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Ohio Utica Shale

Belmont County well producing 30.3 million cubic feet of natural gas

By Bob Downing Published: November 5, 2013

Oklahoma-based Gulfport Energy Corp. is very pleased with its first big gas-only well in Ohio’s Utica shale.

The Irons 1-H well, drilled in Belmont County’s Washington Township, is producing in excess of 30.3 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, Gulfport officials said Tuesday in a third-quarter earnings call with analysts.

It is “a very strong well,” said CEO James Palm. “It’s a really strong well and we’re really pleased with it.”

It is likely that the well will produce 15 million to 20 million cubic feet per day in the long run, he said.

He added: “We continue to make outstanding wells” in the Utica shale.

He said, “The strong economics of this well appear to be very attractive on today’s commodity price environments and we look forward to drilling a number of wells in the surrounding area during 2014.”

The well is farther to the east than other Gulfport wells in Ohio and is producing little in the way of liquids but lots of natural gas, he said.

It is a key well because 44 percent of Gulfport’s leased holdings are in the same dry-gas window, he said.

Gulfport’s other wells  in the Utica shale have produced significant oil or condensate plus natural gas liquids like ethane, butane and propane.

The Irons 1-H well was drilled to a vertical depth of 9,770 feet with a horizontal lateral in excess of 6,629 feet, he said.

The lateral was not as long as some other Gulfport wells, but that has not hurt initial production figures, Palm said,

His company intends to partner with Pennsylvania-based Rice Energy to develop wells in Ohio’s Belmont County.

Rice will work in Smith and Goshen townships. Gulfport will work in the southern townships: Washington and Wayne.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The two firms may try some longer laterals to boost production, Palm said.

Gulfport intends to keep drilling in eastern Ohio with seven rigs in 2014: 4 in the wet-gas window, one in the condensate area and two in the eastern dry-gas area.

Gulfport has plans for 85 to 95 gross wells in Ohio in 2014 (64 to 71 net wells). That will cost between $594 million and $634 million.

It spud 14 Utica wells in the third quarter. It has drilled 45 Utica wells in Ohio this year.

Company officials also said Gulfport plans to spend up to $250 million in 2014 on additional drilling leases in eastern Ohio.

That might be enough money to lease an added 40,000 acres, although much of the leasing will be to fill in gaps in the company’s current holdings, officials said.

Pipeline and processing problems from the past have been resolved, and Gulfport anticipates a major boom in the Utica shale in the coming year, Palm said.





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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

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Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.