The Utica Shale is still in its infancy and drillers are still trying to get a fix on the “sweet spots” that will produce the most natural gas, gas liquids and even oil. Rendering an opinion on the best places to drill can be a career-ender, like it was for one long-time ODNR employee (see this MDN story).
Chesapeake was the early mover in Ohio’s Utica Shale, and it’s still the biggest driller in Ohio. However, we have an interesting admission from Chesapeake this week: They’ve misjudged the “emerging fairway” of the Utica in Ohio. While Chesapeake is concentrating most of their drilling in Carroll and Columbiana counties in the northern part of the state, Gulfport has drilled the four highest-producing wells in the Utica in counties to the south.