Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. says that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Pennsylvania Services Corporation (PSC), has acquired the 50% interest in its natural gas exploration and production joint venture, Pennsylvania Land Resources Holding Company, LLC (PLR), owned by EDF Trading Resources, LLC (EDFTR). The $126 million transaction, which makes PSC the sole owner and operator of the venture, allows Alpha to expand and control a highly economic natural gas development program composed of over 25,000 net acres and associated infrastructure in the Marcellus Shale.
EDFTR and PSC initially formed the PLR joint venture in May 2013 to exploit a large, concentrated Marcellus Shale gas resource in Greene County, Pennsylvania. The concentrated acreage position is considered to be in the 'core of the core' of the Marcellus Shale, one of the most profitable natural gas plays in the United States, and located adjacent to some of the most productive wells in the basin to date. PLR's large, contiguous acreage position will allow efficient development of the resource with long laterals, maximizing both well productivity and returns. Significant existing pipeline capacity located adjacent to or crossing PLR's leased acreage also provides strong transportation optionality.
Brian Sullivan, Alpha's Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, stated, 'We expect drilling on the first pad to begin in the next 30 days, with an estimated 4 wells completed by the first quarter of next year.' PLR's concentrated position when it entered into the joint venture in May 2013 was 12,000 net acres, which has since more than doubled. Additionally, two well pads have been constructed with a total of 14 permitted wells. 'Our current leasehold position gives us an immediate drilling inventory of more than 50 locations,' Sullivan added.