There is limited drilling in the Upper Devonian shale formation in southeast Ohio.
A total of 125 wells have been drilled in seven counties in the past two years, mostly by Oxford Oil Co. LLC, said Steve Opritza of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management.
Monroe County has the most wells with 38. Noble County has 36, and Belmont County has 31. The other county totals are Guernsey, 15; Washington and Meigs, 2 each; and Lawrence, 1.
The wells, in general, are shallow and low-producing — typically yielding a barrel of oil and up to 20,000 cubic feet of natural gas per day. Most are vertical-only wells.
Upper Devonian shale, at this level, is a tight rock formation that “does not give up a whole lot,” Opritza said. The wells make money for drillers because the costs are minimal.
Oxford Oil, based in Zanesville, was recently acquired by Eclipse Resources I LLC. It will remain a wholly owned subsidiary of Eclipse and will be called Eclipse Resources-Ohio LLC.
Eclipse Resources, based in State College, Pa., now has 90,000 net acres leased in Belmont, Guernsey, Monroe, Noble and Harrison counties.
To date, it has drilled or been involved in six Utica shale wells in Ohio. It has one rig working and expects to have more rigs in place next year.
— Bob Downing