Utica Oil Production Drops, Gas Production Increases

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Natural gas production in eastern Ohio’s Utica shale continued to climb during the first quarter of 2016, while oil output – for the first time – declined compared to the previous quarter, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

In its quarterly production update, ODNR said that 1,302 horizontal wells reported oil or gas production during the first three months of the year.

Combined, these wells yielded 5.48 million barrels of oil compared to 6.25 million barrels produced during the fourth quarter of 2015, a 12.3% decline. Compared to year ago data, oil production during the first quarter was up 24%.

Natural gas output from Ohio’s horizontal wells stood at 329.5 billion cubic feet of gas during the first quarter, up 8.7% compared to the previous quarter. Natural gas production was up 80% compared to the first quarter of 2015, ODNR reported.

Most of the production was generated from the Utica’s southern tier. The most productive gas well during the first quarter was Rice Drilling LLC’s Mohawk Warrior 8H well in Belmont County, which yielded 1.62 billion cubic feet of gas during a 31-day period.

The largest oil producer was Antero Resources Corp.’s Hall 1H in Noble County, which produced 57,160 barrels of oil during a 91-day period.

Oil and gas production was comparatively weak in the northern tier of the Utica, which encompasses Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties, according to ODNR data.

The most productive well in Columbiana County was Chesapeake Energy Corp.’s Paige 5H well in Franklin Township, which yielded 852.2 million cubic feet of gas over 86 days. The Tritten well in Center Township — the subject of Gloria Tritten’s “Field of View” column in The Business Journal — produced 190.7 million cubic feet of gas over 91 days.

Hilcorp Energy Co.’s well pads at the Carbon Limestone Landfill in Poland Township dominated natural gas production in Mahoning County, data show.

Hilcorp’s CLL 2 well produced 174.1 million cubic feet of gas over 91 days, the most of any well in Mahoning County. The company’s 5H well on the same pad yielded 169.5 million cubic feet of gas over the period.

Production in Trumbull County was negligible. The highest producing well in the county was Halcon Resources’ Kibler 2-3H, which produced just 45.9 million cubic feet of gas over 91 days. There are just three producing wells in the county.

The northern tier failed to produce oil of any significant quantities, ODNR reported. Chesapeake Energy Corp.’s Huffman Trust well in Butler Township in Columbiana County produced the most in the northern region with just 5,489 barrels of oil.

The average amount of gas produced per well was 253.1 million cubic feet during the quarter, while average oil production was 4,213 barrels of oil.

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