Southwestern buys Exco leases


Times-Shamrock Writer

Southwestern Energy Production Co. has purchased all of Exco Resources’ oil and gas leases in Susquehanna, Wyoming and Lackawanna counties, according to an assignment of the holdings recorded in the Lackawanna County recorder of deeds office this week.

The two Marcellus Shale drilling companies signed a purchase agreement for the leases and mineral interests on Dec. 21.

An attorney for Southwestern confirmed a transaction between the companies, but did not know the details of the sale, including the purchase price and the total acreage involved.

Prior to the sale, Exco held more than 25,000 acres in Lackawanna County, much of it signed with the Greenfield Gas Group. The company drilled the first and only test well in the county in 2009, but later let 26 other drilling permits expire without any activity.

Last month, the company finalized the purchase of more than 56,000 acres in Lycoming and Sullivan counties from Chief Oil and Gas in an area closer to where Exco’s recent Marcellus Shale activity had been focused in central Pennsylvania.

As Exco’s activity in Lackawanna County dwindled, Southwestern increased its presence here.

Southwestern is seeking conditional use approval to drill an exploratory well in Benton Twp. Company representatives have said that if the shale formation is promising there, they plan to return to the pad to complete six horizontal wells.

A drilling permit for the Southwestern test well is pending from the Department of Environmental Protection. The company already holds an erosion control permit for the project.

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