A statewide report released Tuesday shows a significant jump in the amount of oil and gas extracted from the Utica Shale Play but leaves many questions about the success of drilling in Trumbull and Mahoning counties.
The report listed production data for 245 Utica Shale wells in Ohio, including one in Trumbull County, five in Mahoning County and two in Portage County. The report, which covers production from the Utica Shale during the third quarter of 2013, or July, August and September, was released by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
The new report indicates that Ohio energy companies extracted more than twice as much oil and gas from the Utica Shale during those three months than in all of 2012.
It is the first report that now will be released each quarter by the state of Ohio due to a new law requiring drilling companies to file production updates for the geological formation every three months instead of once a year.
The report indicates those 245 wells produced a total of 1.3 million barrels of oil and 33.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas. By comparison, in all of 2012, 85 wells produced 635,876 barrels of oil and 12.8 billion cubic feet of gas.
During the 91 days in the reporting period, each well produced on average 5,439 barrels of oil; 137,168 Mcf of natural gas; and operated an average of 55 days each, according to ODNR.
The only Trumbull County well reporting production numbers was BP's Lennington Well in Johnston Township. The well turned out 604 barrels of oil and 3,869 Mcf of natural gas in only 10 days of production. Since that reporting period, a second BP well, the Buckeye well in Hartford Township, has begun production. Those figures likely will not be released until the next reporting period.
An email sent on New Year's Day seeking comment from BP spokesman Curtis Thomas was not immediately returned.
Mike Chadsey, a spokesman for industry group Ohio Oil and Gas Association, reached late Wednesday, said he was eager to see the numbers, but cautioned about reading too much into them because development of the shale play is still in its infancy.
"Since the introduction of quarterly reporting of Utica shale production numbers, those interested can see what is happening in Ohio's shale play on a timely basis," he said. "The numbers indicate production continues to wait for pipeline infrastructure and processing capabilities."
The report did not include information on other recently drilled wells because most local wells are on hold awaiting installation of pipelines to move the gas to market.
Among those is what is expected to be among the highest producing local wells, the Kibler well in Lordstown, operated by Houston-based Halcon Resources.
In August, Halcon Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Floyd Wilson called Lordstown's Kibler well "one of the most productive wells in the Utica Shale Play." At that time the exploratory well was reported to have released 2,233 barrels of oil equivalent per day. However, no production numbers for the Kibler well was included in the data released this week by ODNR, likely because it was put on hold while pipeline infrastructure construction.
In October, a second well was drilled at the site, and permits have been obtained for four others at the Kibler site. None of those wells have gone into production yet, according to ODNR.
According to the report, the highest producing oil well in the state was the Gulfport Energy "Boy Scout" well in Harrison County at 41,617 barrels of oil during 70 days of production. The highest producing gas well was the Gulfport Energy "Stutzman" well in Belmont County at 1,249,739 Mcf during 89 days of production.