Kittanning-based MDS Energy Development has begun drilling its first horizontal Marcellus Shale wells, the company has announced.
MDS already has drilled the vertical bores for the three wells on its Ambrose pad in East Franklin Township, Armstrong County. Now it is awaiting arrival of a horizontal rig to drill the laterals. The rig is to arrive next week, and the wells are expected to be brought into production sometime next year, the company said.
Up until now, MDS Energy has limited its drilling program to vertical shale gas wells, which cost less to drill, but also produce less gas. The company operates between 40 and 50 vertical wells.
“We have been waiting patiently for the technology and knowledge of the local geology to advance to the point where we felt comfortable deploying our investor’s capital,” said President and CEO Michael D. Snyder in a statement.
“We have completed significant seismic testing and reviewed the results of wells offsetting our acreage position, with positive results. We’ve seen rig efficiency double in the last few years, and hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling contractors now have the knowledge of having completed nearly 10,000 wells here in the Marcellus. With 20 to 30 billion cubic feet of natural gas takeaway and new demand likely to come online in 2016 and 2017, we believe it’s a great time to move forward with our long-awaited horizontal drilling plans.”