Gastar Exploration reported that production from its Marshall County, West Virginia operations resumed Wednesday night at reduced rates following a 4-1/2 day shut-in that resulted from the rupture Saturday morning of a natural gas pipeline operated by Williams Partners.

Gastar is currently producing at a gross rate of approximately 50 million cubic feet per day of natural gas (MMcf/day) from the Marcellus Shale formation, which is approximately 19% less than average daily production volumes in March.

Gas production is now flowing into a larger pipeline Williams operates to the south of Gastar’s acreage that feeds the Ft. Beeler station.

Williams has informed the Company that it expects to complete repairs and resume normal pipeline operations in approximately three weeks.

Separately, Gastar announced that drilling operations on its first Utica/Point Pleasant well began on April 3, 2014. The company expects to drill the Simms U-5H to a total vertical depth of 11,100 feet and drill a 4,200-foot lateral, followed by a 21-stage fracture stimulation. Assuming successful completion of this well, first sales are expected in July 2014.