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Ohio Utica Shale

EVEP on Utica shale bottlenecks, sales, oil hunt, drilling

By Bob Downing Published: December 16, 2013

EV  Energy Partners attended the 12th annual Wells Fargo Energy Symposium.

EVEP is very involved in the Utica shale. It owns significant acreage, is a drilling partner, is invested in midstream and is leading the push to find recoverable Utica oil.

It is also seeking to sell off a portion of its Utica holdings.

It has a lot of Utica shale upside, company officials said.

Here are some of the highlights from president and CEO Mark Houser’s 27-minute presentation.

1. The midstream bottlenecks in Ohio’s Utica shale are disappearing, he said.

More than $12 billion of pipelines and processing plants have been constructed in eastern Ohio, he said.

That is a number that is being repeatedly used by the energy industry in Ohio.

He said the Utica East Ohio processing plant at Kensington added its second train or unit last week. Two more units are planned at the plant in southern Columbiana County.

The new unit was being filled up on Wednesday and processing will begin soon, Houser said.

2. EVEP, one of the EnerVest family of companies, expects to drill 10 to 15 wells with five to seven different partners outside of its existing joint venture in 2014 in the Utica shale, he said.

He said that two to four of those wells would be in what’s called the volatile oil window with less mature oil.

The company has said it intends to search for the volatile oil with unnamed partners in Stark and Tuscarawas counties.

Very few wells, perhaps 10, have been drilled in the Utica’s volatile oil window, Houser said.

That would be done to demonstrate the productivity of the volatile oil window.

The volatile oil window lies west of the wet gas window where most of the Ohio drilling has occurred in Carroll, Harrison, Belmont, Guernsey, Noble and Washington counties.

There is a lot of oil in the Utica rock, but getting it out may be difficult, Houser said.

3. The company is actively involved in a 10-county JV with Chesapeake Energy and the French energy company Total. That venture is expected to drill 160 wells next year.

Compression constraints on the JV wells should be mostly relaxed by summer 2014, he said.

The JV intends to have 540 wells by the end of 2014.

The overall plan calls for 4,600 wells in the 10 counties over 18 years.

EVEP has about 41,000 acres in the wet gas window in Ohio and another 9,000 acres in western Pennsylvania.

It also has 79,000 acres in the volatile oil window: 78,000 in Ohio and 1,000 in Pennsylvania.

It also has another 44,000 in the two states in the dry gas window.

That is a total working interest acreage of 173,000 acres.

It also owns an overriding royalty interest on 880,000 Utica acres.

4. Houser said his company participated on a non-opposition basis with Pittsburgh-based EQT on two wells in the Utica shale.

The wells were initially producing 500 barrels per day, but that later flattened to 80 to 100 barrels per day, he said.

He called those two of the best oil wells his company had seen in the Utica.

Its own oil wells in the UTica had flattened to about 30 barrels per day, so the EQT results were encouraging, he said.

He offered little other information on that joint effort.

EQT has drilled three wells in the Utica in Ohio’s Guernsey County.

It intends to drill eight Utica wells in Ohio in 2013 at a cost of $40 million.

EQT, in its third quarter 2013 report, said the production results from those Utica wells were “not eye-popping.” But officials said they were encouraged by the initial results.

That assessment came from spokesman Mark Porges.

The three wells were producing 42 percent oil, 28 percent natural gas liquids and 30 percent natural gas.

The wells are producing the revenue equivalent of natural gas wells with IPs of nearly 9 million cubic feet per day, he said.

The wells cost about $8.5 million each, although officials hope to reduce that by $2 million per well. The average lateral length was 5,800 feet.

Those three Utica wells are out-producing the company’s first Marcellus wells, said spokesman Steven Schlotterbeck.

The company has 14,000 net acres in the Utica shale.

EQT is more active in the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania. It earmarked $820 million to drill 153 Marcellus wells in 2013

5. EVEP is heavily invested in the Barnett shale in north Texas. It is also interested in shale development in the Austin Chalk in Texas. It is also interested in shale in Michigan and New Mexico.

6. The company is still actively marketing its wet gas acres in the Utica shale.

It is likely that a deal or deals will be announced in 2014, he said.

7. A new de-ethanizer is being added at the Harrison Hub near Cadiz and should begin to remove ethane from the natural gas by Jan. 1, Houser said.

That will result in natural gas better able to be shipped via pipelines and an ethane product that can be separated, sold and shipped.

8. The easing of Utica bottlenecks in 2014 should allow Chesapeake Energy to go into full production for the first time, Houser said.

That should help experts clarify production curves and technical understanding of the Utica shale in its northern counties: Carroll, Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties, he said.

EVEP is invested in the Utica East Ohio and Cardinal Gas Services, two midstream companies.

9. The company will issue its 2014 guidance on operational plans in January or February, Houser said.

That will details EVEP’s plans for the immediate future, he 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.

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.