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Ohio Utica Shale

Devon Energy disappointed by Medina, Ashland wells

By Bob Downing Published: August 8, 2012

Oklahoma-based Devon Energy Corp. says it is disppointed by initial drilling results from two wells in Medina and Ashland counties.

In an Aug. 1 earnings call, company spokesman David A. Hager told analysts that the results from the two wells "were not encouraging."

One well is in Medina County’s Harrisville Township. The other is in Ashland County’s Clear Creek Township.

It appears that the geology failed to produce the expected results, he said.

The Oklahoma-based company is continuing to drill a third well in Knox County’s Morgan Township and is optimistic that the results will be different, said spokesman Chip Minty in a telephone call.

It is too early to say what Devon Energy might do in the Medina-Ashland-Knox area, he said.

"It’s very early on and we’re moving slowly and methodically," he said. "There’s not a lot of information and we’re learning a lot as we go."

But the two wells "did not produce the results we were hoping for," Minty said.

The three wells are farther to the west than most wells being drilled in Ohio’s Utica shale and are on the northwest edge of its lease holdings, the company said.

Devon Energy had staked out leases farther west than other drilling companies and was focusing on oil, not natural gas or natural gas liquids.

Most of the Utica drilling has been in Carroll, Harrison, Columbiana, Jefferson, Mahoning, Stark, Portage and Belmont counties. That area has been especially attractive because the prices paid for natural gas have dropped and drillers can get gas liquids like ethane, butane and propane that are lucrative.

Hager, Devon Energy’s executive vice president of exploration and production, said his company intends to continue drilling in Ohio’s Utica shale but is now looking farther to the east.

"We will continue drilling in a liquids-rich window to the east" where other companies are drilling, he said.

The energy company said it expects to drill five new wells to the east in 2012, he said.

To date, Devon Energy has gotten seven permits from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. That includes one for Wayne County’s East Union Township.

Such disappointing results should not be surprising, said Tom Stewart, executive vice preseident of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association. "This is a difficult play and not everyone is going to succeed," he said.

Drillers, he added, are trying to determine "where it works and where it doesn’t. What’s going on right now in Ohio is a great big experiment and we need to let the experiment happen.…We’re still in a shakedown mode. Companies are still trying to identify core areas. When those areas are finally determined, some companies will be successful and some won’t."



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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.