0.9 b/d of oil per well, with total production averaging 7.7 b/d. The wells were drilled from the 1940s through the 1960s, to depths of 200-250 feet.

"Our specialty is applying cutting-edge technology in order to wring additional value from long-lived, low risk natural gas and oil properties -- to squeeze more oil out of mature basins," McQuiston said.

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