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Ohio Utica Shale

Chesapeake Energy updates Utica, Marcellus operations

By Bob Downing Published: February 26, 2014

From Chesapeake Energy Corp. today:

Utica Shale (eastern Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia): Utica net production averaged approximately 189 mmcfe per day (345 gross operated mmcfe per day) during the 2013 fourth quarter, an increase of 309% year over year and 15% sequentially from the 2013 third quarter.

During the 2013 fourth quarter Chesapeake operated an average of nine rigs and connected 49 gross wells to sales in the Utica, compared to 11 average operated rigs and 63 gross wells connected to sales during the 2013 third quarter. The average peak daily production rate of the 49 wells that commenced first production in the Utica during the 2013 fourth quarter was approximately 7.7 mmcfe per day.

As of December 31, 2013, Chesapeake had drilled a total of 425 wells in the Utica, which included 230 producing wells and 195 wells awaiting pipeline connection or in various stages of completion.

Midstream processing infrastructure build-out delays and operational issues impacted Chesapeake's growth ramp in the Utica during the second half of 2013 and will continue to have an impact to a lesser degree in the first quarter of 2014. As a result of the infrastructure and operational issues, the vast majority of Chesapeake's wells that are connected to sales lines are on restricted choke and have not been producing at full capacity. Service resumed at the Natrium processing plant in January 2014, and assuming the mid-year addition of the third phase of gas processing at the Kensington facility, Chesapeake anticipates that it will achieve net production of 700 mmcfe per day in the Utica by year-end 2014.

Northern Marcellus Shale (Pennsylvania): Chesapeake's production from the northern Marcellus continued to grow during the 2013 fourth quarter. Average daily net production in this play was approximately 880 mmcfe per day (2,100 gross operated mmcfe per day), an increase of 36% year over year and 7% sequentially. All of the company's production in the northern Marcellus consists of natural gas.

During the 2013 fourth quarter Chesapeake operated an average of five rigs and connected 33 gross wells to sales, compared to five average operated rigs and 37 gross wells connected to sales during the 2013 third quarter. The average peak daily production rate of the 33 wells that commenced first production in the northern Marcellus during the 2013 fourth quarter was approximately 10.8 mmcfe per day.

As of December 31, 2013, Chesapeake had 112 wells awaiting pipeline connection or in various stages of completion in the northern Marcellus.

Chesapeake's wells in the northern Marcellus continue to exceed expectations, and at current rig levels and projected natural gas prices the company expects this region to contribute substantial positive cash flow in 2014. In the three-year period ended December 31, 2013, net daily production from the northern Marcellus grew 56% on a compounded annual basis.

Southern Marcellus Shale (Pennsylvania, West Virginia): During the 2013 fourth quarter, Chesapeake’s average daily net production in the southern wet-gas portion of the Marcellus was approximately 285 mmcfe per day (460 gross operated mmcfe per day), an increase of 82% year over year and 3% sequentially. Approximately 12% of the company’s southern Marcellus production was oil, 18% was NGL and 70% was natural gas.

During the 2013 fourth quarter Chesapeake operated an average of two rigs and connected 13 gross wells to sales, compared to three average operated rigs and 30 gross wells connected to sales during the 2013 third quarter. The average peak daily production rate of the 13 wells that commenced first production in the southern Marcellus during the 2013 fourth quarter was approximately 8.1 mmcfe per day.

As of December 31, 2013, Chesapeake had 47 wells awaiting pipeline connection or in various stages of completion in the southern Marcellus.

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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.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

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.