A Texas energy company said Friday that it intends to determine how best to drill for oil in Stark and Tuscarawas counties in Ohio’s Utica shale.
EV Energy Partners said it wants to form one or more joint ventures with unnamed companies to determine the best way to get that oil to the surface, said executive chairman John B. Walker in a teleconference about its first quarter 2013 earnings and operations.
Partners in developing the best completion techniques might include giant oil companies, well service companies and financial entities, he said.
It takes one to two years to find the solution, he said.
“From our cores, logs and pressure kits, we know that some of the best rock in the Point Pleasant is in Tuscarawas and Stark counties,” he said. “It’s over pressure, has excellent porosity, low water saturation and the highest total organic carbon or TOCs in the [region]. We need to learn how to get this volatile oil out in commercial quantities.”
It took seven years for drillers to figure out how to tap the Bakken shale in North Dakota, but EV Energy Partners is confident that it won’t take that long in Ohio’s Utica shale.
“It has all the characteristics that should allow the volatile oil window to flow at commercial rates,” he said.
Drillers have been focused on natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids (ethane, butane and propane) in eastern Ohio.
Efforts to tap large oil deposits in Ohio have not been successful.
That makes the EV Energy Partners’ plan risky, Walker said.
His company owns mineral-rights leases on about 62,000 acres in the two counties.
Not enough wells have been drilled in the potential oil area, he said.
Walker’s company is proceeding with plans to sell off much of its Utica acreage.
A number of offers have been made for EV Energy Partners’ leases, especially in Carroll, Harrison, Guernsey and Noble counties, he said.
Offers have come from large and small companies but no deals have been completed, he said.
His firm has put about 104,000 acres in Ohio up for sale.
EV Energy Partners, based in Houston, has said it decided to sell off the leased land rather than invest the money to drill natural gas-oil wells itself. Each well can cost $6 million. Some have said the sales could bring in billions.
The firm is publicly traded arm of privately held EnerVest Ltd.
Walker’s company holds some of the most attractive Utica lands that are already producing natural gas, oil and ethane, butane and propane.
EnerVest is a partner with Chesapeake Energy Corp. and French energy company Total SA in drilling on 619,000 acres in 10 counties in eastern Ohio.
It is a key player in investing in pipelines and gas-processing facilities in eastern Ohio.
Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or firstname.lastname@example.org.