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Calgary, Alberta-based Enerplus Resources Fund (aka Enerplus) (TSX: ERF.UN)(NYSE: ERF) is Canada's initial entry into the oil and gas royalty trust business. It's 2009, production was 91,000 BOE/day (Barrel of Oil Equivalent). This was made up of 58% natural gas and 42% crude oil and natural gas. Its U.S. operational arm is Enerplus Resources USA, based in Denver, Colorado.

In August, 2009, Enerplus announced that it had made a strategic investment through acquiring a 30% interest in Chief Oil and Gas' leasehold prospective for Marcellus shale. The deal was to close in September, 2009.

According to a February, 2010 Enerplus update, the company had spent over $500 million to acquire an average 23.6% working interest in the 126,000 net acres in the Chief Oil and Gas strategic alliance. Natgas production on the acreage was expected to grow from 2.1 Mmcfe/d at the end of 2009 to over 18 Mmcfe/d by the end of 2010. At the close of 2009, 12 wells had been drilled in the alliance and 5 completed. Drilling was preceding at a somewhat restrained pace pending availability of gathering pipeline capacity which was to come online during the second quarter of 2010 in two of the partner's main operating areas: Lycoming Co., PA and Marshall Co., WV.

As its share in the alliance, Enerplus owned a percentage of 43 wells drilled in 2009. At year-end, 11 of these wells were on production, 22 remained to be completed, and 10 more were awaiting tie-in. 4 rigs were working the play with a fifth one expected by the second quarter of 2010. The company was planning to complete 12 gross wells during the first quarter of 2010 and tie-in 8 additional ones. The cost per well was running $4.6 million; however, the company expected additional cost savings through the use of pad drilling. The company had added 10,000 acres to its leasehold since joining with Chief Oil and Gas in September, 2009, and it continued to swap out acreage and consolidate position.

In August, 2010, Enerplus was found with partners to be holding 7,000 acres in Centre County, PA and planning to drill north of the Borough of Snow Shoe. It was to be the company's first drilling project in Pennsylvania. The company had hired Dawson Geophysical to handle seismic testing.

  • Dan Larson is an External Affairs Adviser to Enerplus.
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