Drilling Down

Utica Gas and Oil Production on the Rise

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Oil and natural gas production from horizontal wells across eastern Ohio’s Utica shale increased during the first quarter of 2017 versus the previous quarter, according to the latest data released from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Natural gas output continues to rise in the Utica, according to ODNR. During the first quarter, Utica wells produced 371.9 billion cubic feet of natural gas compared to 345.2 billion cubic feet of gas in the fourth quarter of 2016, an increase of 7.7%.

Year-over-year, natural gas production improved 12.8%, ODNR said.

According to ODNR, Ohio’s wells produced 3.9 million barrels of oil for the three-month period ended March 31 compared to 3.5 million barrels produced during fourth quarter of 2016, the first sizable increase since energy companies started to scale back production in late 2014.

However, oil production volumes are down 28.8% compared to year-ago figures, ODNR reported. During the first quarter of 2016, Utica oil output stood at 5.485 million barrels.

ODNR lists 1,613 horizontal shale wells, 1,560 of which reported production during the quarter. According to data, the most productive wells are located in the southern tier of the Utica shale.

Eclipse Resources LP’s Pittman 3H well in Monroe County yielded the most natural gas out of any well in the Utica with 2.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas produced in the first quarter, data show. Also, the company’s Purple Hayes 1H well in Guernsey County produced the most oil out of any Utica well during the 90-day period at 68,171 barrels.

Columbiana County reported the most producing wells among those in the northern Utica, which encompasses Mahoning and Trumbull Counties, according to ODNR data. The agency reports the county is home to 60 operating wells that collectively yielded 6.572 billion cubic feet of natural gas during the first quarter.

The most productive well in Columbiana County is Chesapeake Energy Corp.’s Paige 5H well in Franklin County, which yielded 514.1 million cubic feet over 90 days.

Oil production throughout the northern section was negligible compared to the southern portion of the play, data show. The biggest oil producer in Columbiana County was Chesapeake’s D&B Kibler well in Hanover Township with just 2,354 barrels.

Three companies are currently active in Columbiana County: Chesapeake, Hilcorp Energy Co. and Atlas Noble LLC.

ODNR data show that 12 horizontal wells were producing in Mahoning County. Hilcorp’s Carbon Limestone’s 6H well in Poland Township produced the most natural gas in the county and yielded 128.1 million cubic feet of gas over 88 days.

Hilcorp, CNX Gas and Halcon Resources Corp. operate all of the producing horizontal wells in Mahoning County. CNX’s Hendricks well in Ellsworth Township produced the most oil at 1,692 barrels.

Oil and gas production in Trumbull County continues to be light, and the county has not been a target of oil and gas exploration companies since BP America and Halcon announced two years ago they were pulling out of the Utica play. Just five wells reported production results during the quarter.

The county’s largest gas well is Halcon’s Kibler 2-3H well in Lordstown, which yielded just 37.5 million cubic feet of gas during the quarter. The Kibler well also produced the most oil at 589 barrels.

The Utica produced an average of 2,053 barrels of oil and 238.4 million cubic feet of gas per well over the 90-day period, ODNR reported. On average, wells operated 86 days.

Ohio does not require companies to report whether natural gas is dry gas such as methane, or heavier “wet” gas such as ethane, propane or butane.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.