Columbiana Shatters Oil Production Records

COLUMBIANA, Ohio – Horizontal wells operating in Columbiana County in the third quarter shattered oil production records in this tier of the Utica/Point Pleasant shale formation, according to data from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

During the third quarter, the 138 producing wells in the county yielded a total of 352,354 barrels of oil, according to ODNR.

The previous record was 233,390 barrels produced during the first quarter of this year, data show.

During the second quarter, Columbiana County’s wells yielded 142,669 barrels over the 90-day period.

Much of the oil produced in the third quarter is from four wells recently drilled at the Sanor Farms well pad in Knox Township. EAP Ohio, a subsidiary of Houston-based Encino Energy Partners, placed the wells into commission during the third quarter, and together these four wells accounted for 258,739 barrels of oil.

Three of these wells – the Sanor 6H, 8H and 10H – are ranked sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively, among the top 10 oil producers in the state, according to ODNR. All of the 10-best wells in Ohio are owned and operated by EAP.

Oil production also proved strong from four EAP wells in Hanover Township at the Mountz well pad. These four wells combined for another 89,913 barrels during the third quarter, according to ODNR.

The highest-producing oil well in the state during the third quarter was EAP’s Addy 10H well in Harrison County, which yielded 79,576 barrels.

“Encino bet on Ohio in 2018, and we’re excited to see the results, particularly with wells in Columbiana County ranking in the top 10 for oil production statewide,” said Encino spokeswoman Jackie Stewart. “For the Mahoning Valley, this is particularly encouraging news, as we source our production casing for our wells in Youngstown and rely on hundreds of local supply chain businesses each and every day to make it happen.”

EAP, which operates its regional office in Carrollton, remains optimistic about the prospects in the Utica/Point Pleasant, Stewart said.

“Columbiana County has been a great partner and very welcoming over the past few years, and we continue to be optimistic about the running room to keep growing,” she said. “There’s a lot of great reasons to keep investing and betting on Ohio, and that’s exactly what we intend to do.”

At the recent Hart Energy DUG Appalachia conference in Pittsburgh, Tim Parker, Encino chief technology officer, noted that promising well results in the Utica helped draw the company to Ohio.

“We were convinced that the [Ohio Utica] would become exactly what it is now,” he said.

The Columbiana County section of the Utica/Point Pleasant is not traditionally known for its oil production. Wells in the past have generally yielded a negligible amount of oil, as the region became more associated with a dry and wet gas window.

However, oil production shot upward during the first quarter, as the four Mountz wells in Hanover Township pumped out 228,058 barrels during the period, records show. Those wells produced 138,164 barrels during the second quarter, according to ODNR data.

Total oil output across the state stood at 6.527 million barrels in the third quarter, down from 6.921 million barrels in the second quarter. Oil production in Ohio’s Utica was more than 1.6 million barrels greater than the third quarter in 2022, when Ohio wells generated 4.9 million barrels.

While oil production increased in Columbiana County compared with the previous two quarters, natural gas output remained flat, ODNR records show. Horizontal wells in the county accounted for 20.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas production.

The single largest gas producing well in Columbiana County was EAP’s Maskaluk well pad in Washington Township, which yielded 777.749 billion cubic feet over a 90-day period.

EAP reported a total of 9.98 billion cubic feet of natural gas from its Columbiana County wells during the third quarter.

Hilcorp Energy Co., another active producer in Columbiana County’s Utica, reported its wells delivered 10.695 billion cubic feet of gas during the period.

The largest producer in Ohio was SWN Production’s well in Monroe County, which produced 4.283 billion cubic feet of gas during a 90-day period.

In all, natural gas production across Ohio during the third quarter increased 2.2% to 547 billion cubic feet, compared with 535.5 cubic feet produced during the previous quarter, according to ODNR.