El Paso Exploration & Production (E&P) Co.’s second Eagle Ford Shale well tested at a flow rate and liquids content at the high end of the company’s expectations, the El Paso Corp. subsidiary said Monday.

Over a 24-hour period, the Hixon 1H well in La Salle County, TX, tested at an average rate of 2.9 MMcf/d of natural gas and 721 b/d of condensate, the company said. The well was tested on a 24/64-inch choke with 1,822 pounds per square inch of flowing casing pressure. On a six to one oil/gas equivalent basis, the well tested at 7.2 MMcfe/d, said the E&P unit. The gas is liquids rich, said the company, and tested at 1,368 Btu/cubic foot.

The well was drilled to a vertical depth of about 9,950 feet with a 4,100-foot horizontal lateral. The well was completed with a 14-stage fracture stimulation treatment.

El Paso E&P President Brent Smolik said the Hixon well “tested at the high end of our forecast, and it has a much higher liquids content, which further enhances our economics. We are encouraged with the results, and we are accelerating our Eagle Ford program with the addition of a second rig, which will operate in the area where this well was drilled.”

El Paso holds leases in three key areas of the Eagle Ford play, with a total of around 138,000 net acres. The Hixon 1H well is in the northernmost of the three areas, where El Paso has about 73,000 net acres.

According to Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co.’s latest weekly rig report, which was published Monday, total drilling activity in the Eagle Ford Shale is up 41% in 1Q2010 versus 4Q2009, which is the highest of the 12 regions tracked. Non-Texas Gulf Coast drilling was up 27% quarter/quarter, while West Texas/New Mexico drilling rose 26% in the period.

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