From the Marcellus Drilling News:
Chesapeake Energy announced in July 2011, to great fanfare and shouts of joy, that it had hit oil in the Ohio Utica Shale (see Major Discovery – Chesapeake Energy Strikes Oil (and Gas) in Ohio’s Utica Shale). Although early results were promising, by the end of 2012 Chesapeake admitted it had “misjudged” the Utica Shale fairway—the best places to drill—and their early enthusiasm seems to have subsided (see Chesapeake Admits Misjudging Ohio Utica Sweet Spot).
But perhaps Chesapeake has reason to smile again. Chesapeake has hit oil—in the West Virginia Marcellus Shale:
It may be a little soon to declare northern West Virginia black gold country, but Chesapeake Energy drew an average of 290 barrels of oil per day from a single Ohio County well last year.
A second Chesapeake Ohio County well yielded 195 barrels of oil each day, while a Marshall County well produced 305 barrels of oil daily.
“We continue to deliver on our liquids growth targets, led by a year-over-year increase of nearly 40,000 barrels per day in oil production,” said Steven Dixon, Chesapeake’s chief operating officer, as the Oklahoma City-based driller released its 2012 earnings and operational report Thursday. “We believe this performance ranks Chesapeake among the top three organic oil growth stories in the industry for 2012.”
To this point, most of the focus for drilling in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations has been on dry methane natural gas, in addition to liquids such as ethane, propane and butane. However, Chesapeake’s report confirms these materials – as well as the oil – are being drawn in West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle.
In the Ohio Utica Shale, Chesapeake does not show any oil production from the Cain South 8H well in Jefferson County. Instead, that well yielded 425 daily barrels of liquids and 6.7 million cubic feet of natural gas. Chesapeake does show Ohio oil production to the north, however, as one Carroll County well produced 525 barrels of oil daily.
However, Chesapeake believes production in the wet zone of the Marcellus will “remain relatively flat” until the ATEX Express pipeline opens later this year. The company has agreed to send much of its ethane to the Gulf Coast for processing via this pipeline, largely because there is no ethane cracker in the local region.
In the Ohio Utica Shale, Chesapeake holds 1 million net acres. To this point, the company has drilled 184 wells, 45 of which are now producing. The company still has $1.15 billion to spend for drilling and fracking in the Utica region.*
*Wheeling (WV) The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register (Feb 22, 2013) – Ohio, Marshall Wells Hitting Oil
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.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.
Earthjustice, a national eco-group.
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.
Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.
Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.