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CONSOL Energy Announces Operational And Financial Update; Company Expects To Report A Third Quarter Loss Due To Combination Of Marketing And Operational Issues; Gas Division Reports Exploratory Success In Utica Shale

Noble Energy has three horizontal rigs drilling. The company is moving to the elimination of using a separate rig for the top hole drilling as well as batch drilling on the pads. Noble Energy believes that this method of drilling will be more efficient and result in fewer rig moves over time, eliminating a significant amount of road traffic and reducing costs.

Noble Energy believes that they will TD 26 - 28 wells this year, in spite of moving to batch drilling.

Ohio Utica Shale (CONSOL Energy-operated):

In the Utica Shale joint venture with Hess Corporation, CONSOL Energy turned its first well, the TUSC 3A (17 stages, 4,915' completed lateral), online in the western portion of Tuscarawas County, Ohio. The well produced at a peak daily rate of 400 bbls of light crude, before it was shut in for dissipation of frac fluids and to be equipped with artificial lift at the end of May.  The shut in lasted for approximately 10 weeks before being brought back online in early September and now has cumulative production of over 7,800 barrels of crude.

During the third quarter, CONSOL Energy drilled four horizontal wells to TD.  The NBL 1A in Noble County was drilled with a cased lateral length of 4,306', the PORT 2A in Portage County was drilled with a cased lateral length of 4,762', the MAHN 2A in Mahoning County was drilled with a cased lateral length of 2,735', and the NBL 16A in Noble County was drilled with a cased lateral length of 4,793'.  Completion operations are underway on all four wells.

The NBL 1A was completed in 14 stages over a completed lateral length of 4,009'.  Flowback operations are just beginning following a 30-day shut in for dissipation period.  The PORT 2A was completed in 16 stages over a completed lateral length of 4,610'.  Flowback operations there are underway and the well will then be shut in for a 60-day dissipation period.  The MAHN 2A and NBL 16A are expected to be fracture stimulated by the middle of the fourth quarter.  

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