Oil & Gas Drillers Exploring Utica Shale in West Virginia

by Duane Nichols on May 14, 2014

Drilling Down 11,000 Feet

Both Gastar Exploration and Stone Energy drilling into WV Utica Shale formation

From an Article by Casey Junkins, Wheeling Intelligencer, May 12, 2014

Moundsville, WV – Stone Energy Corp. and Gastar Exploration join Fossil Creek Ohio in digging into the Utica Shale formation underlying much of Marshall, Wetzel and Ohio counties.

For several years, companies drilled into the Marcellus shale in West Virginia and the Utica in Ohio, but the Utica blitz is now on in the Northern Panhandle. The Utica shale sits below the Marcellus, more than two miles beneath the Earth’s surface.

“In West Virginia, we are currently drilling our first Utica/Point Pleasant exploration well in Marshall County and expect to have results early in the third quarter of 2014. Based on nearby operator activity, we are highly optimistic about the potential of this formation and believe that it underlies our entire acreage position in both Marshall and Wetzel counties,” J. Russell Porter, Gastar president and CEO, said.

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Point Pleasant formation lies very near the Utica Shale. Gastar hopes to drill its Simms 5H well 11,100 feet vertically before turning it to go another 4,200 feet horizontally.

Last year, Gastar officials said each Marshall County Marcellus well cost them about $7 million to drill and frack. However, Fossil Creek President Chris Rowntree has said his company plans to pay about $22 million to complete each Utica well in the county.

The highest known offers for Marcellus Shale leases in the Ohio Valley would pay $7,300 per acre, along with 20 percent in production royalties. Landowners who have signed Marcellus leases may or may not have also leased their Utica rights, depending upon the individual agreements.

“We expect 2014 to be marked by further realization of the growing value of our assets as we test new formations and expand the areas in which we are developing our currently producing formations,” Porter said. “Later this year, we will be moving both of our Marcellus and Utica drilling programs south to Wetzel County, where we expect results to be equally as attractive as our Marcellus wells and pending Utica well in Marshall County.”

Louisiana-based Stone Energy works mostly in Wetzel County. Chairman, President and CEO David Welch said the company plans to produce over 100 million cubic feet of natural gas per day from its Marcellus wells by the second half of this year.


BP America Says It’s Pulling Out of Utica Shale

BP America is the second energy company to formally announce it would suspend drilling operations in the northern Utica in Ohio. In March, Halcon Energy said that it would hold off further exploration in Trumbull County OH and western Pennsylvania.

Still, Halcon’s Kibler well in Trumbull County OH is thus far the most productive oil well in the northern tier of the Utica shale. The Kibler 1H produced 10,235 barrels of oil over 65 days. Average oil production across the entire Utica stood at 4,089 barrels over an average of 62 days.

The highest producing oil well in the Utica was Gulfport Energy’s Boy Scout well in Harrison County OH at 26,095 barrels over 80 days.

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SkyLark Overview 5-26-14 May 26, 2014 at 7:23 am

Magnum Hunter Hits Utica Shale In W.Va.

By CASEY JUNKINS – Wheeling Intelligencer, May 26, 2014
MOUNDSVILLE – Magnum Hunter Resources joins Gastar Exploration and Stone Energy in fracking the Utica Shale in West Virginia via the Stewart Winland well pad in Tyler County, becoming at least the third company to drill Mountain State Utica.

The company is also now selling about 11.7 million cubic feet of natural gas – and 1,788 barrels of condensate, which industry officials describe as “a very light oil” – per day pumped from property owned by Ormet Corp. in Monroe County (on the Ohio River in Ohio, opposite Wetzel County, WV).

Houston, Texas-based Magnum Hunter is the parent company of driller Triad Hunter, as well as pipeliner Eureka Hunter.
“We are anxiously awaiting the completion operations of the most southern Utica test, Stewart Winland No. 1300, in the entire play located in Tyler County,” Gary C. Evans, chairman and CEO of Magnum Hunter, said.

Company officials plan to drill the Winland well to a vertical depth of 10,750 feet, before then turning the shaft horizontally to complete a 5,500-foot lateral.

“This new data point will significantly enhance the prospects for our existing southeastern leasehold position,” Evans added.
On the Ohio side of the Ohio River, the company completed drilling and fracking on the Ormet pad, directly across Ohio 7 from the closed plant. Magnum Hunter began selling oil and gas from these wells on May 6.

Eureka Hunter is in the process of installing liquids stabilization equipment and loading facilities near its Ohio River crossing at Sardis, Ohio. The pipeline running under the river allows gas pumped in West Virginia to be processed in Ohio, or gas drilled in Ohio to be processed in West Virginia.

“The company is continuing to make good progress on our game plan of growing production, proved reserves along with our leasehold inventory in both the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays, while at the same time increasing midstream volume throughout and continuing divesting of non-core assets,” Evans added.


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