CONSOL ramps up in its gas division

After selling more gas and coal than it had expected during the recently ended quarter, CONSOL Energy now has signed an agreement for construction of Utica Shale infrastructure in Noble County, the company announced Tuesday.

The company’s gas division, which has drilled three deep wells in Mahoning County, including two in North Jackson and one in Ellsworth Township, produced 17 percent more natural gas than this time last year. Third quarter production included 491 million cubic feet per day of natural gas, 397 barrels per day of oil and condensates and 1,340 barrels per day of natural gas liquids, the company said in a statement to stakeholders on third-quarter results.

“Our gas production growth is beginning to accelerate as we and our Marcellus Shale partner expand the rig count. We now have a record 8 rigs drilling in the Marcellus Shale on our JV acreage. For 2014, we and Noble Energy expect to be operating at least this many rigs,” said J. Brett Harvey, chairman and chief executive officer.

CONSOL on Sept. 20, entered an agreement with Blue Racer Midstream to construct, own and operate gathering pipelines and facilities for Noble County, Ohio. During a public speaking engagement in Youngstown last month, Harry Schurr, general manager for CONSOL’s Utica operations, said the company has identified areas of southeastern Ohio near Gurensey and Noble counties as the Utica Shale “sweet spot.”

Overall, CONSOL drilled 15 horizontal shale wells in the third quarter, including 12 in the Marcellus Shale and three Utica Shale wells, at an average Utica depth of 9,893 feet. CONSOL completed 21 Marcellus Shale wells and three Utica Shale wells in the third quarter.