Utica Shale

Eureka! Columbiana County Strikes Oil

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Oil production in Columbiana County skyrocketed during the first quarter of 2023, driven by a handful of wells that are among the better producing assets in the state of Ohio.

Four horizontal wells operating in Hanover Township owned by EAP Ohio, a subsidiary of Houston-based Encino Energy Partners, have shattered previous production figures in the county, data provided by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources show.

According to ODNR, Columbiana County pumped out 233,390 barrels of oil over a 90-day period, all of it from EAP-owned wells. Four of these wells, located on the Mountz pad in Hanover Township, accounted for 228,058 barrels.

EAP’s Mountz Cl Han 205H well produced the most oil from a single well in Columbiana County during the period with 62,887 barrels, according to ODNR. The pad’s 1H well produced 61,125 barrels; its 5H well yielded 47,400 barrels; and the Mountz 3H well produced 56,646 barrels of oil.

“Encino remains optimistic about the exciting and emerging oil play in Ohio,” said Jackie Stewart, Encino director of external affairs. “We continue to be cautiously optimistic about the northern region of the Utica and look forward to exploring new opportunities to grow oil and natural gas production in the state.”

Three other energy companies operating in Columbiana County – Hilcorp Energy Co., Geopetro LLC and Pin Oak Energy Partners – reported zero oil production during the quarter, according to ODNR.

In all, Columbiana County yielded 3.5% of all oil produced across the Utica/Point Pleasant shale in Ohio during the first quarter, data show. 

Traditionally, wells in Columbiana County have not produced much oil, as this portion of the shale play is instead known as a major source of natural gas and natural gas liquids. 

During the fourth quarter of 2022, for example, the entire county produced just 5,084 barrels of oil. The figures for the first quarter of 2023 represent an astonishing increase of 4,490%.

Most of oil production in the Utica is further south in Carroll, Harrison and Guernsey counties, data show. 

EAP – which operates the majority of its wells in Columbiana, Carroll, Harrison, Guernsey and Jefferson counties – accounted for 3,521,197 barrels, or 53.7% of the total 6,549,638 barrels of oil produced in the Utica/Point Pleasant during the first quarter.

Ascent Resources Utica LLC’s Lavada 2H well in Guernsey County produced the most oil from a single unit during the first quarter with 123,946 barrels.

In all, total oil production across Ohio increased by 11.8% during the three months ended March 31 compared with the previous quarter. When measured against the same period in 2022, oil production in the Utica/Point Pleasant has increased 65%, data show.

Natural gas production in Columbiana County also hit new records during the first quarter, according to ODNR.

Horizontal wells in the county yielded 27.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas during the period, a 26.7% increase over the previous quarter. 

The highest-producing natural gas well is EAP’s Maskaluk 1H well in Washington Township, which produced 1.6 billion cubic feet of gas over a 90-day period. Three other wells at the Maskaluk pad all yielded more than 1.3 billion cubic feet during the period. 

Collectively, EAP’s 73 wells in the county produced 12.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas, according to ODNR.

Hilcorp Energy also reported strong natural gas production during the quarter. The company operates 50 wells in Columbiana County, which in total produced 14.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas, according to ODNR.

Geopetro LLC reported total production of 328.7 million cubic feet of natural gas during the quarter among its nine wells in Columbiana County.  Pin Oak did not report any natural gas or oil production from the nine wells it owns in the county during the period.

The state reported its 3,174 wells in the Utica/Point Pleasant produced a combined 551.8 billion cubic feet of gas in the first quarter, an increase of 2.2% from the previous quarter.

Gulfport Appalachia’s Limestone 3A well in Jefferson County proved the top natural gas producer in the state, yielding 3.666 billion cubic feet of gas.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.