Drilling Down

Oil Production in Utica Shows Modest Increase

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Oil production in Ohio’s Utica shale is showing a slow ramp up through the first six months of 2017, according to data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The EIA reported Tuesday that wells across the shale play are projected in June to collectively produce 54,807 barrels of oil per day. That’s an improvement of 1,000 barrels per day compared with May.

It’s a reversal of a trend that began in February 2016 after oil prices collapsed and energy companies were forced to reduce production to limit supply and inventory.

In February 2016, the Utica was producing 74,700 barrels of oil per day. Output declined each month thereafter until December when production bottomed out at 44,820 barrels a day, according to EIA data.

Since the beginning of this year, however, oil production across the Utica has inched upward. In January, levels rose to 50,796 barrels and have risen every month since.

Oil production in the Utica peaked in December 2015 at 79,847 barrels per day.

Natural gas production, on the other hand, has continued to steadily rise since energy companies started drilling in Ohio’s Utica in 2011.

In June, the EIA projects that Utica wells should collectively produce 4.431 billion cubic feet of gas per day, an increase of 49 million cubic feet per day versus output in May.

Oil and gas production in the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania and West Virginia is also on the rise, according to EIA data. The report shows that in June, Marcellus wells are projected to produce about 41,000 barrels of oil per day compared to roughly 40,000 this month, an increase of 1,000 barrels.

EIA projects that wells in the Marcellus will produce a combined 19.258 billion cubic feet of natural gas in June compared to 19.236 billion cubic feet in May, an increase of 22 million cubic feet per day.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.