This well has been plugged back to a depth of 2,400ft, existing casing has been removed to a depth of 1,529ft and the well bore has been open-hole logged using logging and testing technology provided by Baker Hughes.

Although analysis by the service company and Mesa’s technical team is ongoing, early reports confirm that the Marcellus zone is highly prospective as are a number of stacked shale zones above the Marcellus, all of which, including the Marcellus, are collectively referred to as the Hamilton Group. The Onondaga, a limestone zone below the Marcellus, also appears to be prospective and is a zone that could lend itself to horizontal drilling at a future date, the company said.

Randy Griffin, CEO of Mesa, said: “The shales in western New York differ from those in Pennsylvania and West Virginia in that the series of stacked shales known as the Hamilton Group is not present further south in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

“The stacked shales of the Hamilton Group above the Marcellus create an engineering challenge but also provide significant additional opportunity for development of natural gas reserves in the region.”

Mr Griffin added: “A number of basins around the country with these same characteristics have proven to be highly productive once the appropriate completion techniques have been perfected. I am confident that our technical team, in conjunction with strong service company participation and the application of leading edge technology, will be able to develop the best completion techniques in short order.”