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CONSOL Energy Announces Operations Update

PITTSBURGH, July 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX), the leading diversified fuel producer in the Eastern U.S., is providing an operations update for the quarter ended June 30, 2013.

"Our operations performed in line this quarter," commented J. Brett Harvey, chairman and chief executive officer. "In our Gas Division, we drilled a successful Upper Devonian Shale exploration well on our first attempt."

Specifically, CONSOL Energy drilled its Upper Devonian Shale well in the Burkett formation, which is the deepest of numerous Upper Devonian shales. The Burkett formation is the only Upper Devonian shale which falls within the ownership of the joint venture with Noble Energy. CONSOL chose to drill its first well in the Burkett in order to test the potential interaction with deeper Marcellus Shale wells and to benefit from jointly-owned surface infrastructure. CONSOL's future Upper Devonian Shale wells will include wells drilled in 100% CONSOL-owned strata.

The company believes that while all of its acreage in Southwestern Pa. and Northern W.Va. has the potential for the existence of the Upper Devonian Shale formation, our initial geologic estimates show that we control 300,000 acres with commercial Upper Devonian Shale potential.

The company's first Upper Devonian Shale well, the NV 39F, is located in Greene County, Pa. The joint venture well had an average casing pressure of 2,173 psi on a 42/64 inch choke and was drilled to a total measured depth of 12,490 feet, with a lateral length of 4,889 feet. The well was completed in 17 stages. The well was fractured together with five underlying Marcellus Shale wells and has been flowing at a sustained rate of approximately 3.0 MMcfd. Importantly, the NV 39F well seems to have concentrated and contained the fracture treatments in the Marcellus Shale wells below; specifically, the NV 39B and NV 39C Marcellus Shale wells, which are showing strong early results flowing at approximately 9.0 MMcfd and 10.0 MMcfd, respectively.

Overall, CONSOL's Gas Division produced 38.6 Bcfe for the 2013 second quarter or 3% more than the 37.3 Bcfe produced in the 2012 second quarter, which is consistent with guidance provided last quarter. The 2013 second quarter production included 418 MMcf per day of natural gas, 335 barrels per day of oil/condensates, and 655 barrels per day of NGLs (all net to CONSOL).  As we expected, our 2013 well completions will be weighted toward the back-end of the year.  

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