Wells start to deliver

LISBON – Statewide oil and gas production figures for 2012 were released Thursday for the Utica shale formation, including the numbers for the five horizontal wells in Columbiana County that came on line last year.

According to the Ohio Department Natural Resources, the five wells produced a combined 132,599 MCFs of natural gas and 24,082 barrels of oil last year. An MCF is equal to 1,000 feet of natural gas. A barrel is equal to 42 gallons.

The five wells – three at one site in West Township and one each in Hanover and Knox townships -ranged in production from fours day to 204 days, depending on the well. The wells also generated nearly 36,000 barrels of brine, a drilling byproduct.

The five are among the 70 well sites in the county that have received state permits since mid 2010. A sixth well, the Henderson unit in West Township, began producing earlier this year, while the rest of the wells in the county are in various stages of development.

The five county wells were among 87 statewide that were in production last year in the Utica shale, producing 12.8 million MCFs of natural gas and 635,896 barrels of oil.

Oil production in the Utica shale increased by 93 percent from 2011, while natural gas grew by 80 percent. The output from Utica wells represents less than 1 percent of all oil and gas currently produced in Ohio, but officials are predicting that by early 2015 gas production from Utica wells will exceed that generated by the state’s 51,000 existing conventional gas wells.

“The production from these initial Utica wells make(s) a compelling statement about the staggering amount of oil and gas resources Ohio’s shale appears to contain,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer, in a news release.

The state also compared horizontal Utica well production to that of conventional wells and determined a single Utica well produced as much oil as 312 conventional wells and as much natural gas as 448 conventional wells.

The following are the 2012 production numbers for the county’s wells and the number of days they were in operation:

– Jan Paul Farms in Hanover Township: 307 barrels of oil and no natural gas; four days.

– Sanor Farm in Knox Township: 8,832 barrels of oil and 54,730 MCFs of gas; 204 days

– Ayrview Acres in West Township: 2,811 barrels of oil and 18,772 MCFs of gas; 23 days.

– Ayrview Acres in West Township: 3,031 barrels of oil and 18,434 MCFs of gas; 19 days.

– Ayrview Acres in West Township: 9,101 barrels of oil and 40,663 MCFs of gas; 32 days.

The state is estimating 362 wells will be in production by the end of this year, increasing to 1,000 by the end of 2015.