Hess Says Harrison County, OH “Truly the Sweet Spot” of the Utica

Last week Hess released their second quarter 2015 earnings and operations update. It didn’t really say too much at all about their drilling program in the Ohio Utica Shale. We did, however, get some color commentary from CEO John Hess on last week’s conference call with analysts. We learned from that call that Hess drilled, with joint venture partner CONSOL Energy, just 10 wells in 2Q15. They completed 15 wells (some previously drilled) and brought 9 wells online into production. Hess is dropping from 2 active rigs in the Ohio to just 1 rig for the balance of 2015 but even so, they expect to bring 25-30 new wells online for all of 2015. The interesting (kind of funny) thing to MDN was an off-the-cuff statement by Hess President & COO Greg Hill on the call. Hill said that Hess will continue to concentrate their Utica drilling in Harrison County, OH. Why? Not because that’s where most of their remaining Utica acreage is located–oh no. But because Harrison County is, according to Hill, “truly the sweet spot of the play” and “the wettest part of the play.” There you have it. Forget about Belmont, Monroe, Noble and Guernsey counties. Harrison is where it’s at…

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