Wednesday morning, Southwestern Energy announced its total capital investment for 2014 is expected to be approximately $2.3 billion, compared to a projected $2.25 billion result for 2013.

Arkansas’ Fayetteville Shale Play will account for $900 million of that capital investment, the same as 2013.

Steve Mueller, president and CEO of Southwestern Energy, said in Wednesday’s statement, 2014 would be another great year for Southwestern Energy with positions in two world-class natural gas basins, operational strengths and the potential for exploration opportunities.

"In the Fayetteville Shale, our well performance continues to improve, evidenced by a well we recently placed on production at over 12 MMcf per day, and our efficiencies created by our vertical integration are also expected to continue to improve keeping our well costs low," he said.

In 2013, Southwestern Energy has 411 gross operating wells in the Fayetteville Shale with 326 net operating wells.

Next year, the company is projecting 460 to 470 gross operating wells, and 320 to 330 net operating wells, potentially adding four profit producing wells to the Fayetteville Shale.

Southwestern Energy will be digging deeper and sooner in the Fayetteville Shale next year. The average re-entry to re-entry time to drill horizontal wells to total depth will decrease from 6.5 days to 6.2 days in 2014, and the completed well cost is estimated to increase from $2.5 million to $2.6 million with wells being drilled 100 feet deeper.

The Lower Smackover Brown Dense formation in southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana will make up $178 million of the 2014 total capital investment, a $90 million increase from 2013.

The Brown Dense is expected to get eight additional wells for a total of 14 net operating wells in 2014.

Southwestern Energy is targeting total net gas and oil production of 740 to 752 billions of cubic feet equivalent, up approximately 14 percent from the company’s current production projection of 653 to 655 Bcfe for 2013.

Total net production from the Fayetteville Shale in 2014 is expected to be 479 to 484, nearly the same as 2013 projections of 483 to 484 Bcfe.

(Staff writer Michelle Corbet can be reached by email at or by phone at 505-1215.)

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