Seneca Resources Corporation (“Seneca”), the wholly owned exploration and production subsidiary of National Fuel Gas Company (NYSE: NFG) (“National Fuel” or the “Company”) today provided an update on its program to assess the Utica Shale formation, as a second producing horizon underlying much of its Marcellus Shale acreage in western Pennsylvania.
In Forest County, Pa., Seneca has flow tested its first horizontal Utica Shale well at a peak 24-hour rate of 3.9 million cubic feet per day. Initial testing on this well began on Nov. 11, 2012 and lasted for six days. Currently, this well is shut-in while awaiting pipeline infrastructure and is expected to begin production in the second quarter of fiscal 2013. Thus far, Seneca has drilled two horizontal and three vertical exploration wells into the Utica Shale formation. The second horizontal well, located in the Mt. Jewett prospect area in McKean County, Pa., currently has three frac stages complete and the ability to complete additional stages is under evaluation.
“The Utica Shale represents a great opportunity for National Fuel given its presence across a significant portion of our Appalachian acreage,” said David F. Smith, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of National Fuel. “In addition to our second delineation well that was drilled earlier this year in Mt. Jewett, we remain committed to further evaluation of the Utica’s potential. Two additional horizontal wells in Pennsylvania are planned during this fiscal year, one in the Owl’s Nest prospect area of Elk County, and another in the Henderson prospect area of Venango and Mercer counties. These delineation efforts will help us to further understand the extent, the characteristics, and the economics of the Utica across our acreage and the potential of the Utica to add to the value of our already attractive Marcellus Shale footprint.”
National Fuel is an integrated energy company with $5.9 billion in assets comprised of the following four operating segments: Exploration and Production, Pipeline and Storage, Utility, and Energy Marketing. Additional information about National Fuel is available at www.nationalfuelgas.com or through its investor information service at 1-800-334-2188.Certain statements contained herein, including statements identified by the use of the words “anticipates,” “estimates,” “expects,” “forecasts,” “intends,” “plans,” “predicts,” “projects,” “believes,” “seeks,” “will,” “may” and similar expressions, and statements which are other than statements of historical facts, are “forward-looking statements” as defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. The Company’s expectations, beliefs and projections contained herein are expressed in good faith and are believed to have a reasonable basis, but there can be no assurance that such expectations, beliefs or projections will result or be achieved or accomplished. In addition to other factors, the following are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements: factors affecting the Company’s ability to successfully identify, drill for and produce economically viable natural gas and oil reserves, including among others geology, lease availability, title disputes, weather conditions, shortages, delays or unavailability of equipment and services required in drilling operations, insufficient gathering, processing and transportation capacity, the need to obtain governmental approvals and permits, and compliance with environmental laws and regulations; changes in laws, regulations or judicial interpretations to which the Company is subject, including those involving taxes, safety, climate change, other environmental matters, real property, and exploration and production activities such as hydraulic fracturing; changes in the price of natural gas or oil; impairments under the SEC’s full cost ceiling test for natural gas and oil reserves; uncertainty of oil and gas reserve estimates; significant differences between the Company’s projected and actual production levels for natural gas or oil; governmental/regulatory actions, initiatives and proceedings; delays or changes in costs or plans with respect to Company projects or related projects of other companies, including difficulties or delays in obtaining necessary governmental approvals, permits or orders or in obtaining the cooperation of interconnecting facility operators; financial and economic conditions, including the availability of credit, and occurrences affecting the Company’s ability to obtain financing on acceptable terms for working capital, capital expenditures and other investments, including any downgrades in the Company’s credit ratings and changes in interest rates and other capital market conditions; changes in economic conditions, including global, national or regional recessions, and their effect on the demand for, and customers’ ability to pay for, the Company’s products and services; the performance of the Company’s key suppliers counterparties; or economic disruptions or uninsured losses resulting from major accidents, fires, severe weather, natural disasters, terrorist activities, acts of war or cyber attacks. The Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date thereof.