In the wet gas area, the Company is focused on a 270 well development program in the Majorsville area where the initial results indicate higher liquids content and initial production rates than expected. The contribution of condensate and NGLs results in a realized price of over $7 per wellhead Mcf. A second development area called Normantown is being delineated with over 200 planned well locations.
In 2013, the JV expects to drill 140 wells with 60 percent in the wet gas area and to increase lateral lengths to an average of 5,500 feet. The increased lateral lengths will contribute to higher well EURs and a reduction in cost per lateral foot completed. The rig count for 2013 is expected to build up to six in the wet gas area while remaining at two in the dry gas area where the focus is on the extremely productive and high net revenue interest (NRI) acreage in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Deepwater Gulf of Mexico
The Deepwater Gulf of Mexico continues to be a strong contributor to the Company's performance. With the recent discovery at Big Bend and successful appraisal at Gunflint, Noble Energy now has two new major projects, both expected to be sanctioned for development in 2013.The Galapagos project continues to outperform expectations. The three well project was brought online in June at rates 40 percent above initial estimates and has a before tax net present value of $1.4 billion. The recent discovery at Big Bend in the Rio Grande area discovered oil in excellent reservoir comparable to Galapagos and has a P75-P25 gross resource range of 30 to 65 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBoe). Troubadour, an adjacent Rio Grande prospect that has been de-risked by the success at Big Bend, has a pre-drill P75-P25 gross resource range of 20 to 60 MMBoe. Noble Energy has an average working interest of 70 percent between Big Bend and Troubadour and development will likely be via a high rate multi-well subsea tieback similar to Galapagos. After the recent appraisal well at Gunflint, the estimated P75-P25 gross resource range is 90 to 325 MMBoe, which includes an untested Lower Miocene objective. A second appraisal well is planned to spud in January 2013 and development pre-FEED work is underway. Initial production is expected by late 2015 as a subsea tieback or by 2017 as a standalone facility. Looking forward, the Company will mature its significant prospect inventory and execute an exploration program balanced between low-risk amplitude prospects and high-impact subsalt prospects. By the end of 2013, the first of three subsalt prospects in the Aleutians area is scheduled to be tested. The combined gross mean resource of these prospects is 339 MMBoe. A second focus area in Mississippi Canyon is scheduled for drilling to begin in 2014 and contains five significant prospects with a combined gross mean resource of 673 MMBoe.