Utica shale numbers staggering


COLUMBUS — Oil production in Ohio nearly doubled from 2012 to 2013 and natural gas production grew in that time by nearly 2½ times, according to a new report.

Peter MacKenzie of the 3,200-member Ohio Oil and Gas Association shared the assessment last week in a report released at his group’s 67th annual winter meeting.

Oil production in Ohio grew from 4.9 million barrels in 2012 to 9.7 million 42-gallon barrels in 2013, according to Mr. MacKenzie’s estimate.

Meanwhile, natural gas production climbed from about 83 billion cubic feet in 2012 to 203 billion cubic feet in 2013.

The new data in the DeBrosse Report “should get people’s attention,” Mr. MacKenzie told the audience. “They got my attention.”

Evidence is growing that Ohio really is “on the leading edge of a boom” in the Utica shale in eastern Ohio, he said. But Ohio’s totals are still far behind the top natural gas states such as Texas, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania.

Mr. MacKenzie’s estimates are the first numbers released on possible production totals from 2013, at a time when the Utica shale development is starting to take off.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has released partial production totals from 2013, but six months of data on oil and natural gas production is expected to be released soon.

Mr. MacKenzie said his estimates might be a little high, but both figures are in the ball park, he added.

Chesapeake Energy drilled the most wells in 2013 with 159, he said. That was up from 158 the year before.

The next most-active drillers were Eclipse Resources with 30 wells, EnerVest Ltd. with 26, Gulfport Energy with 25, and Knox Energy Inc. with 21.

Chesapeake Energy’s wells stretched 1.7 million feet below ground, vertically and horizontally, according to Mr. MacKenzie’s report. Gulfport Energy was No. 2 with 316,333 feet of wells.

In all, Ohio’s 2013 wells stretched just over 4 million feet vertically and horizontally, he said, an increase of 465,926 feet, or 13 percent, from 2012, he said.

“It may be a record,” he added.

Carroll County led the state with 113 wells in 2013. It was followed by Harrison County with 40, Stark with 39, Knox with 37, and and Noble with 33. Those totals are horizontal wells plus vertical-only wells. Ohio had 580 wells drilled in 2013.

Officials of three energy firms also raved about Utica development and its potential at the conference that attracted more than 1,500 people.