By Sarah Tincher, Energy Reporter

EQT Corp. has forecasted its 2016 capital expenditure (CAPEX) to reach $1 billion, including $820 million for well development, according to a Dec. 7 announcement.

EQT, a major natural gas producer for the Appalachian Basin, plans to drill 72 Marcellus wells with an average lateral length of 7,000 feet in 2016. The Pittsburgh-based company also plans to drill five deep Utica wells with an average lateral length of 5,200 feet in the same year.

All of the planned Marcellus wells will be “on multi-well pads to maximize operational efficiency and well economics,” the company stated.

The company’s CAPEX forecast excludes business development, land acquisitions and Midstream capital associated with planned asset dropdowns in the first half of 2016. The figure also excludes CAPEX for EQT Midstream Partners, which is one of the partnering companies behind the proposed 301-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline project.