Drilling Down

Utica Natural Gas Output Rose in Third Quarter

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Natural gas production from horizontal wells in eastern Ohio’s Utica shale continues to rise while oil production from the energy plant is on the decline, according to the latest production data released by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

ODNR lists 1,492 active horizontal shale wells across the state — 1,464 of which reported production for the three months ended Sept. 30.

Horizontal wells produced 360.6 billon cubic feet of gas during the quarter, an increase of 45.7% from the 7.8% increase from the previous quarter, data show.

Oil production on the other hand continued its decline. Wells in the Utica produced 3.9 million barrels of oil during the period versus 5.9 million a year ago, or a 34% drop. Compared to the previous quarter, oil output was down 18%.

The most productive wells are in the southern tier of the play, according to ODNR. Ascent Resources’ Cravat 3H-A well in Belmont County produced the most gas of any Utica well at 1.593 billion cubic feet. Eclipse Resources’ Purple Hayes well in Guernsey County produced the most oil with 74,954 barrels over 58 of the 92 days in the quarter.

Production in the northern section of the Utica – generally Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties – is significantly weaker than wells in south, ODNR data show.

Still, Columbiana County is home to several wells that yielded solid results. Chesapeake Exploration’s Paige 5H well in Franklin Township reported it produced 758.4 million cubic feet of natural gas, while the company’s Paige 6H well at the same pad produced 479.9 million cubic feet.

ODNR lists 60 wells in the county that reported natural gas production during the quarter. Together, these wells accounted for 8.328 billion cubic feet of gas. Three energy companies are actively producing in Columbiana County: Chesapeake Exploration operates 50 producing wells, Atlas Noble LLC seven wells, and Hillcorp Energy Co. owns three producing wells.

In Mahoning County, Hillcorp’s Poland Carbon Limestone Landfill 6H well yielded the most natural gas in the county with 156.1 million cubic feet. Hillcorp operates seven producing wells at its Carbon Limestone pad, while CNX Gas owns three wells in production in Jackson and Ellsworth townships, and Halcon Energy Resources operates two wells in North Jackson.

Halcon reported two wells in production in Lordstown in Trumbull County, which together produced fewer than 80 million cubic feet of gas. Another well in Johnston Township produced just 10.1 million cubic feet.

There was little or no oil production from wells in Columbiana, Mahoning or Trumbull counties.

ODNR reports that the average production per well in the Utica stood at 2,701 barrels of oil, while the average amount of gas produced was 246.3 million cubic feet during the quarter.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.