Topaz Resources, Inc., an independent oil and gas company focusing on production, acquisitions and developmental drilling opportunities within proven producing areas of north, central and west Texas, recently announced an increase in activity in the Barnett shale formation in north and central Texas.

According to Baker Hughes Incorporated data, the number of horizontal natural gas rigs has jumped to its highest level over the last 2½ years. This increase is primarily a result of all of the horizontal drilling being done to produce natural gas from shale. Horizontal rigs currently comprise approximately 64 percent of the natural gas rig count and that vertical and directional rigs account for 20 percent and 16 percent of this total, respectively, according to the Energy Information Administration’s weekly natural gas update.

Ted Munden, president and chief executive officer of Topaz Resources, stated, “This increased activity has been expected. The increase in natural gas prices from below $3.00 per Mcf during 2009 to over $4.50 with projections of $5.00 to $6.00 per Mcf in the fourth quarter of 2010 and 2011 has been a catalyst to increased drilling in the Barnet shale formation, which has become one of the biggest natural gas plays and drilling booms in the continental United States and the largest producing gas field in Texas.”

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