COMMODITY / ENERGY BRIEFS

COMMODITY / ENERGY BRIEFS

COALITION DRILLS

HORIZONTAL OIL WELL

HOUGHTON, Mich. - A coalition of industry and two universities said it drilled a new oil well in Crystal Field that is producing 20 times the barrels of crude of any other well in the area.

The new well, in the Dundee Formation in Montcalm County, was drilled horizontally. The consortium said the new and more expensive drilling method can produce greater quantities of oil than a traditional vertical well because it reaches more of the reservoir.

The project's leaders hope the new method can tap into what they believe are significant remaining oil reservoirs in Crystal Field.

The consortium is headed by Michigan Tech and also includes Western Michigan University and Cronus Development Corp. of Traverse City.

GAS-COMPRESSOR FIRMS

ANNOUNCE MERGER PLAN

NEW YORK - Western Resources Inc. announced that its Astra Resources unit will merge with Hanover Compressor Co. in a stock transaction valued at $55 million.

The company said upon completion of the merger, Astra Resources will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Hanover. Western Resources will obtain about 20 percent equity interest in Hanover.

Western Resources said Astra's natural-gas compressor fleet, comprised of large-horsepower units, complements Hanover's small-horsepower compressor fleet.