Independent oil and natural gas company Quicksilver Resources Inc said it expects average daily production in 2010 to grow at least 20 percent over the projected 2009 level.

Quicksilver said it is on pace to produce more than 325 million cubic feet of natural gas equivalent (mmcfe) per day for 2009.

The company said it is currently producing 340 mmcfe per day compared with its third-quarter production of 311 mmcfe per day, adding that the growth in volumes was driven by continued development of its Barnett shale assets in the Fort Worth Basin in Texas.

Improved pricing for natural gas liquids coupled with lower service costs for pressure pumping have significantly enhanced our opportunities to begin accelerating completion activities in the southern portion of the basin, Chief Executive Glenn Darden said in a statement.

Quicksilver also said it added new derivative contracts covering a portion of its expected natural gas production for calendar 2010 through 2012 and natural gas liquids production for 2010.

Shares of the company closed at $12.20 Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. They rose 2.4 percent Monday morning, before market open.

 (Reporting by Arup Roychoudhury in Bangalore; Editing by Aradhana Aravindan)