Drilling Down

US Says Utica Production Up, Other Plays Down

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Energy Information Agency says the Utica shale remains one of the most productive oil and gas plays in the United States in an overall declining market.

According to the agency’s drilling productivity report for June, the Utica continues to increase production of natural gas while all other plays in the country scale back.

New wells in the Utica are xpected to see natural gas production rise by 255,000 cubic feet per day per rig in July 2015, compared to June, the EIA reports. Oil production is expected to rise nine barrels per day, per rig.

In June, new Utica wells are projected to produce an average of 6.650 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. In July, the output is expected to rise to 6.905 million cubic feet per day.

The Utica is the only region out of the country’s seven major shale plays that is expected to increase total natural gas production, according to the federal agency. Total production in the Utica is expected to rise by 42 million cubic feet per day in July compared to June, while six other regions forecast decreases, the agency said.

EIA reports that the Utica should increase production from 2.519 billion cubic feet of gas per day in June to 2.561 billion cubic feet in July.

Total oil output of Utica wells is expected to jump by 1,000 barrels per day, second only to the Permian Basin play, which is expected to produce 3,000 more barrels of oil per day.

The Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania and West Virginia is expected to produce the most gas for the period, EIA says. In June, Marcellus wells are projected to produce 16.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, but drop to 16.494 billion cubic feet per day in July.

Overall gas production across the seven major shale plays is expected to decrease from 45.867 billion cubic feet per day to 45.646 billion cubic feet, down by 221 million cubic feet of gas per day, the agency reported.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.