Drilling Down

Eclipse Resources Resumes Drilling in Utica Shale

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Eclipse Resources Corp. says that it expects “robust production growth” throughout the rest of the year and into 2017, as the oil and gas company resumed drilling in the Utica shale in Ohio.

Eclipse reported a net loss of $73 million for the quarter ended June 30, but rising commodity prices and greater efficiencies in the company’s drilling and completion techniques have made it economical to resume oil and gas exploration.

The company posted a net loss of $43 million for the same period last year.

“We have transitioned back to a growth-oriented company with a well-funded business plan,” said Benjamin W. Hulbert, president and CEO, in a statement. “We are increasingly optimistic about industry fundamentals and are excited to restart our drilling program, albeit at a measured and methodical pace.”

Rising commodity prices over the last six months also caused the company to end its voluntary curtailment program. It is in the process of boosting production at its existing wells. “We expect to see robust production growth over the remainder of the year and into 2017,” Hulbert said.

The company expects to produce 300 million cubic feet per day on average from the Utica during 2017, Hulbert said. During the second quarter, Eclipse wells produced an average daily total of 212 million cubic feet.

Eclipse has drilled roughly 50 wells in the Utica shale and three new wells in its dry-gas patch since resuming operations in the second quarter. It will continue to drill in its dry-gas acreage area. The company also reported it completed seven wells averaging eight stages per day in the liquids-rich portion of the Utica.

The company placed its first four-well pad into production this week and expects to place its first five-well pad into production in the next 30 days.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.