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Ohio shale gas production shot up 43 percent in second quarter

Special to the Legal News

Published: September 13, 2018

A new report shows that Ohio's horizontal shale region saw an increase in oil production and natural gas in the second quarter of this year.

Horizontal wells in the state's Utica/Point Pleasant area, mainly in the eastern portion of the state, produced nearly 4.5 million barrels of oil and nearly 554.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas in the second quarter this year compared with nearly 4.1 million barrels of oil and nearly 389.67 billion cubic feet of gas in the second quarter of 2017, according to data released by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. (Note: a barrel of oil is equal to 42 U.S. gallons and that gas reporting totals include natural gas liquids).

That's a nearly 43-percent percent increase for shale gas between the two quarters and a nearly 11-percent increase for oil production for the same period.

The ODNR report lists 2,035 horizontal shale wells with 2,002 reporting oil and natural gas production during the quarter. The average amount of oil produced was 2,242 barrels. The average amount of gas produced was nearly 276.88 million cubic feet. The average number of production days was 85.

While oil production for the second half of the 2018 increased by 4 percent more than in 2017, natural gas production increased by 43 percent. For the first two quarters this year, the Ohio's drilling companies have produced more than 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas compared with nearly 762 billion produced for the same period in 2017.

Ohio also had more than 8.4 million barrels of oil produced for the first half this year compared with nearly 8.2 million for the same period last year.

Oil production was 24 percent higher in the first quarter of 2016 with nearly 5.5 million barrels than in 2015. Natural gas spiked 80 percent in the first quarter of 2016 to 329.53 billion cubic feet.

Additionally, oil production peaked in 2015 with more than 23 million barrels before it decreased to 29 percent last year. That was after a barrel of crude oil started to decrease from more than a $100 a barrel during the summer of 2014 with prices plunging by about 50 percent by the end of the year, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Since then, oil prices have fallen to as low as $30 per barrel and recently as high as more than $70.

The Utica shale play is more than 7,000 feet below ground and underlies portions of Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New York.

Since 2011, the state has issued more than 2,800 permits for horizontal drilling with more than 80 percent of them drilled.

There is no drilling activity within central Ohio's 10-county metropolitan statistical area. Ohio counties where drilling takes place include Belmont, Jefferson, Mahoning and Washington.

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