Noble Energy Inc. is considering a move to larger offices in the Marcellus Shale to accommodate its growing presence in the play.

Stacey Brodak, spokeswoman for the Houston-based company, told NGI’s Shale Daily on Friday that Noble would focus on possibly finding larger offices in Washington County, PA. The company currently has its Marcellus offices in the Stealth Technology Center building, which is in the Southpointe business park in Washington County’s Cecil Township, near Canonsburg.

“The Marcellus has become a core area of operation for Noble Energy,” Brodak said. “As a result, we have quickly ramped up to nearly 100 employees in our current office in Southpointe during 2012. Approximately 85% of those positions have been hired from the local area as new positions.

“While many factors can affect our growth, we currently anticipate increasing our staff significantly over the next few years. As a result, we are considering proposals for a permanent office location from throughout Washington County. We are excited about our future in the Marcellus and expect to be a contributor to the local and regional economy for decades to come.”

The Pittsburgh Business Times said Noble had solicited bids from local landlords and developers for new offices.

Earlier this month, Noble said it plans to spend $750 million to support the drilling of 140 wells with its joint venture partner in the Marcellus, Pittsburgh-based Consol Energy Inc. (see Shale Daily, Dec. 11; Oct. 5, 2011). That investment will target 85 operated wells in liquids-rich areas of the play. Noble added that the rig count in the wet gas areas will increase to six, while two rigs will continue to work in the dry gas areas.

In August 2011, Noble agreed to purchase a 50% interest in Consol’s 628,000 net undeveloped acres in the Marcellus for nearly $1 billion, and a 50% stake in Consol’s existing Marcellus production and infrastructure for nearly $232 million (see Shale Daily, Aug. 19, 2011). Noble also agreed to fund about $2.1 billion of Consol’s future drilling and completions costs for an eight-year period.