Louis Dreyfus Expecting Record Reserve Additions

Louis Dreyfus Natural Gas said yesterday it expects record reserve additions this year and a rapid in crease in drilling during the fourth quarter compared to the historical lull that occurs late in most years. Just in the last 45 days the company has closed five acquisitions, investing $35 million to purchase 45 Bcf of proved reserves.

"The combination of solid results from both drilling activities and acquisitions is expected to result in a record volume of proved reserves added this year," said CEO Mark Monroe. "The previous record was in 1997 when we added a total of 358 Bcfe of proved reserves. Typically, we plan for somewhat reduced drilling activity in the fourth quarter. This year, we have increased our drilling budget by $10 million to $220 million in order to maintain a high level of drilling operations through the end of the year."

During the three months ended Sept. 30, the company completed 169 of 176 wells drilled in its Gulf Coast, Permian and Midcontinent regions. For the first nine months of the year, 371 wells have been drilled with a 95% success rate.

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