Newfield, Hess dive into the Marcellus

Houston’s Newfield Exploration Co. said it is joining up with Hess Corp. to explore up to 140,000 acres in the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania.
Financial terms of the JV weren’t released, but the firms will be working primarily in Susquehanna and Wayne Counties, Pennsylvania. Newfield will operate the new venture with each company having a 50 percent interest.
“Today, with substantially all of our acreage held-by-production in the Woodford Shale, it’s a great time for us to enter an important new focus area and apply our expertise to a similar play of scale,” said Lee K. Boothby, Newfield President and CEO in a statement.
Newfield entered the Woodford Shale in 2003 and built up 165,000 acres. The company has drilled about 300 horizontal wells and has production capacity of nearly 300 MMcfe/d.
The 2009 portion of Newfield’s Marcellus Shale activities will be funded by the company’s existing $1.45 billion capital budget. Drilling operations are not expected to start until 2010.
Hess is taking its expericen from North Dakota’s Bakken play to work in the Marcellus, said Greg Hill, Hess’ president of exploration and production.
“Hess has an established technical capability in horizontal, multi-stage fractured wells and we have a reputation for sound environmental operating practices,” he said in a statement.
(BTW Dow Jones has a nice piece on Southwestern Energy’s shale exploits).