Chesapeake’s First Ohio Utica Shale Production Numbers

conventional v unconventional gas drillingChesapeake Energy has filed their first production report with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) for nine wells they drilled in the Ohio Utica Shale/Point Pleasant formations for 2011. A copy of the report is embedded below. The big news is that a single well in Harrison County—in production for just six months of 2011—produced 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

That single well was 2 percent of the state’s entire natural gas production for all of 2011. Put in perspective, Ohio has 49,000 conventional natural gas wells in production. That one well is producing an average of 300 times more natural gas than a conventionally drilled well. Behold the power of hydraulic fracturing.

Although it’s still early days and probably not a good idea to draw too many conclusions from nine wells in production for a relative few months, we can make the following observations from this report:

  • Only five of the nine wells produced commercially in 2011.
  • All nine of the wells (even the ones not yet in production) produced oil.
  • The oil from wells not yet in production was likely incidental volumes of crude oil coming out with frac flowback fluids. Still, it’s noteworthy that all nine wells produced oil.
  • Reported oil volumes likely include condensate volumes, according to the ODNR.
  • The reported volumes of oil are lower than estimated, but higher than conventional wells.
  • Reported gas volumes likely include both “dry” and “wet” gas.
  • Markets and pipeline capacity are somewhat limited so gas production is likely choked back. Once processing plants are up and running, the produced “wet” gas volumes will dramatically increase.
  • Gas production is significant, even with the early production numbers. The Buell Well (832724 Kenneth Buell 8H) gas production equals 2 percent of the state’s total gas production.

Commenting on oil production from the wells, the ODNR says this: “Oil production may be incidental to gas production in much of the Ohio Utica Shale play.”

With respect to the number of days in production indicated in the report below, the ODNR says this: “The column labeled Days of Production reflects the actual number of days a well produced. This does not indicate consecutive days of production. Further, it is very unlikely that the wells are being produced at anything near full capacity. Wells produced at high initial rates have the potential of being permanently damaged.”

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