Mitchell Gets OK for In-Fill Drilling in TX

Mitchell Energy & Development Corp. received approval from the Texas Railroad Commission for field rule amendments that will enable the company to more aggressively develop its Barnett Shale gas reserves in North Texas. The new field rules permit Mitchell to drill wells in the Newark East (Barnett Shale) field on as little as 40-acre spacing. As a result of increased well density, or "in-fill drilling," the company expects as many as 100 wells with about 80 Bcf of estimated net gas reserves will be added to the proved undeveloped category. The new locations bring total undeveloped well locations to about 200 for the field. The company also has identified another 100 probable locations that may be added in the future.

"The tighter well spacing will allow us to recover a lot more gas reserves from the Barnett Shale than we had originally expected," said George P. Mitchell, CEO. "Results of a pilot program we started in mid-1996 have given us confidence that in-fill drilling is economically attractive. Over the next few years we'll be testing areas to the west, south and east of this core area to expand the economic limits of the field. This could lead to a major expansion of our natural gas reserves in Wise and adjacent counties."

Mitchell has been actively developing the Barnett Shale since the early 1990s and has drilled more than 350 wells to date.

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