Hundreds of Miles of Ohio Wells Drilled in 2012
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- A report issued by the Ohio Oil and Gas Association shows that nearly 670 miles of wells were drilled across Ohio last year, and its likely that number will be even higher in 2013 as the Utica shale is further developed.
"I think the activity is going to slowly and steadily increase with success," observed Peter MacKenzie, director of operations for the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, who presented the findings at the organization's recent annual winter meeting in Columbus.
The DeBrosse Memorial Report: 2012 Oil and Gas Activity in Ohio was posted on the association’s website this week. It offers a glimpse into drilling trends in the Utica since the first wells were drilled in 2010. The report includes horizontal wells that target the Utica and vertical-only wells that tap into other rock formations below Ohio.
Last year, oil and gas operators drilled 3,534,675 feet, or 669 miles, of vertical and horizontal wells in the state. In 2010, the industry drilled 1,718,768 feet, or 325 miles, and in 2011, operators drilled 1,994,203 feet, or 377 miles.
"We're watching the slow development of the play," MacKenzie said. "I've always said that this isn't something to rush.
The Utica play continues to be defined, MacKenzie said, and it's still in the exploratory phase. Wells with a single lateral are usually treated as exploratory wells, while those with more than one lateral are considered in development.
"There are parts of the state in development mode," MacKenzie said. "Anytime where you have a well pad with four or five laterals on it, that's development."
According to the report, 54% of the wells were in development, 46% exploratory.
MacKenzie noted that the play would be determined by several factors, including the price of oil and natural gas, geology and demand in the market. "If the price increases, then the play area increases,” he noted. “If the price decreases and taxes increases, then the play area decreases."
Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp., the most active and aggressive driller in the Utica, drilled 158 wells last year that accounted for 1,609,781 feet, or about 304 miles, the report shows.
The second-largest driller in terms of depth and lengths was EnerVest Operating LLC with 184,008 feet. The third-best was Oxford Oil Co., based in Zanesville, with 127,579 feet.
Knox Energy Inc. posted 97,331 feet drilled in 2012; Anadarko E&P Onshore drilled 88,702 feet; Antero Resources Appalachia, 77,289 feet; CNX Gas Co., 67,638 feet; and Hess Ohio with 62,763 feet.
The report showed that 1,619 vertical and horizontal drilling and plug permits were issued last year versus 1,533 issued in 2011 and 1,512 issued in 2010.
In 2012, energy companies drilled and completed 625 new wells, 424 of which are in the Utica, the report said. Utica wells accounted for 42% of all wells drilled throughout the state last year, the report showed.
Among the most active companies drilling in 2012 were Chesapeake with 158 wells; Oxford, 69; Knox, 40; EnerVest, 32; Northwood Energy Corp., 18; Anadarko 11; MFC Drilling, 11; and PDC Energy, 11.
Other formations drilled last year include the Trenton with 133 wells; the Berea sandstone with 55; the Knox formation with 74; the Clinton sandstone with 185; the Oriskany saw 30 wells drilled; the Ohio shale, 57; while five wells were drilled in the Marcellus shale.
Another 37 wells were drilled in various underground formations last year, the report said.
Carroll County saw the most wells drilled with 81, accounting for 989,218 feet. Noble was second with 51, Licking was third best with 45 completed, Stark recorded 44, and Knox County reported 40.
Columbiana County reported 39 wells were drilled in 2012. However, the county ranks second in terms of footage drilled with 285,976 feet of well length and depth.
Mahoning County ranked 10th last year in terms of the number of feet drilled with 110,843 feet of vertical and lateral legs.
The county also ranked second in terms of the deepest wells drilled in the state.
D&L Energy Inc., the company indicted earlier this month for violating the Clean Water Act and whose disposal well was linked to a series of earthquakes in the Mahoning Valley in 2011, drilled a disposal well to depth of 10,088 feet the report said. D&L also drilled a 9,038-foot vertical well in Trumbull County last year.
Last month, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources revoked all of D&L's operating permits.
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