Range Resources Corp. and Equitable Resources said Friday they have equalized their interests in a joint venture to develop the 300,000-acre Nora natural gas field in southwestern Virginia. The companies announced the partnership last month to develop the field, which is located near the Big Sandy field in Kentucky and West Virginia (see Daily GPI, April 17).

Under the joint venture, Range was to pay Equitable $315 million for a joint share in the Nora Field and associated assets. The deal gives each company an equal interest in about 1,600 producing wells, undrilled acreage and a gathering system. A second closing covering the remainder of the properties and gathering assets is expected to occur after the remaining outstanding consents are obtained.

Under the joint development plan, Equitable will continue to operate the producing wells, manage the drilling operations of all future coalbed methane (CBM) wells and manage the gathering system. Range will oversee the drilling of formations below the CBM formation, including the tight gas sand formations, shales and deeper formations.

Given the size of the field, Range said there is potential to drill nearly 6,000 additional CBM wells and tight gas sand wells. In addition, both companies believe there is significant shale gas potential at Nora.

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