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CONSOL Energy Announces Operations Update; Gas Division Sets Drilling Record With Rotary Steering Tool; Coal Exports Drive First Quarter Sales Above Guidance

Gas Division Operations

During the first quarter, CONSOL Energy had a strong start to its 2013 drilling program by drilling 14 horizontal Shale wells: 12 Marcellus Shale and 2 Utica Shale wells. The average drilled lateral length for the Marcellus Shale wells and the Utica Shale wells was 5,838 feet and 6,111 feet, respectively. CONSOL initiated completion operations on 17 wells consisting of 274 frac stages during the quarter. In the Marcellus Shale, 13 wells, consisting of 207 frac stages on two separate well pads, were completed, or are currently underway. In the Utica Shale, four wells, consisting of 67 frac stages, were completed on three separate pads in the first quarter. Production results for the new drilling and completion activity is just getting underway. CONSOL expects to report results in subsequent quarterly releases.

The following significant events are expected to take place in the second quarter: completion activities on CONSOL's first horizontal Upper Devonian well, the NV 39F; multiple productive wells turned-into-line at North Nineveh in Southwest Pa.; the completion of an additional multi-well pad in Central Pa.; drilling a six-well pad in the Philippi Field in West Virginia; and CONSOL's first Utica Shale multi-well pad that is located in Mahoning County, OH.  

Marcellus Shale Dry Gas (CONSOL Energy-operated):

Southwest Pa.: During the first quarter, CONSOL drilled seven wells: the fourth and final well on the MOR 20 pad in the Morris Field in Greene County and the final six wells on the NV 36 pad in Washington County. The seven wells ranged in lateral lengths from 2,843 feet to 8,006 feet. Of particular note, 99.97% of the combined lateral lengths of the seven wells were drilled within a 10 foot target zone, within the lower Marcellus Shale. Completion and flowback results from the North Nineveh Field, which extends the successful Nineveh Field northward into Washington County, Pa., have started to come in at the end of the first quarter. Early results indicate that the North Nineveh wells will be as productive, if not more productive, per foot of lateral compared to the original Nineveh wells, which average 1.1 MMcf/d per 1000 feet of lateral during their first 60 days of production and 1.7 Bcfe expected ultimate recovery per 1000 feet of lateral. Also, some of the North Nineveh wells have the added advantage of minor condensate production. During the first quarter, five wells and 61 stages were completed on the NV 41 pad, and the eight-well NV 42 pad with 146 stages is currently underway. All of the North Nineveh Field wells will be immediately turned into the sales pipeline upon completion of flowback. Also, at least one frac crew will be continuously working in North Nineveh during the first three quarters of 2013 to complete the backlog of 5 pads from 2012, which were delayed due to obtaining centralized impoundment permits during the second half of 2012. 

In Southwest Pa., CONSOL has one horizontal rig operating and plans to drill an additional 16 wells throughout the remainder of 2013. 

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