Friday, December 26, 2014

Who is Drilling Where - Ohio Utica Shale - Dec 20, 2014

The December 20 update from the Ohio DNR shows 299 wells currently classified as drilling in Ohio's Utica Shale. Map and data below. The 299 wells-drilling count is up 4 from the prior week.

Monroe County led all in the number of wells drilling with 70 reported, followed by Guernsey (67), Harrison (64), Noble (50), Belmont (31), Carroll (8), Jefferson (4), Tuscarawas (3), Portage (1), and Trumbull (1).

Antero led all operators with 60 wells classified as drilling followed by Gulfport (54), Eclipse (46), American Energy (41), Chesapeake (26), Hess (12), PDC (12), Rice Drilling (10), Carrizo (8), Triad Hunter (8), Rex Energy (4), XTO (4), CNX (3), HG Energy (3), Hall Drilling (2), Chevron (1), EM Energy (1), Enervest (1), EQT (1), Halcon (1), Mountaineer Keystone (1).

Map of wells classified as "Drilling"

Dec 14-20 a Busy Week in OH Utica Shale Permits

Despite the recent steep slide in oil prices, permits issued in Ohio's Utica Shale looked healthy during the week of December 14-20. The ODNR reported 37 permits issued in total. The permits were issued in 6 different counties and for 7 different operators.

Early indications are that "sweet spots" remain economical and that riskier, more exploratory areas will see increasingly less activity. And with oil bearing the brunt of commodity price decline, gas bearing areas look to be favored. Fracking in oil rich areas also appears to be more of a challenge. A well-written article on the topic of the challenges of tapping the more oil rich regions can be found here.

Harrison County lead all counties with 13 permits issued for the week, followed by Belmont (7), Noble (6), Guernsey and Monroe (4), Carroll (3). Chesapeake led all operators with 12 new permits, followed by Eclipse (8), American Energy (6), Gulfport (3), Carriz (3), Rice (3), Antero (2)

Belmont County (7)
Goshen Township (3), Rice Drilling
Washington Township (3), Gulfport Energy
Richland Township (1), American Energy

Carroll County (3)
Fox Township (2), Chesapeake Exploration
Lee Township (1), Chesapeake Exploration

Guernsey County (4)
Richland Township (3), Carrizo
Millwood Township (1), Chesapeake Exploration

Harrison County (13)
North Township (8),  Chesapeake Exploration
Nottingham Township (5),  American Energy

Monroe County (4)
Adams Township (2), Eclipse Resources
Franklin Township (2), Antero Resources

Noble County (6)
Marion Township (6), Eclipse Resources

Map showing new permits, red indicates wells already drilling.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Drilling Activity Map - Utica Shale OH - Dec 13, 2014

The Dec 13, 2014 update from the Ohio DNR shows 295 Utica Shale wells classified as "drilling", up 13 from 282 reported of Dec 6.

Harrison, Guernsey, and Monroe counties lead with 66 wells drilling in each.
Antero leads all operators with 58 wells drilling, Noble (40) and Monroe (18).

Gulfport is the second most active driller with 54 wells drilling spanning 5 counties, Monroe (29), Belmont (10), Harrison (7), Guernsey (5), Noble (3).

Counties with wells classified as "Drilling"
From previous week (+) or (-)
Belmont (+6), Carroll (-1), Harrison (-1), Monroe (+4), Noble (+3), Tuscarawas (+2)

Harrison (66), Guernsey (66), Monroe (66),  Noble (50), Belmont (30), Carroll (8), Jefferson (4), Portage (1), Trumbull (1), Tuscarawas (3).

Operators "Drilling"
From previous week (+) or (-)
[Antero (+2),Gulfport (+8), American (+1), Chesapeake (-1), Rice (+3),   from previous week]

Antero (58), Gulfport (54), Eclipse (45), American (37), Chesapeake (29), Hess (14), PDC (12), Carrizo (8), Triad Hunter (8), Rex Energy (4), XTO (4), CNX (3), HG (3),  Hall Drilling (2), Chevron (1), Enervest (1), EQT (1), Halcon (1), Mountaineer (1).

Map of Utica Shale Ohio wells classified as "Drilling"
(select with mouse for more information, zoom in if necessary)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Utica Shale Production Decline Example

In this post we look at the decline rates of the top five gas producers from Q1 2014 in Ohio and see how they did over Q2 and Q3.

IP and UR and decline curves
Much has been written about the steep production decline curves of shale wells over time, a common and expected occurrence. There is reference to high IP rates or high Initial Production compared to UR or Ultimate Recovery. We still don't have a lot of data on longer-term Utica Shale well decline rates in Ohio and what each well will ultimately produce, but as more data comes in we get a better idea. Bending the production curve and sustaining production is the goal. Once a particular well has "paid-out" or paid for itself based on investment and profit, the rest is gravy.

Many variables impact ultimate recovery
It is important to appreciate that many factors go into decline rate. As technology improves and production practices are optimized, decline rates should also improve. Each operator is looking to find the right mix of technology and practices to squeeze the most Ultimate Recovery from their assets. And as a well's production declines operators may look into some form of well intervention that might increase production and/or allow production to be sustained for a longer period of time.

Utica Shale decline rate example
As an example of decline rates, lets take a look at the top five gas producing wells from the Q1 2014 Ohio DNR report, and now, with 2 subsequent quarterly releases, how those wells fared over time.

2014 Utica Shale production decline example (Q1 top 5 gas producers)
(How they did over time)

Source: Q1, Q2, and Q3 Ohio DNR production data release

The chart shows just how quickly production declines, a star in one quarter can continue to produce at a relately high rate, but rates decline sharply, not a surprise to those in the industry and nothing to be too concerned about, this is very typical in shale plays. The MCCORT well is unique from the other four in that the well produced for just 32 days in Q2. [All data is averaged based on Gas Production/Day. See charts below for more].

Excluding the MCCORT well, the others, top 5 gas producers in Q1, ranked 12,13,16,and 20 in Q2, and then 45,47,49, and 67 in Q3.

So there you have it, a look at five highly-productive wells over 3 quarters and what production decline looks like. Stay tuned for more analysis and reporting of Ohio's Utica / Point Pleasant Shale play.

Additional data
Source: Q1, Q2, and Q3 Ohio DNR production data release

Friday, December 5, 2014

Utica Shale Ohio - Q2 vs. Q3 Production, 2014

Diving a bit deeper into today's Ohio DNR data release, next up.

Q2 vs. Q3 2014 Production, Analysis by County
As written previously, total oil and gas production is up overall Q2 vs Q3. Oil production is up 22% and gas production is up 49%. Now let's take a look at how each county stacks up Q2 vs. Q3

2014 Utica Shale Ohio Oil and Gas Production Trend (Q2 to Q3) by County
Cells in green show an increase in production from Q2 to Q3
Cells in red show a decrease.
Unmarked cells noted with "*" are statistically insignificant

Data Source: Ohio DNR quarterly production data releases

  1. Belmont County is the standout in Utica Shale gas production and gas production increase. Fifth in oil production and second in gas production, Belmont also showed the largest real increase in gas production, up 12,652,596 MCF. Not far behind is Carroll County, up 10,151,360 MCF and Monroe, up 9,659,546 MCF.
  2. Carroll County leads both gas and oil production by county and continues with production increases for both oil and gas.
  3. Harrison County is the clear standout in increased oil production, up 250,886 barrels in the quarter. And Harrison also logged a 5,540,078 MCF increase in gas production, just behind the increase witnessed by Monroe. 
  4. Guernsey County continues to produce both oil and gas at decent numbers, though not increasingly so. As of the Nov. 29, 2014 Ohio DNR report we noted that Guernsey is still very active with 50 wells drilling, exceeded only by Harrison and Belmont counties which show far more significant increases in production. With so many wells drilling we should see some good Q4 2014 and Q1 2015 numbers from Guernsey. In subsequent posts we will look at production trends for individual wells to see if there are any clues there. 
  5. Other counties look to be just eking out oil and gas production, for a variety of reasons no doubt: few producing wells due to unimpressive results to date and less interest or operator willingness to take another chance in finding a way to unlock any hydrocarbons, or simply just getting started and yet to be proven. Other counties might still lack some infrastructure to haul away and process production, though that may not be the case any longer
Stay tuned for the next post where I will look at individual wells and production results, followed by map updates and a look at decline curves.

Q3 Utica Shale Ohio - Production Data is In

The Ohio DNR has just released Q3 2014 production data for Ohio's Utica Shale. I will share a brief analysis here and follow-up with more detailed analysis, maps, and charts as done previously.

Oil production
Q3 production at 3,013,667 barrels
Up 22% from reported Q2 production of 2,467,283 barrels

Gas production
Q3 production at 132,017,386 MCF
Up 49% from reported Q2 production of 88,802,715 MCF

Carroll county lead in both oil (1,122,376 barrels) and gas (46,926,306 MCF)

Oil production leaders, top 5 in barrels
Carroll (1,122,376) 
Harrison (776,430)
Noble (704,657)
Guernsey (222,956)
Belmont (46,157)

Gas production leaders, top 5 in MCF
Carroll (46,926,306)
Belmont ( 26,847,368)
Monroe (18,864,689)
Harrison (13,399,537)
Noble (12,244,436)

Complete list

Source: Dec 5. 2014, Ohio DNR data release

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Utica Shale Ohio - Large Format County Maps

Map lovers
Taking advantage of the the wider screens that many of my readers have I've decided to create a companion Website organized by counties. Each menu tab focuses on a single county. Ten top counties by well count are currently published, more to come.

Adjacent counties relevant
The Ohio DNR reports well data by the surface location of a particular well. As you see on many of the county maps, wells often extend into adjacent counties, something to keep in mind since a single well might produce from more than one county. If your interests are associated near a county boundary then be sure to investigate surrounding county maps.

Please find the site here: Large County Maps

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Drilling Activity - Utica Shale Ohio - Nov 29, 2014

Who is drilling where in the Utica Shale as of Nov 29, 2014

258 Utica / Point Pleasant Shale wells in Ohio are classified as "drilling" in the November 29, equal to what was reported November 15, with a few changes noted with (+) or (-). Data source: Ohio DNR.

Counties with wells classified as "Drilling"
[Monroe (+1), Belmont (-1) from previous week]
Harrison (63), Monroe (61), Guernsey (50), Noble (44), Belmont (24), Carroll (9), Jefferson (4), Portage (1), Trumbull (1), Tuscarawas (1).

Operators "Drilling"
[Rice Energy (-1), CNX (+1) from previous week]
Antero (55), Gulfport (49), Chesapeake (31), American Energy (31), Eclipse (27), Hess (14), PDC (11), Carrizo (8), Triad Hunter (8), Rice (4), Rex Energy (4), HG (3), XTO (3), CNX (3), Hall Drilling (2), Chevron (1), Enervest (1), EQT (1), Halcon (1), Mountaineer (1).

Map of Utica Shale Ohio wells classified as "Drilling"
(select with mouse for more information, zoom in if necessary)

Map - Ohio Utica Shale Permits Issued Nov 23-29, 2014

Map and Data  (Data Source: Ohio DNR)
15 permits issued for the week

Counties and permits issued
Monroe (6), Carroll (4), Belmont (3), Jefferson (2)

Gulfport (5), Chesapeake (4), American Energy (2), Antero (2), CNX (2)


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Drilling Activity - Utica Shale OH - Nov 22, 2014

Who is drilling where in the Utica Shale as of the November 22, 2014 activity report from the Ohio DNR.

258 Utica / Point Pleasant Shale wells in Ohio are classified as "drilling" in the November 22, down 15 from the November 15 report of 273.

Counties with wells classified as "Drilling":
Harrison (63), Monroe (60), Guernsey (50), Noble (44), Belmont (25), Carroll (9), Jefferson (4), Portage (1), Trumbull (1), Tuscarawas (1).

Operators "Drilling": Antero (55), Gulfport (49), Chesapeake (31), American Energy (31), Eclipse (27), Hess (14), PDC (11), Carrizo (8), Triad Hunter (8), Rice (5), Rex Energy (4), HG (3), XTO (3), CNX (2), Hall Drilling (2), Chevron (1), Enervest (1), EQT (1), Halcon (1), Mountaineer (1).

Map of Utica Shale Ohio wells classified as "Drilling"
(select with mouse for more information, zoom in if necessary)

Click over to the maps tab to see all wells and well paths, color-coded by status.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Drilling Activity - Utica Shale Ohio - As of Nov 15, 2014

273 Utica / Point Pleasant Shale wells in Ohio are classified as "drilling" in the November 15, 2014 report out of the Ohio DNR.

Counties with wells classified as "Drilling":
Harrison (69), Monroe (60), Guernsey (48), Noble (46), Belmont (30), Carroll (12), Jefferson (4), Morgan (1), Portage (1), Trumbull (1), Tuscarawas (1).

Operators "Drilling": Antero (57), Gulfport (54), Chesapeake (40), American Energy (31), Eclipse (24), Hess (17), PDC (12), Carrizo (8), Triad Hunter (8), Rice (5), HG (3), XTO (3), CNX (2), Hall Drilling (2), Rex Energy (2), Chevron (1), Enervest (1), EQT (1), Halcon (1), Mountaineer (1).

Map of Utica Shale wells classified as "Drilling"

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Utica Shale Ohio, New Permits Issued Week of Nov 10, 2014

Permitting activity in the Ohio Utica Shale for the week of November 10, 2014.

Permits issued:22
By county: Monroe (7), Columbiana (6), Belmont (3), Noble (3), Harrison (2), Tuscarawas (1)
By operator: Antero (6), Gulfport (6), Hilcorp (6), Chesapeake (2), American (1), CNX (1)

Map of newly permitted wells

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Utica Shale Ohio, Well Activity - Oct 25, 2014

The latest update from the Ohio DNR for the Utica Shale shows:

New Permits - 7 new permits issues for the week of October  19-25, 2014
2  permits issued in Carroll County and 1 in Tuscarawas, all for Chesapeake
3 permits issued in Jefferson County for American Energy
1 permit issued in Belmont County for XTO Energy

Map of new permits issued for the week

Wells Drilling - 265 wells are classified as drilling on October 25th, 2014
Harrison County - 69, Monroe County - 51, Guernsey County - 49
Noble County - 48, Belmont County - 28, Carroll County - 13
Jefferson County - 3, Morgan County - 1, Portage County - 1
Trumbull County - 1, Tuscarawas County - 1

Operators Drilling and number of wells drilling
Gulfport - 55, Antero - 48, Chesapeake - 45, American energy - 24
Eclipse - 23, Hess - 18, PDC - 11, Carrizo - 8, Triad Hunter - 8, CNX Gas - 5
HG Energy - 4, Rex - 3, XTO - 3, Hall Drilling - 2, Rice Drilling - 2
Chevron - 1, Devon - 1, Enervest - 1, EQT - 1, Halcon - 1, Mountaineer - 1

Map of wells classified as Drilling on October 25th, 2014

607 wells are classified as producing as of October 25th, 2014
Chesapeake - 364, Gulfport 61, Antero - 31, CNX Gas - 18, Hess - 18, Rex - 16
American Energy - 13, PDC - 13, HG Energy - 9, Atlas Noble - 8, Halcon - 8
Hilcorp - 8, Anadarko - 7, Eclipse - 7, Hall Drilling - 5, Enervest - 4, EQT - 3
Mountaineer - 3, Triad Hunter - 3, Chevron - 2, Devon - 2, XTO - 2, Carrizo - 1, HESS - 1

Counties with wells classified as producing (not necessarily in order by total production)
Carroll - 282, Harrison - 97, Noble - 43, Columbiana - 39, Guernsey - 34
Belmont - 32, Monroe - 27, Jefferson - 14, Mahoning - 13, Trumbull - 7
Washington - 6, Portage - 4, Tuscarawas - 4, Stark - 2, Coshocton - 1
Muskingum - 1, Wayne - 1

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Utica Shale Ohio, Drilling Activity - Oct 18, 2014

248 wells drilling
As of October 18, 2014, 248 wells are classified as "drilling" in Ohio's Utica / Point Pleasant play according to the recent activity report from the Ohio DNR. This time last year the number of wells drilling stood at just 81, giving us a 3 fold increase in drilling activity from last year.

Drilling by County, led by Harrison
Harrison county leads all counties with 62 wells drilling, followed by Guernsey (48), Monroe (47), Noble (45), Belmont (26), Carroll (13), Jefferson (3), then Morgan, Portage, Trumbull, and Tuscarawas all with 1 well drilling.

Drilling by Operator, led by Gulfport
Gulfport leads all operators with 50 wells drilling, followed by Antero (48), Chesapeake (38), American (24), Eclipse (22), HESS (17), PDC, Carrizo, and Triad (8), CNX (5), HG (4), Rex Energy and XTO  (3), Hall Drilling and Rice Drilling (2), and Chevron, Devon, Enervest, EQT, Halcon, and Mountaineer with 1 well drilling each.

Map of wells drilling in Ohio's Utica / Point Pleasant

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Winter 2014/2015 Temperatures - A Wild Card in Natural Gas Prices

Natural gas prices at the mercy of mother nature
Those that follow the natural gas prices in the U.S. know well the impact of a colder than average winter like what we experienced in the winter of 2013/2014. Hedges help to mitigate swings in natural gas spot prices, but storage deficits and draw will eventually hit when contracts expire, and no one can escape a sustained price swing for long. The 2013/2014 winter shocked natural gas storage and set many records. By the end of March, storage levels reached a 10-year low. And February saw the largest natural gas demand ever. Storage recovery still lags, but thanks to the Marcellus Shale, Utica Shale, and others, we are almost there, and just in time with winter around the corner. The chart below from the U.S. EIA illustrates a few things worth noting.

1) As the last two years shows, demand starts to outstrip supply in mid to late October, when storage starts to take a hit. Then, after sustaining us through the winter (or just barely so in early 2014),  a build up begins in preparation for the next winter. It does not take much imagination to appreciate that this is a delicate balance.
2) The winter of 2014/2015 saw a huge dip in storage, though a simple line projection puts us back where we need to be (for an average fall and winter) at about the same time the seasonal draw in storage is set to begin.

Source: U.S. EIA

U.S. natural gas price history and average temperature correlation
As pointed out, natural gas prices are driven in part by storage reports (or in their anticipation due to cold weather forecasts or other factors).  Last winter's huge draw on storage created some large price spikes as seen in the graph below.

Source: U.S. EIA

And while many remember the winter of 2013/2014 as bitterly cold, overall, when looking at the 48 contiguous states the departure was only one degree below normal (source: NOAA), though where it was colder mattered, with larger populations impacted. In Illinois the average temperature departure for February was -9.7 degrees F (source: NOAA). Other departures for February 2014 included New York (-1.9 deg F.), Pennsylvania (-3.7 deg F.), Ohio (-5.7 deg F), and Michigan (-6.4 deg F.).

A lesson in predictions from the winter of 2013/2014
Scientists often struggle to forecast  the weather from one day to the next, and longer range forecasts in the 7-10 day range can be simply awful. I remember reading from some forecasters back in October and November of 2013 that the 2013/2014 winter in the Midwest and Northeast were going to be anywhere from average to a bit warmer than normal, and then... it was one of the coldest on record in many parts of the country! And of course they had to come up with some "excuse" for why they got it so wrong. A name did the trick, it was all the fault of the "polar vortex". When forecasters get it wrong there is always an excuse, from polar vortex to a dip in the jet stream to  an unexpected weakening of El Nino. But all of this does not hide the fact that they missed it. The fancy name or scientific jargon for why the scientists missed it does not change the fact.

Predictions for Winter 2014/2015
Some are saying that the winter of 2014/2015 will be extremely cold and similar though not quite as severe as last winter. Others are saying that it will be about normal "unless" a polar vortex or two sets up. "Unless a polar vortex or two sets up"?, that's like saying we are going to see average temps this winter unless we see colder temps this winter. Wow, what a prediction, hard to miss that one.

One common way of predicting is by looking at what is happening now, "Hey, we are seeing some of the earliest snowfalls on record in some cities, maybe this means that it will be a colder than normal winter." And we are seeing early snowfall and early cold weather in many parts of the U.S., so maybe we will see a cold winter. I would bet on a colder winter based of the early cold weather and snow, but some might call that too simplistic of an explanation because I did not use the word jet stream, vortex, or Nino in my explanation.

A word to the wise, don't mess with Mother Nature (or think that you can predict her with any certainty I would add).

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Active Drilling in Ohio's Utica Shale, Map

When operators set out to drill a single well in Ohio's Utica Shale they are investing an estimated 5-7 million dollars. As a result of such investment, drilling activity is a good indicator of where operators believe the money is, or could be.  The latest activity report shows some investment happening by Halcon and Mountaineer Keystone in Trumbull and Portage counties respectively. Time will tell if the investment pans out and if these operators are able to crack the code and find the right formula to economically produce the wells. And for landowners looking to reap some of the rewards, the northern drilling activity is a welcomed sign, though these two wells are but a small bet, and only 2 of 230 wells drilling in Ohio at the date of this post. See MAP of all wells currently drilling below.

The map below shows surface locations (white squares) and bottom hole locations (red), along with well paths. Underneath this map I've included a link to a map of all wells in the Utica shale (surface locations only), from permitted only, to drilling, drilled, and producing. This map has a blue filter tab in the upper left that allows you to create filters to interrogate the data and display based on some criteria, for example (what operators have wells drilled but waiting to be produced in an individual county or township), and so on.

Wells drilling as of September 13, 2014

Click here to see a map of all horizontal wells in the Ohio Utica / Point Pleasant.
(Surface locations only, zoom in to see separate wells on a pad). Note that some wells are permitted only and may not show any activity currently visible on the ground.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Side by side - Top oil and gas producing wells in the Utica Shale in Q2 2014

There are many ways of analyzing and comparing oil and gas production of wells in the Utica / Point Pleasant Play in Ohio.
Maps clearly show the general separation of higher oil production to the west and higher gas production to the east. Surprisingly, some Noble County wells made it on both maps.

Average production/day one measure
Average production/day was chosen as the yard stick here. We could have selected total production in the quarter but that would fail to recognize highly productive wells that were in production for just a short time during the quarter. Avg production/day can skew the data to the newer wells that will have higher initial production so there isn't a perfect measure.

Data mounts
Each quarterly report gives us more production and decline curve data for wells. Such data will be a good measure, though even this can be skewed by unique processes used to drill, complete and exploit individual wells. As operators learn more we should see better production curves from adjacent wells. Though even then, there will be a lot left to interpretation. As has been said many times before, we are still in the early days of exploiting and understanding the play.

Map left - Bottom hole locations for wells that averaged more than 150 barrels of oil/day in Q2 2014 (65 wells)
Map right - Bottom hole locations for wells that averaged more than 5,000 Mcf/day of natural gas in Q2 2014 (63 wells). Production cutoffs were somewhat arbitrary and designed to show a good sample of data. All data comes from the Ohio DNR. See page here which includes a note on wells potentially not included in the maps below.

Map color codes show wells increasing in production from yellow to green to blue to red. Click on counties or bottom hole locations for information.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Oil Production in Ohio's Utica Shale - Q2, 2014

Looking at last weeks Q2 2014 production data release from the Ohio DNR we can see where most of the oil is coming from out of the Utica in Ohio, both in cumulative production and production per producing day. Table and maps below. While looking at the data it is important to recognize the fact that counties like Carroll have far more wells, and wells that have been producing longer, so higher total production is not a big surprise.

Newer wells will show higher production in the early months then later drop off sharply. Noble stands out as a county with the highest production/well or per producing day on the average for the quarter, and  though Noble's wells are newer and higher production/day is expected, the new wells in Noble seem to be producing at higher initial rates than early production of Carroll County wells. As a result, Noble County continues to be a standout in oil production in the Utica Shale in Ohio.

Oil Producing Counties and Production Totals for Q2, 2014 - Ohio DNR data 
Darker shaded counties indicate higher production, click county to view numbers

Oil Producing Counties and Production Totals for Q2, 2014 - Ohio DNR data 
Darker shaded counties indicate higher production per producing day, click county to view numbers.

Production numbers for individual wells in any of the counties can be seen here.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Utica Shale Belmont County OH - Gas Production King

Gas production most impressive 
Nestled in Southeastern Ohio, just west of Wheeling West Virginia, sits the undisputed King of natural gas production in the Utica Shale. Belmont county holds the distinction of being the location of 12 of the top 14 wells in reported gas production in Q1 2014 and equally holds12 of the top 14 Utica Shale cummulative gas producers of all time in Ohio. The county is first in average gas production/day and second only to Carroll County (which has ten times the number of producing wells) in total natural gas production from the Utica as of Q1 2014 report. See chart below.

Active 2014 permitting points to more drilling and production to come
No wonder Belmont County is second only to Harrison County in the number of Utica Shale permits issued in Ohio so far in 2014 (as of the September 6th, 2014 Ohio DNR report). Relatively high gas production from wells in the county is pumping up profits.Top permitting activity in 2014 in the county is led by Gulfport with 36 and XTO (22), followed by Hess (10), American Energy (8), and Rice (1).

Gulfport holds favorable acreage position, others up and coming 
Gulfport Energy holds 90 total drilling permits in the county with 25 wells producing and 10 drilling. Other operators currently drilling in the county (as of September 6th, 2014) include Hess with 4 wells drilling, XTO (3) and Rice (1). Gulfport also holds the distinction of drilling 13 of the top 15 all time natural gas producing wells in the county.

Top acreage appears to be in western and southern townships
Looking at Q1 2014 production data, top producing wells are situated in western and southern townships, though many of the townships have yet to be probed.

More exploration needed to properly delineate
And while production activity is rolling in for some townships, other are still in the pipeline and are just starting to be tested or are completely untested. For example, XTO holds 13 permits for the far southeast York Township, with all of their permits accumulated this year, but aside from permitting, no drilling has begun according to the most recent September 6th, 2014 Ohio DNR report. Even neighboring Washington Township, just to the West of York, we see only 2 wells producing and 16 as permitted only. All of this indicates that the county is very much in the early days and we don't have a clear understanding of what is to come.

Belmont County Utica Shale map
Legend: Legend: Green=Producing, Red=Drilling, Purple=Drilled, Black or Yellow=Permitted only. White squares indicate surface locations. 

Belmont County map with Townships and well activity

Gas Production Leaders by County

Note: While all data and numbers presented are believed to accurate and reflect Ohio DNR data there is no guarantee that such is the case. The data presented here should not be used for making any important decision.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Utica Shale Ohio Permits Issued Aug 31 - Sept 6 , 2014

September 6th Ohio DNR update - New Utica Shale Ohio permits issued for the week of August 31st, 2014. 20 new permits issued in total.

New permits by county 
Belmont County  7  - Gulfport Energy (5) + American Energy (2)
Noble County  6  - Antero Resources (6)
Harrison County  4  - American Energy (3) + Gulfport Energy (1)
Tuscarawas County  - 2  Enervest (2)
Guernsey County  - 1  Carrizo (1)

Map of new permits issued for the week
Zoom in to see well paths and more. Click on any element (surface, bottom hole, well path, county, to see data). White square = surface locations. Lines indicate well path to bottom hole locations.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Utica Shale in Harrison County Ohio - A Hotbed of Activity

Harrison County at the center of current Utica Shale activity in Ohio
There is perhaps no county hotter than Harrison county when it comes to activity in the Utica Shale. The county either leads or is in second place in a number of categories and based on recent permitting activity the positions are likely to at least hold.

Harrison County's distinctions (based on the August 30, 2014 Ohio DNR Report)
2nd in total wells at any stage (266), led by Carroll (430)
1st in wells drilling (52), 2nd is Guernsey (50)
2nd in wells permitted only (78), led by Belmont (86)
2nd in wells producing (75), led by Carroll (258)
1st in permits issued in August 2014 (18), followed by Belmont (16)
2nd in permits issued so far this year (47), lead by Belmont (73)
2nd in total oil produced from Q1 2013 through Q1 2014

Harrison County Utica Shale map
Below is a map of Harrison county and its Utica Shale Wells. The map includes surface locations as white squares, well paths, and bottom hole locations. Select the bottom hole locations to see production numbers from Q1 2013 through Q1 2014, along with any other data readily available, including TVD of some of the wells, extracted from All other data is extracted from the Ohio DNR.

Legend: Green=Producing, Red=Drilling, Gray=Drilled, Yellow=Permitted only.

Harrison County Township map

Harrison County Ohio Township Map

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

New Ohio Utica Shale Permits Issued Aug 25-30, 2014

The latest report from the Ohio DNR is out showing activity and new permits issued the week of August 25th, 2014. 17 new permits are recognized in this post though the Ohio DNR reports 20 new permits. For some unknown reason, three Trumbull County BP wells appeared on the list of new permits though these wells were previously reported and already show as producing, as a result, the 3 BP wells are discounted in the data and map below. New permits continue to be focused in the South. Select "Maps" in the main menu above to see all wells by status.

New permits by county 
Harrison County 10: Chesapeake (7) + Gulfport (3)
Belmont County  4: XTO (3) + American Energy (1)
Carroll County 3: Chesapeake (3)

Map of new permits issued for the week (excluding the 3 BP wells)
Zoom in to see well paths and more. Click on any element (surface, bottom hole, well path, county, to see data). White square = Surface locations. Yellow = Well path and bottom hole locations

Monday, September 1, 2014

Noble County Ohio, Seneca Township Utica Shale Production Shines

Data reflects public information available from the Ohio DNR as of August 23, 2014, including production data through Q1 2014.

Seven of top ten Q1 2014 liquid producers lie in Noble County
According to recent Ohio DNR well activity and production reports, Noble County Ohio wells (Seneca Township in the Northeast specifically) are some of the most prolific liquid producers in the state. The Q1 2014 released production data showed Noble County with 7 wells (all in Seneca Township) among the top 10 liquid producers during the quarter. Harrison and Guernsey County wells rounded out the top 10 liquid producers.

Map - Utica Shale Wells in Noble County Ohio
Surface locations: White square
Well paths and bottom hole locations: Red (drilling), Yellow (permitted only), Green (producing), Gray (drilled, not yet producing).

Antero Resource the most active driller
Antero Resources has a coveted position in the northern region of the county and is the most active driller as of August 23, 2014 with 35 wells drilling followed by CNX Gas with 3 wells drilling. No other operator showed wells drilling in the August 23 activity report.

Operators producing
Antero Resources shows most wells producing with 25, followed by CNX Gas with 23, and Anadarko and Rex Energy with 3 each.

Wells permitted only
Wells classified as "Permitted" only show Antero Resources with 14 followed by CNX Gas, Anadarko, Enervest, and Eclipse with 1 each.

Wells drilled and not yet producing
CNX Gas leads wells of this status with 11 wells showing as Drilled and awaiting Production, followed only by Antero Resources with 5 wells drilled but not yet producing.

Noble County Township Map with number of wells in each as of August 23, 2014Noble County shows 76 total wells at various stages from permitted to producing. Township by Township wells noted below.

Beaver Township shows 19 wells drilling, 4 more producing and 4 permitted.
Seneca Township shows 20 wells producing, 5 drilled, 4 drilling, and 6 permitted.
Marion Township shows  9 wells, all drilling
Center Township shows 4 wells, all permitted only
Buffalo Township shows 1 well, producing.

Important Notice: While care was taken to try to present information accurately and properly reflect Ohio DNR data and reports, the owner takes ABSOLUTELY NO liability and assumes no risk for any errors. Use at your own risk.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Utica Shale Ohio - 5 Counties with New Permits Issued Week of Aug 18, 2014.

The week of August 18th saw 14 new permits issued in 5 counties. Map below includes surface and bottom hole locations, well paths, and county outlines.

Belmont, 5 new wells, all HESS, all on one pad.
Guernsey, 2 new wells, Enervest, on one pad
Harrison, 4 new wells, Chesapeake, on one pad
Jefferson, 1 new well, Chesapeake
Noble, 2 new wells, Antero, on one pad

Surface locations purple, well paths and bottom hole locations are red.

Friday, August 22, 2014

LNG Export Projects Advance - A Comfort to Shale Operators

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported this week that another LNG export project has been conditionally approved by the Federal Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Cameron LNG project joins the list
The new approval goes to the sponsors of the Cameron LNG export project out of Louisiana. The addition of the Cameron Louisiana project brings the total approved projects to three, adding to the Sabine Pass LNG (Louisiana) and the Freeport LNG (Texas) projects already announced.

LNG export approval status - DOE and FERC
The approval process for LNG export requires the DOE to approve LNG export and the FERC to approve the onshore and near onshore facilities, the latter involving a rigorous environmental impact study. Both the DOE and FERC maintain a list of projects and approval status.

The DOE has a longer list of approved LNG export projects listed here.
The FERC has a list of projects a various states, potential, proposed, and approved.
DOE LNG export applications from various companies can be found here.

Exports should ensure sustained drilling activity and new exploration
The winter of 2013/2014 was a harsh one, and to the delight of operators, many of which are razor thin on realizing profits on their shale investments. Without the recent cold winter that drew heavily on natural gas storage and kept natural gas prices at a price floor, we would not be seeing as much drilling as we are seeing now.

For all of the good wells that are profitable, there are those that are not, especially in the newer shale plays and the shale plays where brave operators venture out into less-proved areas. Unsatisfactory results in many of the northern and western areas of the Utica Shale in in Ohio is a case in point. BP abandoned efforts in the northern portion of the Utica after poor production results. And Devon, while still in the play, took a chance in the early days on some wells in the east and had a similar outcome.

In order to venture out into the untested areas and make more marginal wells profitable, natural gas prices will need to be at some level that supports investment. In fact, many areas, though having some amount of natural gas or liquids are not being developed based on the current price of natural gas. And even for those operators that want to experiment with new drilling, completion or production methods in non-core areas, the lower commodity prices increase the risk and dampen investment.

So while consumers and chemical companies cheer the lower prices, the price is sensitive to a number of things, including how cold it will be this coming winter. Opportunities to export LNG will help to sustain drilling activity and investment with operators banking on receiving higher prices overseas and the pressure that exports will have locally to sustain some reasonable pricing. LNG export also helps to create a pricing environment not so dependent on the U.S. weather and natural gas consumption patterns, offering much needed stability that investors need.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Utica Shale's Top Driller Anticipates 835 New Wells

Most active current driller in the Utica Shale in Ohio
As of the August 16, 2014 Ohio DNR Utica Shale activity report, Antero Resources currently leads all operators in wells listed as "drilling" with 38. According to the Antero Resources August 2014 company presentation Antero anticipates "835 future gross drilling locations" in the Utica Shale in Ohio. This represents a significant capital investment when you consider the 5-7 million estimated cost to bring one of the wells into production.

Chesapeake leads historical numbers
And while Antero is currently the most active driller, they by no means hold the most active drilled locations, that distinction goes to Chesapeake with 494 locations reported as "drilled" or "producing". Gulfport reports 73 wells as drilled or producing. While the August 16, 2014 Ohio DNR report shows Antero Resources with 44 wells as drilled or producing.

Antero in the Utica "sweet, sweet spot"
As I've noted in a previous post, according to reported production numbers, Antero seems fortunate to have obtained some of the best of the best acreage when looking at BOEPD in the initial months of production of some of their recent wells. And it looks like capital spending is chasing these more prolific wells given Antero's aggressive drilling program, a program that currently exceeds all operators in the Utica in Ohio.

Monroe and Noble counties prominent
Reported Q1 2013 through Q 1 2014 production for Antero Resources is confined to Noble (18 wells, more liquids rich) and Monroe (6 wells, more gas rich) counties.

Antero Utica Shale Ohio Production through Q1 2014. Source Ohio DNR data.

August 16 report shows increase since end Q1 2014
The August 16 Ohio DNR report shows an additional 6 Antero wells classified as "producing" in Noble county when compared to the Q1 production report. The report shows 14 wells "drilled", 38 "drilling", and 12 "permitted". A map of all Producing, Drilled, and Drilling Antero wells here is below.

(Surface locations in blue, bottom hole locations in red.)
Click for large map view

(Surface locations in blue, bottom hole locations in red.)
Click for large map view

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Utica Shale Activity in Ohio - Latest Maps and Data

The August 16, 2014 Utica / Point Pleasant well activity data is out. The report shows:

202 Ohio wells reported as currently drilling, map

Utica Ohio drilling activity by county

Harrison county leads all drilling activity with 49 wells classified as drilling, followed by
Guernsey (43)
Monroe (42)
Noble (35)
Carroll (17)
Belmont (12)
Jefferson (1)
Morgan (1)
Portage (1)
Trumbull (1)

Utica Ohio drilling activity by operator

Antero leads the pack with 38 wells classified as currently drilling, followed by
Chesapeake (34)
Gulfport (32)
American Energy (22)
Eclipse (16)
Hess (14)
PDC Energy (8)
Triad Hunter (8)
HG Energy (6)
Carrizo (5)
CNX Gas (4)
Hall Drilling (4)
XTO (3)
EQT Production (2)
Rex Energy (2)
Chevron (1)
Devon (1)
Halcon (1)
Mountaineer Keystone (1)

In addition:
467 wells are classified as Producing, map and
228 wells as Drilled, map. 

20 new permits were issued for the period (August 10-16 2014)

New permits were lead by American Energy with 10 new permits followed by
Hess (5)
Chesapeake (4)
CNX (1)

Harrison county led Utica permitting with 8 followed by
Belmont (7)
Carroll (4)
Tuscarawas  (1)

A map of the newly permitted wells is below, note that these are surface locations where they are often more than one well on a pad, zoom in to view separate locations on a pad.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Ohio Counties with the Most Impressive Utica Production

In each of the last five quarters (Q1 2013 to Q1 2014) the Ohio DNR released production data for Utica / Point Pleasant wells. The data included the county and the number of "producing days" for each of the wells in the county. Combining all the producing days for all of the wells in a county gives us the numbers in the chart below.

Total producing days in a county = the total number of producing days for all wells in a county combined.

Carroll County
Carroll County is noted as leading by a wide margin in the number of well producing days, representing approximately 56% of the total. Other counties should make gains on Carroll county going forward given the shift in permitting and drilling activity. In the recent August 9, 2014 Ohio DNR report, Harrison, Noble, Guernsey, and Monroe, each showed more than twice the drilling activity of Carroll County.

Chesapeake does appear to be seeing some nice profits in their Carroll county wells and are drilling at a steady clip. In the Q1 2014 data we see that the six Putnam wells in Union Township in Carroll County showed nice initial production. The first 53-67 days of production show an average of ~200-250 Barrels of Oil per Day. As a result, I don't see Chesapeake slowing down Carroll County drilling anytime soon.

Carroll County, Data Source Ohio DNR

Noble County
Though many of the Noble County wells are showing even more impressive oil production results with the Antero wells below averaging 630 to almost 1,000 Barrels of Oil per Day in the first 32-68 days of production.

Noble County, Data Source Ohio DNR

Harrison and Guernsey Counties
Some of the Harrison and Guernsey County wells are also putting up some nice numbers, showing around 500 Barrel Per Day of production the first two or three months that they come online. Some Gulfport, Hess, Carrizo wells in those counties are seeing the 500 BOPD production numbers.

Monroe and Belmont Counties
Monroe and Belmont Counties, while not showing much oil production, are showing some of the most prolific gas production.

Single well production records to come
The technology mix and process used to exploit the wells is evolving so we should expect to see production records broken as operators learn more and hone their methods of exploiting the Utica / Point Pleasant play in Ohio. Stay tuned.