ECA's exploration strategy is focused on high reward exploration opportunities within the Company's main operating areas (Eastern, Western, New Zealand). Using technology, knowledge and experience, we selectively engage in exploration projects that have large upside production potential. Once a play of significant potential is proven, a development strategy is devised to exploit the resource to its fullest extent. With over 40 years' experience in the oil and gas industry's most mature region, the century-old Appalachian Basin, ECA has the personnel and expertise to exploit and capture the Basin's many oil and gas plays. A long-standing development priority for the Company has been the proven shallow Mississippian formations of southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. These geologically known, low risk formations are one major component of ECA's Appalachian reserve base. Expanding beyond the development threshold to prove new reserves and identify new development sites, ECA drills step-out wells in fringe development areas in order to extend known productive reservoirs and to exploit slightly deeper but more often prolific Appalachian reservoirs such as the Upper Devonian Elk play of western Pennsylvania. The Company has a long proven track record with these types of reservoirs in the Appalachian Basin, and continues to demonstrate high levels of success in this critically important phase of oil and gas development. 'Recompletion' of proven reservoirs within existing ECA producing wells is another important operational component and profit center. With its numerous pay zones, the Appalachian Basin has long offered excellent behind-pipe opportunities. This strategy favors companies like ECA, which operate thousands of wells across the Basin. The finding costs associated with new recompletion reserves have proven them to be extremely cost-effective procedures. With infrastructure and operational systems already in place, recompletion/rework opportunities are bright for ECA in the Appalachian Basin. In south Texas, the Company is moving to appraise and exploit its recent discoveries in the deep Wilcox and moderate-depth Frio-Cook Mountain formations, including expanded leasing of associated prospect acreage and farm-outs. And in New Zealand, ECA recently proved a new discovery field that is reviving exploitation of a long-produced North Island oil province - the Taranaki Basin.
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