Full Title: Mapping the Opportunities for Shale Development in Ohio
Author(s): Iryna Lendel, Andrew R. Thomas, Bryan Townley, and Jeffrey C. Dick
Publisher(s): Cleveland State University
Publication Date: 09/2015
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By the spring of 2015, over 1,000 wells had been drilled into the Utica Shale. Much has been learned about the Utica in more than three years of drilling and producing. Operating companies can now predict with considerable accuracy the nature and amount of production likely to be recovered from the region, and from each well. This is so despite the fact that only about 3% of the anticipated commercial area for the Utica has been tested.
Among the most important insights gleaned from production to date is that certain areas of the Utica are rich in not only natural gas, but also natural gas liquids. The result is that a handful of midstream companies have made major investments in the Appalachian Basin, building a natural gas processing infrastructure capable of processing some 7.9 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d). Further, notwithstanding low hydrocarbon prices, regional processing capacity is anticipated to grow to nearly 12 bcf/d by 2020. This regional capacity will be used to process both Utica and Marcellus natural gas.
The hydrocarbon price depression has been the major story of 2015. Low prices may be a boon to local industry and transportation, but have been hard on the upstream oil and gas industry. Drilling rig count in the Utica, which had been steadily rising through 2014, reaching a high of around 50, dropped dramatically by June 2015 to 19. However the reduced rig count has been offset somewhat by increasingly long laterals from each well being completed, meaning more production per well.