Ohio got its first look on Monday at production numbers from the Utica shale drilling efforts.
The “general production is significant” from the first natural gas wells, said the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management.
The data covered nine horizontal wells drilled by Chesapeake Appalachia LLC. There were six wells in Carroll County and one each in Portage, Harrison and Mahoning counties.
Five of those wells were in production in 2011 and generated nearly 2.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas, plus 43,513 barrels of oil.
The Buell well in Harrison County by itself produced 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas, or 2 percent of the natural gas produced in Ohio in 2011. The rest of Ohio’s natural gas came from 49,000 conventional or vertical-only wells.
The Buell well has 300 times more in daily production than the average vertical well, said Rick Simmers, chief of the Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management.
“The preliminary production for all the wells on the gas side is very high,” he said.
The reported volumes of oil are lower than estimated, but higher than conventional wells, the state reported.
A typical vertical well in Ohio annually produces about 50,000 cubic feet of gas a day and less than one 42-gallon barrel of oil.
The wells that rely on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, are producing at a much higher rate than traditional wells, the report shows.
The five wells were in service from 53 to 206 days in 2011.
The other four wells produced no natural gas in 2011, but oil was recovered during completion in 2011. The four wells each produced less than 1,000 barrels of oil in 2011. The Portage well in Suffield Township produced 583 barrels.
The nine wells together produced 76,004 barrels of brine or salty waste. That waste is injected into underground rock formations in Ohio under state rules.
Monday’s report covers wells that were drilled and put into production before Dec. 31. The data had to be submitted to the state by Friday. .
The report offers the first official production data from Ohio’s Utica shale wells.
Until now, most production data had been tightly held by drilling companies, although Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. had provided some data on select wells.
Keith Fuller, Chesapeake Energy’s director of corporate development, said: “The preprocessing, wellhead results from our initial drilling in the Utica shale that were reported [Monday] by the ODNR continue to fuel our optimism for future production.
“The data reported, while promising, is still very limited and only a small part of the information needed to gauge the potential of the entire formation. We will continue to gather information and move forward with our plans to increase our rig count in Ohio to 20 rigs by the end of the year and to build a significant gathering and midstream complex [processing facilities] in the region to accommodate an anticipated increase in production of natural gas liquids.”
To date, Ohio has permitted 176 horizontal wells, of which 53 have been drilled.
Low prices for natural gas and a still-developing infrastructure, including pipelines and processing facilities in eastern Ohio, have slowed the number of drilled wells going into production.
Drillers have been drawn to Ohio by lucrative so-called wet gases, including ethane, propane and butane, plus the natural gas and the oil.
Ohio is expecting 250 horizontal wells in 2012, 750 in 2013, 1,500 in 2014 and 2,250 by 2015.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.