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Acquired 40,000 acres with Marcellus shale potential in 2 deals in Washington & Greene counties, PA, and Marshall Co., WV.

Pittsburg-based CNX Gas Corp. (NYSE: CXG) has acquired nearly 40,000 acres having Marcellus shale potential in two separate transactions for an undisclosed price, raising its interest in the Marcellus to 230,000 acres. In the first transaction, CNX Gas acquire 20,000 largely contiguous acres from NiSource Energy Ventures LLC, a subsidiary of Columbia Energy Group, in Washington and Greene counties, Pennsylvania, and in Marshall County, West Virginia. J. Brett Harvey, CNX Gas chairman and chief executive, says, "It is unusual in Appalachia to be able to lease such a large parcel from a single lessor. We are excited about this acreage because it is in close proximity to our existing Marcellus shale program, which has been very successful in its early stages." In the second transaction, CNX Gas has acquired 20,000 acres from its majority owner, Consol Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX). These acres, though not contiguous, are generally near Consol's coal operations in Washington and Greene counties, Pennsylvania, and in Marshall, Monongalia and Wetzel counties, West Virginia. Harvey adds, "The acres in the second transaction, though somewhat scattered, will significantly improve our footprint in what we believe is a key area for the future growth of CNX Gas. When combined with the acres from the first transaction, they have the potential to provide CNX Gas with many hundreds of additional Marcellus shale drilling sites in an area where we have averaged about 3.5 billion cubic feet in proved reserves per horizontal well for each of the first eight wells drilled. He says results of micro-seismic data analysis have enabled CNX Gas to begin utilizing 40-acre well spacing for the horizontal Marcellus program.