Natural Gas Production Booms in Columbiana County

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Natural gas production from horizontal wells across the Utica-Point Pleasant shale formation in Columbiana County hit new highs during the fourth quarter of 2022, records show.

The county’s 131 wells produced a combined 21.731 billion cubic feet of natural gas for the quarter ended Dec. 31, a nearly 11% increase from the previous quarter, according to data provided by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Production of natural gas in Columbiana County has gradually gained strength over the past four years. During the fourth quarter of 2018, for example, energy companies drilling in the county reported their wells produced a total of just 8.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas.  

Much of the gain during the fourth quarter of 2022 came from 11 new wells commissioned during the period, which collectively produced 7.168 billion cubic feet of gas over 61 days.

Combined natural gas production from EAP Ohio’s newly commissioned Maskaluk CL Was well pad in Washington and Wayne townships stood at more than 4.7 billion cubic feet over a 60-day period, ODNR records show.  

Each of the pad’s four wells produced in excess of 1.1 billion cubic feet, the first time that has occurred in this section of the Utica-Point Pleasant, according to state records.

The four wells are some of the most productive natural gas horizontal wells the northern tier of the Utica has ever seen. None of the wells produced any oil, ODNR reports.

EAP reported that its 75 Columbiana County wells produced a total of 7.634 billion cubic feet of natural gas during the fourth quarter. These wells also yielded a total of 5,084 barrels of oil.

The highest single producing well in Columbiana County during the quarter was EAP’s Maskaluk 205H well, which pumped out more than 1.285 billion cubic feet of gas over 60 days. The highest producing oil well was EAP’s Ayrview Acres 27-16-5H well in West Township, which yielded 687 barrels of oil during the period.

Hilcorp Energy Co. also reported strong production results from its 47 wells across the county during the fourth quarter. The Houston-based energy company reported its wells collectively produced 13.722 billion cubic feet of gas during the period, a 10% increase from the third quarter of 2022.

Seven new wells placed into service in Elk Run Township during the fourth quarter helped boost production for that company, yielding combined production of 2.464 billion cubic feet over 61 days, records show. None of its wells produced any oil, according to the report.

Hilcorp’s Fairfield-Takara 3H well in Fairfield Township proved to be its largest natural gas producer, yielding 758.3 million cubic feet during a 92-day period.  

Another operator, Geopetro LLC, reported its nine wells in the county produced 374.383 million cubic feet of gas during the quarter.

Despite the strong numbers from Columbiana County’s Utica-Point Pleasant, the most productive regions for oil and gas are further south.

Ascent Resources boasted the most productive oil well in the state during the quarter. That well, the Jennings WLS well in Guernsey County, produced 173,591 barrels of oil, ODNR data show.

Among natural gas wells, Ascent’s Gabriel well in Jefferson County yielded the largest amount, producing 3.850 billion cubic feet of gas during the quarter.

Compared with the previous quarter, overall oil production in Ohio increased 16% during the fourth quarter to 5.855 million barrels, while natural gas output declined by approximately 2% to 539.681 billion cubic feet.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that the Appalachian Basin – which combines the Utica-Point Pleasant in Ohio and the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania and West Virginia – will increase oil production by 2,000 barrels per day in April.

The agency also anticipates producers will increase natural gas output by 75 million cubic feet per day next month.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.