A drilling team has focused on increasing lateral lengths in the Marcellus Shale over the past couple of years. The team reevaluated prior drilling processes that had been in place for 7,000’ to 9,000’ laterals in order to determine what operational practices would need to be revised in order to drill and case laterals in excess of 18,000’. We focused on rig upgrades, directional tools, drilling fluids, casing floatation and other best practices. We even implemented field trials on various lateral lengths in efforts to evaluate extended lateral practices prior to drilling the first 18,000’ lateral.

Over the twelve month period of revised processes and upgrades, we drilled thirty-four horizontal wells each exceeding 12,000’ in lateral length – this included two wells in excess of 17,850’ with one exceeding 18,000', which represented the first drilled Marcellus lateral to exceed that length. This paper covers the details of those processes and upgrades that led to dozens of successful Marcellus horizontal wells with extended lateral lengths.

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