Natural gas, oil production in Ohio’s Utica Shale continues to increase

By Bob Downing

Beacon Journal staff writer

Production of natural gas and oil continues to grow in Ohio’s Utica Shale.

Natural gas production from Ohio’s horizontal wells grew by almost 25 percent from the third quarter of 2015 to the fourth quarter of 2015 and oil production jumped by 10 percent in that time, according to new production data released on Wednesday by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Natural gas volumes in the quarter totaled nearly 303 billion cubic feet and oil production totaled nearly 6.25 million 42-gallon barrels, said ODNR’s Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management.

Natural gas production from 2014 to 2015 grew by 110.6 percent and oil production grew by 99.9 percent in that time, according to the new report.

Natural gas totals jumped from 452.8 billion cubic feet in 2014 to 953 billion cubic feet in 2015, the report showed.

Oil totals increased from nearly 11 million barrels in 2014 to 21.98 million barrels in 2015.

Quarterly production of natural gas increased by 80 percent from the fourth quarter of 2014 and oil production increased by more than 75 percent in that time, the data showed.

The production comes at a time when new drilling is falling off as drillers pull back because of low commodity prices.

But the Utica Shale in eastern Ohio remains one of the more active drilling areas. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says natural gas production is likely to drop in April in six of seven shale drilling areas in the country. Only the Utica Shale is expected to increase. Oil production in the Utica Shale and the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania and West Virginia are expected to stay level. The rest will be declining in April, according to the federal agency.

The latest Ohio report covers data from 1,265 Utica Shale wells, of which 1,230 reported production. A total of 35 wells reported no production.

To date, Ohio has approved 2,140 Utica Shale permits. Of that total, 1,693 Utica wells have been drilled and 1,240 Utica wells are producing.

The average Ohio horizontal well was in production for 83 days and produced 5,081 barrels of oil and 245.9 million cubic feet of natural gas in the fourth quarter of 2015.

The Top 5 Ohio counties for natural gas in the fourth quarter were Belmont with 85.8 billion cubic feet, Carroll with 59.4 billion, Monroe with 49.3 billion, Harrison with 44.8 billion and Noble with 33.9 billion.

The Top 5 Ohio counties for oil were Harrison with 2.4 million barrels, Guernsey (1.5 million), Carroll (1.4 million), Noble (628,100) and Belmont (92,679).

The Top 3 natural gas wells in the fourth quarter were three Mohawk Warrior wells owned by Rice Drilling LLC in Belmont County. No. 1 was Mohawk Warrior 12H with 16.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas in the quarter.

The Top 3 oil producers in the quarter were Red Hill Farms wells owned by Ascent Resources in Guernsey County. No. 1 was the well with 59,502 barrels of oil in the quarter.

The Top 5 Ohio drillers are: Chesapeake Energy, 588 wells; Gulfport Energy, 165 wells; Antero Resources, 120 wells; Ascent Resources, 83 wells; and Eclipse Resources, 54 wells.

Ohio does not require a separate reporting of natural gas liquids like ethane, butane and propane or condensate, a type of oil.

The NGLs are part of the natural gas total. The condensate is part of the oil total.

The individual well reports are available at