Bob Downing

Antero Resources Corp. reported increased production from Ohio’s Utica Shale in the first quarter of this year despite low commodity prices that cut income.

Production grew by 17 percent from the previous quarter and by 89 percent from a year ago, the Denver-based company said Thursday in an earnings call with financial analysts and the media.

Net daily production averaged 1,485 million cubic feet of natural gas equivalents per day, a company record.

It got 40,074 barrels per day of oil and natural gas liquids. Liquids accounted for 16 percent of the quarter’s production. That is a 32 percent increase from the previous quarter and a 145 percent increase from a year ago, the company said.

Antero Resources, one of the biggest players in the Utica and Marcellus shales, intends to complete 45 Utica wells in the next two quarters, with 21 of those wells being developed on three seven-well pads in Ohio. It started production from 16 Utica wells in late 2014.

Its Utica production hit a record high 274 million cubic feet of natural gas equivalents per day. That includes 11,300 barrels per day of liquids.

The firm completed 41 Marcellus Shale wells in Pennsylvania in the first quarter. Those wells have long laterals that averaged 8,150 feet.

Previously, Antero Resources announced plans to cut its drilling because of low commodity prices in 2015.

It is postponing completion of 50 wells in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale from 2015 into 2016.

Antero has 11 rigs working in Ohio and Pennsylvania, down from 21. It has cut completion crews in the two states from 10 to seven.

The company said it is eager for additional pipelines to be built into eastern Ohio late this year so that it can ship natural gas to higher-paying markets.

It intends to continue drilling most heavily in the liquid-rich area in eastern Ohio, chairman and CEO Paul M. Rady said.

Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or bdowning@thebeaconjournal.com.