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    Southwestern places 106 operated wells in Fayetteville shale in 1Q10

    Southwestern Energy Co., the first company to drill and produce natural gas from the Fayetteville shale and the largest gas producer in the play (gross operated production of nearly 1,330 MMcf/d as of April 25, 2010), placed a total of 106 operated horizontal wells on production in the play, in the first quarter of 2010.

    During this time, the company’s horizontal wells had an average completed well cost of $2.8 million per well, average horizontal lateral length of 4,348 feet and average time to drill to total depth of 12 days from re-entry to re-entry. This compares to an average completed well cost of $3.0 million per well, average horizontal lateral length of 4,303 feet and average time to drill to total depth of 12 days from re-entry to re-entry in 4Q09.

    The company’s wells placed on production during the first quarter of 2010 averaged initial production rates of 3,197 Mcf per day, down 14% from average initial production rates of 3,727 Mcf per day in the fourth quarter of 2009.

    The company has 24 drilling rigs running in its Fayetteville Shale play area, 16 that are capable of drilling horizontal wells and 8 smaller rigs that are used to drill the vertical portion of the wells.

    At April 25, 2010, the company’s midstream segment was gathering approximately 1,473 MMcf per day through 1,217 miles of gathering lines in the Fayetteville Shale play area.

    For the remainder of 2010, Southwestern plans to invest roughly $1.5 billion the Fayetteville, which includes participating in approximately 650 to 680 gross wells, 475 to 500 of which are planned to be company-operated.

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