Two Companies Ramp Up Natural Gas Efforts in Arkansas

NOVEMBER 28, 2006 - Posted at 11:14 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Two companies drilling for natural gas in Arkansas say they will increase production in the coming months in the Fayetteville Shale formation.

Southwestern Energy Company officials say the firm will have 19 drilling rigs in opertion by the end of the year, up from 14 as of mid-October.  With the new rigs, officials estimated pulling in 100 million cubic feet of natural gas a day, up from the 70 million cubic feet it now gets.

Chesapeake Energy Corporation, which has mineral rights for more than a million acres in the geographical formation, will expand from three to eight wells in the near future.  The company says it expects to produce 15 million cubic feet of natural gas a day by the end of the year, double its current production.

The Fayetteville Shale formation, which stretches through a large part of Arkansas, is a potentially large natural gas source.  Researchers have said the formation could bring billions of dollars to the state through added jobs and tax revenue.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)