Chesapeake 'Optimistic' for Future Ohio Utica Shale Production

Initial drilling results from Chesapeake Energy's Ohio Utica shale activity continues to fuel the company's optimism over the future production from the play, Keith Fuller, director of corporate development for Chesapeake, said in a statement.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) on Monday reported that five Ohio Utica shale wells operated by Chesapeake subsidiary Chesapeake Appalachia produced 45,513 barrels of oil and 2.5 Bcf of gas in 2011.

These wells, located in Carroll County, Ohio, began operating at different times in 2011. The most productive well, the Kenneth Buell 8H well, produced 13,472 barrels of oil and 1.5 Bcf of gas.

Four wells have not been placed into commercial production, but may have produced incidental volumes of crude oil with hydraulic fracturing flowback fluids.

While the initial data is promising, it is still very limited and only a small part of the information is needed to gauge the entire formation's potential, Fuller noted.

"We will continue to gather information and move forward with our plans to increase our rig count in Ohio to 20 rigs by the end of the year and to build a significant gathering and midstream complex in the region to accommodate an anticipated increase in production of natural gas liquids," Fuller commented.

Chesapeake and BP are two of the companies currently exploring the potential of the Utica/Point Pleasant shale play. BP announced late last month that it had entered the Utica shale play.

ODNR has estimated the recoverable reserve potential for the Utica/Point Pleasant shale play in Ohio at between 1.3 billion barrels and 5.5 billion barrels of oil and 3.75 Tcf and 15.7 Tcf of gas.

Karen Boman has more than 10 years of experience covering the upstream oil and gas sector. Email Karen at kboman@rigzone.com

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