Antero Resources and Gulfport Energy appear to be the big winners in Ohio’s first-ever quarterly production reports from 245 horizontal wells in Ohio’s Utica shale.
The Utica shale is emerging as a gas-rich, not an oil-rich, play with sweet spots in Belmont, Monroe and Noble counties where those companies are active, said analyst Tim Rezvan of New York-based Sterne Agee.
That little-oil news doesn’t thrill energy companies because natural gas prices are low and oil prices are high.
Antero and Gulfport are both “consistently drilling the strongest wells to date in the [Utica] play,” Rezvan said in a two-page statement released on Thursday.
Antero’s wells in Monroe and Noble counties are among the best producers in Ohio, Rezvan said.
Its 11 wells averaged 379,754 thousand cubic feet of natural gas produced from June through September.
Cumulatively, the 11 wells produced 4,177,294 thousand cubic feet of natural gas. They also produced an average of 7,295 barrels of oil in the quarter. Cumulatively, the 11 wells produced 80,240 barrels of oil.
Gulfport’s 24 producing wells in Harrison, Belmont and Guernsey counties together produced 6,431,070 thousand cubic feet of natural gas in the third quarter. That averages to 267,961 thousand cubic feet of natural gas in the quarter.
Those 24 wells also produced 194,311 barrels of oil. That averages to 8,096 barrels per well.
Chesapeake Energy Corp., the No. 1 driller in Ohio’s Utica shale, has most of its wells to the north in Carroll and surrounding counties and its results paled in comparison with Gulfport and Antero, Rezvan noted.
The Chesapeake wells show variability but “appear to be underperforming many other operators,” he said.
Chesapeake has 163 of the 245 wells in the report, of which 133 are in Carroll County.
But the state report shows that Chesapeake’s best-producing wells are its 14 wells in Harrison County, he said.
The company’s wells in Carroll County produced less oil than the wells in Harrison County, he said.
The state report does not break out natural gas liquids and that may understate potential income by 20 to 50 percent, he said.
Also the number of days of production varied greatly and that makes direct comparisons difficult, he said.
Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy wells produced 19,401,220 thousand cubic feet. That averages 119,025 cubic feet.
Chesapeake also produced 829,607 barrels of oil from its Utica shale wells in the third quarter. That averages 5,121 barrels.
The company has five of the top 10 oil-producing wells.
The top five Ohio counties for natural gas production were:
• Carroll County, 16,713,769 thousand cubic feet of gas from June to September.
• Belmont County, 4,708,115.
• Harrison County, 3,647,357.
• Monroe County, 3,499,814.
• Noble County, 2,061,623.
Locally, Stark County produced 42,396 thousand cubic feet of natural gas from two wells. Two wells in Portage and one in Wayne showed zero production in the quarter.
The top Ohio counties for oil were:
• Carroll County, 708,850 barrels.
• Harrison County, 383,698.
• Noble County, 130,861.
• Guernsey County, 61,212.
• Columbiana County, 15,410.
Locally, Stark’s wells produced 2,795 barrels of oil. The Portage and Wayne wells produced zero.
Ohio reported that the average Utica shale horizontal well produced 137,168 thousand cubic feet of natural gas plus 5,439 barrels of oil from July to September. Those products would be valued at nearly $1 million.
The state reported that the 245 Utica shale wells produced 1,332,477 barrels of oil and 33,606,075 thousand cubic feet of natural gas in the quarter. The wells were, on average, in production for 55 days in the quarter.
Belmont County had the top 5 gas-producing wells with Monroe County being No. 6 through No. 10.
The top 10 oil wells were found in Harrison County (six), Noble County (two) and Carroll County (two).
The data also offered a first significant look at Chesapeake’s drilling results. The company reported that 87 of its 163 gas-producing wells topped 100,000 thousand cubic feet of natural gas in the quarter.
Previously, Ohio only required annual production reports in March. It got reports from 87 Utica wells last spring.
The report is at http://oilandgas.ohiodnr.gov/production.
Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745.