El Paso Corp. subsidiary El Paso Exploration & Production Co.'s (EPEP) Eagle Ford Shale development continues to go according to plan as the company recently completed three additional successful well tests in LaSalle County, TX, and announced it has increased its lease position.

El Paso said it now holds a total of approximately 165,000 net acres in the Eagle Ford Shale, approximately 100,000 net acres of which are located in the liquids-rich area north of the dry gas window.

"All three wells have performed at or above our expectations," said Brent Smolik, president of EPEP. "We intend to drill and complete one more well in the dry gas area of the trend to better appraise our leasehold and then maintain two rigs in the gas condensate area for the remainder of the year. The Eagle Ford is one of our most profitable programs, and our acreage position provides significant future drilling opportunities."

Smolik noted that the company sees the Eagle Ford as "a key source of reserve and production growth" for a number of years, and added that EPEP intends to ramp up activity in the region in 2011.

El Paso recently completed two additional wells in the gas condensate area of the trend and one well in the dry gas area. The gas condensate wells are liquids rich, according to the company, with the gas streams from these wells testing approximately 1,350 Btu per standard cf.

The Hixon 4H well tested at an average rate of 2.1 MMcf/d of gas and 765 b/d of 53.5 API gravity condensate on a 23/64-inch choke with 1,811 pounds of flowing casing pressure. The well was drilled to a vertical depth of approximately 9,900 feet with a 5,000-foot horizontal lateral.

The Hixon 2H well tested at an average rate of 1.6 MMcf/d of gas and 584 b/d of 53.5 API gravity condensate on a 21/64-inch choke with 1,543 pounds of flowing casing pressure. The well was drilled to a vertical depth of approximately 9,900 feet with a 3,800-foot horizontal lateral.

The Nunley Traylor 1H well, which is located in the dry gas area, tested at an average rate of 6.4 MMcf/d of gas on an 18/64-inch choke with 5,100 pounds of flowing casing pressure. The well was drilled to a vertical depth of approximately 12,600 feet with a 4,000-foot horizontal lateral and completed. Based on engineering analysis, EPEP said this well has the same producing capability as the Briscoe Nunley GU 1H well, which had an initial rate of 8.1 MMcf/d on a 24/64 inch choke with 3,750 pounds of flowing casing pressure.

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