Top 10 Dry Gas Utica Shale Wells of All Time (as of Aug 2015)

Top 10A slide we spotted in a Gastar presentation got us to thinking: What are the top 10 Utica Shale wells? Who drilled them? And how much was their initial production (IP) rates? So we went searching and came up with the handy list below. This list is current as of August 2015. A few caveats: First, some of the wells in the list produced not only methane (“dry gas”) but also oil, condensate and natural gas liquids–i.e. other hydrocarbons. However, the numbers in the list below are for the methane/dry gas only portion of what the well flowed during an initial period of time (typically the first 24 hours). So keep that in mind. These are not necessary dry gas only wells, but the numbers are for the dry gas portion coming from the well. Second, we scoured the MDN archives and other sources to compile the list. If you believe we’ve overlooked a well–let us know! We would be happy to correct the list. As it is, we believe it to be accurate. It tells a pretty incredible story. Below the Top 10 list is another list–of MDN stories covering the details for the wells in the Top 10 list…
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Rice Energy 2Q15: Another PA Utica Monster Well on the Way?!

Rice Energy, a relatively young but rapidly growing and important driller in both the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays, turned in their second quarter 2015 update yesterday. Like virtually every other North American driller the bad news is Rice experienced a net loss after expenses of $63.5 million in 2Q15 vs. a net loss of $7.9 million in 2Q14. But there was plenty of good news in the Rice update. For one thing, 2Q15 production was up an amazing 120% over 2Q14–to an average 529 million cubic feet equivalent per day (MMcfe/d). For another thing, Rice turned in to sales 11 operated Ohio Utica and 14 operated Pennsylvania Marcellus wells–the most active quarter in the company’s young history. Perhaps most exciting of all, Rice reports they have drilled their first Pennsylvania Utica well in Greene County and will hook that well up to sales sometime in the next month or two. Greene County is the location for the current ruling champ of Utica wells, drilled by EQT (see EQT’s 1st Utica Well Shatters Record – 72.9 MMcf/d IP Rate!). Will this Rice well beat it? Come close? We’re on pins and needles waiting to see!…

UPDATE: Rice Energy said on their earnings call yesterday that although they will hook up their new Greene County, PA Utica well to production in 3Q15, they will not run an initial production (IP) test on the well. Why? “Recently reported IP tests in close proximity to our position have proven our geologic model’s expectation that this area is highly prospective for Utica development. From other data we’ve gathered during the drilling and completion of this well, we would fully expect similar IP results, but our main focus is determining long-term production potential.” Bummer!
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Big Green Groups File to Block Shell Cracker Air Quality Permit

Simply amazing. Two Big Green environmental groups–the Philadelphia-based Clean Air Council and the Washington, DC-based Environmental Integrity Project–are trying to scuttle the Shell ethane cracker in the Pittsburgh area that would bring thousands of new jobs and eventually pump something like $20 billion into the regional economy, with a ripple effect of jobs and prosperity for the entire tri-state region. The two groups have just filed an appeal with state regulators saying the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) erred when granting an air quality permit that will allow the plant to operate (see Shell Receives Air Quality Permit from PA DEP for Cracker Plant). These two litigious Big Green groups hope to tie the whole matter up in court and “encourage” (scare) Shell away from its investment. It’s hard to put into words the depth of depravity of people who do disgusting things like this…
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Magnum Hunter 2Q15: Rev Down 60%; Eureka Hunter Still Not Sold

Magnum Hunter Resources (MHR) released their second quarter 2015 update today, with plenty of information. MHR reports oil and gas production year over year in the second quarter was up 20%. But because of the price collapse over the past 12 months, MHR’s revenue for that production decreased 60% year over year. One of the juicy tidbits we pick up from the update deals with an impending sale of MHR pipeline subsidiary Eureka Hunter. You may recall that MHR CEO Gary Evans, speaking at the Hart Energy DUG East conference in Pittsburgh in June implied the company had cut a deal to sell their ownership stake in Eureka Hunter (see Magnum Hunter Cuts Deal to Sell Eureka Hunter & 2 New JVs). It seems that was the wrong (misleading?) impression. In today’s 2Q15 update we learn that MHR “is in discussions with a number of third parties regarding this potential sale transaction.” So no, the sale of Eureka Hunter is not a done deal–not yet. What else do we learn?…
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New COO for Magnum Hunter Raises a Few Interesting Questions

Magnum Hunter Resources (MHR) announced a change in upper management yesterday that caught our attention. Keith Yankowsky, 50, has been hired as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer reporting to CEO Gary Evans. It caught our attention for a couple of reasons. Number one, Yankowsky was hired away from Chesapeake Energy. It was just two days ago we heard about another high level defection from Chesapeake–Aubrey McClendon hired away one of his old mates to become CFO of his new company (see McClendon’s American Energy Partners Gets a New CFO). Now we have a second very high level defection from Chesapeake with Yankowsky, who was serving as Vice President of the Appalachia South Business Unit, to join a much smaller (and financially troubled) company. Two defections does not a trend make, but we have to ask: What do they know that we don’t? Hmmmm. The second thing we notice is that this appears to be a completely new position at MHR, shifting some of the responsibility for day to day operations off from Gary Evans’ plate and onto Yankowsky’s plate. Was this Gary saying, “Hey board, I need some help,” or the board saying, “Hey Gary, you NEED some help”? Hmmmm…
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Gulfport Energy Releases Other Half of 2Q15 Update – the Bad News

Last week Gulfport Energy, with some 243,000 acres of Utica Shale leases, released half of their second quarter update (see Gulfport Releases Half of 2Q15 Update – The Good News Part). This week they released the full update, the other half dealing with the financial aspects of the company. Like other drillers across the country, Gulfport’s net income (after expenses, accounting this and that, taxes) took a big hit. They lost $31.3 million in 2Q15 vs making $47.9 million in 2Q14. The good news is that Gulfport remains active in the Utica–they plan to have drilled between 49-55 new Utica wells by the end of 2015…
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Carrizo O&G 2Q15: No New Utica Drilling, but Production Goes Up

Carrizo Oil & Gas released their second quarter update yesterday. Carrizo has operations in both the Marcellus and Utica–although the Utica seems to be where they are concentrating their efforts in the northeast. At the beginning of the year Carrizo said they would not do any new drilling in the northeast, instead concentrating on the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas (see Carrizo Cuts Budget 35%, No Drilling Planned in Utica/Marcellus in 2015). The latest update shows the company to be following that strategy. Although there has been no new drilling, Carrizo did bring several previously drilled Utica wells online for sales, boosting their production in the Utica. Carrizo’s Marcellus production was roughly flat with 1Q15 production with nothing new planned for the Marcellus. Below are the relevant portions of the update dealing with the Utica/Marcellus…
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Gastar 2Q15: No New Marcellus/Utica Wells, Production Increased Anyway

Gastar Exploration, with a small but meaningful drilling program in both the Marcellus and Utica Shale (~46,700 net acres leased) filed their second quarter update yesterday. As we reported after their 1Q15 update, Gastar isn’t drilling any new Marcellus wells for the balance of 2015, instead concentrating new drilling on the Midcontinent drilling program (see Gastar 1Q15: NE Production Up 5%, No New Marcellus Wells in 2015). Even though Gastar didn’t drill anything new in the northeast over the past three months, production from the Marcellus for Gastar continued to climb because of previously drilled and completed wells. Gastar, like almost all other North American drillers, took a huge net loss on income during 2Q15 largely due to assets being devalued due to the price collapse. In other words, it wasn’t actual money they lost, but money on paper. Below is the brief update from the 2Q15 update on Gastar’s Marcellus program, along with their most recent investor presentation. MDN has hacked apart the long PowerPoint to show you only those bits related to the Marcellus/Utica (and there are some good slides in there)…
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National Fuel Gas/Seneca Res. 3Q15: Marcellus Production Down 12%

National Fuel Gas Company, a large Buffalo-based utility with subsidiaries active in drilling and midstream, released their third quarter (everybody else’s second quarter) financial and operating results yesterday. National Fuel Gas is the parent of Marcellus driller Seneca Resources and midstream company Empire Pipeline. Sounding like a broken record, Seneca Resources, like just about every other driller in North America, had a horrible quarterly net income statement because of write-downs in the value of their assets–i.e. a paper loss (not an actual cash loss). Unlike many other drillers, Seneca’s Marcellus production was down year over year by 12%–presumably from lack of drilling and completing new wells. Below we have the scoop on National Fuel’s drilling/upstream operations (Seneca Resources), and on their pipeline/midstream operations (Empire Pipeline & National Fuel Gas Midstream), along with a snapshot of their production numbers, broken out by oil/gas and by region…
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Volume Steady in Mountaineer Midstream’s WV Pipeline @ 547 MMcf/d

Summit Midstream has a small but growing presence in the Marcellus/Utica region largely through purchasing pipeline systems from other companies (see our list of Summit stories here). Yesterday the company issued its second quarter 2015 financial results. Below is a financial update for Mountaineer Midstream, Summit’s Marcellus-area pipeline system in Doddridge County, WV. Of note, volumes of gas flowing through Mountaineer were down 0.9% from 1Q15. In essence, volumes are steady through the pipeline at 547 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) on average…
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