Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. announced Tuesday that its gross production in the Marcellus Shale has averaged more than 700 MMcf/d for the last two weeks, hitting a record 752 MMcf for one 24-hour period.
“This production increase was driven by a coordinated effort to manage field line pressures, rather than new well connections,” said CEO Dan Dinges. “Our infrastructure provider, Williams Partners LP, recently completed a series of projects and upgrades that improved the pipeline system operating efficiency, allowing for increased production.”
Cabot spokesman George Stark told NGI’s Shale Daily on Wednesday that the new infrastructure included compressor stations and pieces of pipeline throughout the gas field. Williams’ Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line, or Transco, and Tennessee Gas Pipeline service the area. Williams Partners is majority owned by Tulsa-based Williams (see related story).
According to a biannual production report issued in late August by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Houston-based Cabot recorded 107.7 Bcf of natural gas production during the first half of 2012, trailing only Chesapeake Energy Corp. (see Shale Daily, Aug. 27). Cabot also had some of the top producing wells in the state, all in Susquehanna County.
“We had 14 of the top 20 producing wells in the first half of 2012,” Dinges said. “Since the start of our efforts in Pennsylvania, our cumulative production has reached 354 Bcf with only 145 producing horizontal wells.”
The Williams pipeline partnership, which frequently teams with Cabot in the Northeast, is 75% owner, builder and operator for the proposed 121-mile Constitution Pipeline, which would start in Susquehanna County, traverse New York State and end near Albany, NY, with interconnections to the Iroquois Gas Transmission and Tennessee systems in Schoharie County, NY (see Shale Daily, April 27, Feb. 22).
Cabot owns the remaining quarter-stake and is Constitution’s anchor shipper. The producer agreed to transport 500,000 Dth/d on the pipeline, which is in the pre-filing stage with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Southwestern Energy Services Co. has committed to transport 150,000 Dth/d on Constitution, for a total takeaway capacity of 650,000 Dth/d.
Stark said Cabot was not curtailing any plans to drill unconventional wells in Pennsylvania, despite a sharp decline in the number of applications to drill there (see Shale Daily, Sept. 4). He said the company was operating with five drilling rigs, just as it had started 2012, and planned to enter 2013 with the same number.
“We normally are doing our drilling and our completions as the pipelines are being built,” Stark said. “We try to be very efficient and effective in that notion of ‘one domino after another.’ We’re not changing our efforts to drill the wells we planned to do. Likewise, because we have the ability to put up more than 700 MMcf/d, we actually have the necessary pipeline capacity to get it out to market.
“I know a lot of other companies are sitting on a much higher level of production. We’re not really faced with that problem. We’re not spudding fewer wells or reducing the number of rigs operating. We’re continuing, if you will, full bore. I think what other are companies doing is making a difference to an extent, but we’re just in a different spot and in a different situation.”
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