Newfield Exploration Co. and Hess Corp. plan to start drilling in 2010 on a joint exploration venture to exploit gas in Devonian Marcellus shale in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Newfield will operate the 50-50 venture, which covers as much as 140,000 gross acres in Susquehanna and Wayne counties.
Newfield noted it has gained shale gas experience in the Woodford shale in Oklahoma’s Arkoma basin since 2003. It now has nearly 300 MMcfd of gas equivalent gross operated production capacity in 300 horizontal wells, and its 165,000 net acres are almost entirely held by production.
Hess has built unconventional oil expertise in the Williston basin Bakken oil play in North Dakota with horizontal wells and multistage fracturing. The two companies expect to finalize agreements in coming weeks for the Appalachian basin program.