Noble Energy has completed the longest operated laterals the company has ever drilled in the Marcellus shale. In a fourth-quarter earnings release Noble said the laterals, which averaged over 10,000 ft in length, were drilled from the SHL-17 pad in the Majorsville wet-gas area in Marshall County, W.Va. Production from the pad commenced in December at nearly 40 MMcfed.
The company is also seeing promising early results from the use of reduced stage and cluster spacing techniques in the dry-gas area of its Marcellus shale acreage. Initial production rates averaged 12 MMcfd for wells brought online, with peak rates as high as 18 MMcfd.
Noble has also increased its contiguous acreage position in the Marcellus shale by agreeing to purchase a 50% working interest in roughly 90,000 gross acres in West Virginia. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. The acreage holds an estimated 1.8 tcfe of net risked resource and includes 350 identified locations. Drilling is expected to begin in 2015.
Noble’s Marcellus shale production averaged 196 MMcfd during the fourth quarter, up 61% from the same period a year ago. A total of 42 wells were drilled and 19 wells initiated production.